Armidale Health Service

Alison Kerimofski

On Friday the 2nd of December Geographe Education Support Centre, a school located in Busselton, celebrated International Day of Disabilities in style. Geographe Education Support Centre is a centre that caters for children with intellectual disabilities ranging from year 1 to year 12. The centre draws children from the coastal region between Busselton and Margaret River. Geographe Education Support Centre is located on a split campus with the primary children housed on the grounds of Geographe Primary School and the high school students housed on the grounds of Busselton Senior High School.

The centre began their celebrations with a community morning tea. This morning tea offered a broad range of community members, including local and state politicians, shire councillors, local principals and deputy principals the opportunity to come into the centre and meet the students and view the broad range of work on display. Students from the Primary site discussed and displayed their favourite pieces of work and students from the High School site gave a short information session on the work of our Calm Cadet unit. Students then invited guests to partake in morning tea and shared their work portfolios with them. Guests were also invited to view the displays from ACTIV Industries, Disability Services Commission and Forest Personnel.

Following this the staff and high school students of the Education Support Centre ran twelve rotational activities for the students of Geographe Primary School. The high school students took on a leadership role providing instructions for each of the activities for the groups as they rotated. The Primary Students were split into twelve groups and moved through 12 activities that gave the students the opportunity to experience what it would be like to have a disability of some kind. Some of these activities were Sitting Volleyball where students played volleyball sitting on their bottoms, PVC bowling where student rolled a ball through PVC piping at skittles and a Food race activity where students fingers were taped together and they had to try and pick up and eat sultanas.

The comments from the students participating were amazing, their heightened understanding of life with a disability will remain with them always. The staff from the Primary School commented on the excellent leadership skills of our high school students and the quality of the activities.

What a wonderful way to show our community our ABILITIES not our disabilities.