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Sensory Overload

Posted on 15 October, 2017 at 3:10 Comments comments (0)

For decades I had enzecema – red, itchy skin. There was no apparent reason for this. It did not make any difference what I used or what treatment I sought.

An important principle in my life regarding happiness and general wellbeing is I prefer prevention than seeking ‘cures’. Many Western doctors do not understand this principle. They would prefer to treat a problem with a short term fix rather than understanding what caused the problem.

From old girlfriends I learned there was a direct link between how they felt and what did. They were in touch with themselves and connected what they did to what happened to their health. One lady described certain foods as happy or sad foods. One told me certain foods gave her heaps of energy and another was similar to me. Nearly all prescribed medicines or treatments had side effects and disagreed with her physically.

Western and Eastern medicine does have its place in society to improve people’s health when they seek medical assistance. . Their practioners are trained, qualified; they can diagnose and prescribe medicine and courses of treatment.

I have Asperger’s Syndrome. In my experience doctors and other ‘health professional s are incapable of connecting the dots when I explain the relationship between what I ate, what I did , what I was wearing to how I felt, my overall health and behavior. Instead they would attempt to outsource the problem to someone else not believing what I said dismissing it is improbable or having no connection between what me and what happened and previous events.


Last week a friend loved a Facebook post and a possible explanation when I was describing sensory overload. I thought I would share my experience about what worked for me. I am not qualified as a health practitioner; do not claim to have an expert informed opinion understanding others individual health concerns and stress that if others have any doubt or questions about side effects seek medical advice or attention for possible interactions. This entry is simply what worked for me in treating my red itchy skin so that it rarely happens and improved my quality of life.

Nearly all my clothing is 100 per cent cotton. For some reason I feel much better and happier with this material than anything else. When I wear anything with polyester in it invariable my skin develops a rash, turns red, itchy and develops lumps and bumps where it is in contact with my skin.

I was Purity Liquid Washing Detergent for babies and infants. As a fifty year old male, my reasoning is simple. Babies have very sensitive skin. Washing machine detergents and products developed for infants are put are on the market after testing by experts or their teams looking to see what happens. If they did not do this this could not claim it was developed for babies. For me that makes it gentle to use.

When washing my skin I prefer Aloe Vera that is soap free. Soap products seem to dry and irritate my skin regardless of what brand I tried. Principle of prevention rather than cure.

I do a skin brush each day. If a snake sheds their skin during the year, then it makes sense to me to brush off dead skin cells each day. This takes approximately 3 minutes each day. The brush I use is I soak in Vinegar to clean it.

Once a week I clean my washing machine by doing a; load with Vinegar or something similar in it.

This is what has worked for me. If this works you and I am very happy that it is helped. As always I stress seek medical advice from qualified health professional for problems and interactions.

Wishing everyone all the best.

Disability Pride

Posted on 12 October, 2017 at 23:05 Comments comments (0)

Audio recording available." target="_blank">http://

Disability Pride was coined by Larissa Macfarlane. It signified a new way people with a Disability viewed their lives.

Her speech was met with thunderous applause at the Grandstanding not Handstanding/How About A Rainbow Opening night Art Exhibitions held at Footscray Community Arts Centre.

For a long time I felt ashamed that I had trouble joining in conversations before I had an accident acquiring a brain injury. And I felt ashamed that I felt ashamed of this.

It is 18 years since I had an accident. I need to celebrate to this. I believe culturally it is important for people to celebrate their anniversaries in disability culture.

When Larrisa was studying Art at TAFE, she was advised not to mention she had a disability. Her teachers told her “It will detract from your Art”

Larissa struggled to accept this and understand why she was given this ‘advice’.

What people don’t realize is that brain injuries can improve over time. “Because I have an acquired brain injury, I am Artist. As my brain began to heal, I developed new abilities” explained Larissa. She was a former fifth year Medical Student at Melbourne University.

A feature of Larissa Macfarlane’s Art is the attention to fine details in her work. “I am proud to have my work exhibited in conjunction with Artists from the How About A Rainbow celebrating their work.

Footscray Community Arts Centre has Dual Openings for Art Exhibitions. Kath Duncan, a Disability Advocate reminds people that the community accessible bathrooms are the best in Melbourne to much laughter for a serious matter. They are spacious and comfortable. All that is missing is a kitchen and I would move in.

An Auslan interpreter signs everyone’s speeches for the hard of hearing community. There are ramps leading into the buildings and with wide open spaces making it easy for wheelchairs and for families with pushers and prams to view exhibitions. Tables with a selection of pizzas, sausage rolls and pies as well as platters with dips, cheese, raw vegetables and biscuits are strategically placed where people can easily walk around to help themselves. There are jugs of orange juice, tea and coffee facilities along with a bar to purchase alcoholic drinks. Raphael Kaleb added visual description of the photographs he took describing what the pictures were for those with low vision" target="_blank">http://

The 150 people on Opening Night mix and mingle with everyone discussing their Art and creative interests. They asked questions what are they doing, have you work on display, are there any exhibitions coming up or in other areas?

Outside The Maribynong River gently meanders between the Melbourne CBD lights and Footscray Community Arts Centre like the division between people with disabilities and main steam communities. Businesses call it Networking when meeting new people while Government Officials call Social Inclusion when diverse groups of people congregate and integrate.

Thanks to Larissa Macfarlane there are better words. Disability Pride where everyone feels valued.










Posted on 31 August, 2017 at 19:25 Comments comments (0)

Dolly Parton sang 9-5. Rock around the clock by Bill Haley and The Comets is far more appropriate for Abbie Madden, Creative Director of Blindful showing Melbourne Fringe Festival. Rehearsals start at 8 am and  finish at 5 pm. Then specialized training for another 3 hours afterwards. Plus paperwork to fill out and complete.

What people need to understand and appreciate is how hard entertainers work. Many full time jobs are 45 hours a week maximum usually with the certainty of income. In the creative industries people usually apply for grants and outside funding to make a show affordable.

Dancing is hard physical work. Stretching, learning new routines, creating new choreography, learning to juggle and handstands blindfolded are all part of Blindful. Try doing this with limited vision. Then there is time spent applying for grants. Finding suitable venues for rehearsals. Discussing the creative vision. Working out how to make venues accessible. Learning how to prepare emotionally for the actual performances. These are the challenges Abbie Madden faces before putting on Blindful.

Abbie is used to challenges. She’s a professional dancer who performed at Perth Fringe Festival earlier this year. She’s gaining a following overseas. Mexico has approached her to take Blindful over there.

Abbie is looking for ways to make Blindful more inclusive for visionally impaired people. Audio description is one way of doing this . What this means is describing what is happening for audiences. For example there is a lady with red hair doing a hand stand on the lounge room floor trying to get the attention of her husband who is not listening while he prepares dinner in the kitchen.  She is frustrated. Audio description fills in the gaps of what the visual clues are.

Melbourne Fringe Festival is a progressive inclusive Arts organization. On 16 August 2017 CEO of Melbourne Fringe Festival Simon Abraham told listeners of The Boldness on  3CR, he was pleased to announce a newly created position for the next three years of a Social Inclusion Officer.

Part of this role is to embrace people with disabilities into Melbourne Fringe Festival. This role expands the way people with a disability can perform in Melbourne Fringe Festival making it easier for them to access any assistance they may need.

Each year a theme emerges in from  Melbourne Fringe Festival's  collective shows. In recognition of the new position of a social inclusion officer I would encourage entertainers to incorporate people with disabilities into their shows for a truly diverse performance showcasing their talents. A theme such as “I have many abilities but only one disability” and “Everyone is gifted with Special Talents” would further enhance Melbourne Fringe Festivals reputation as a leader in Encouraging Creative Diverse Art Forms.

In the 1980’s, Neil Diamond explained to write meaningful song lyrics , a person looked into their own experiences sharing part of their lives. Abbie Madden has congenital glaucoma which affects her vision. Blindful is a dance production performed by Abbie Madden and Ryan Darwin on how to have meaningful interactions with others while meeting challenges in relationships between vision impaired and fully sighted people. 


Art is a level playing field where everyone has a role to play. If you would like to get involved and provide financial assistance or services for future Blindful productions  contact Abbie Madden through http/

Listen to The Boldness interview with Abbie Madden from Blindful along with Rachel Edward and David Monay, ensemble members of Rawcus Faniticus. Both shows are part of Melbourne Fringe Festival. http/

Support The Boldness. Donate to 3CR on 03 9419 8377 during business hours. Donations are tax deductible


Raphael "A Rambling Beurologist' Kaleb has co-hosted The Boldness on 3CR since 2009. Raphael was finalist in the Emerging Writers Festival in 2015 and competed in National RAW Comedy in 2017. Over the past few years Raphael has recorded Attitude Princess wtih the Free Wheelin' Spririts, performed and acted as a host at Strumarama. Last year he played the Big Bad Boss in There Might Be Ghosts (A Christmas Carol',   played various roles in a comedy called Into The Limelight shown at St Kilda Film Festival 2017 and featured in a documentary called Voices.

Audio recording of Blindful." target="_blank">https/ 


Posted on 7 August, 2017 at 5:45 Comments comments (0)

The clapping started before the music started. Participants streamed in while outside others expectantly chatted about Zumba. Inside the hall, the atmosphere smelled like a South American Jungle. Sultry. Steaming. Throbbing with life.

Gabi, Dianna stepped on to the stage. Warming up with quick side steps. The crowd roared. A baby was thrust into the ladies arms. In unison they smiled. Stopped. Started posing for photos. In silence.

“Are you ready to party?” Dianne asked the crowd. The first track started. I thought I was in in the front row of a rock concert as the applause exploded. “Let’s have fun?”

Instinctively everyone moved as one. Mirroring the instructor’s moves. Losing inhibitions drinking from the flutes of happiness. Their enthusiasm is contagious. There is no alcohol anywhere. A diverse group enjoying them themselves. Having fun. A natural high. Getting lost in the rhythm of life


The hour and half Master Class is over way, way too soon. 95 per cent of the participants are female. A number of them joined the instructors on stage. Showing their best dance moves to their friends much to their delight.

These people really know how to party. Really party hard. Zumba releases Feel Good Endorphins making it easier to deal to with a fun way. People’s personalities bubble and they gain confidence. Their outlook on life is positive and extremely optimistic. Best of all it doesn’t feel like exercise.

People were encouraged to take as many happy snaps as they wanted. The instructors obligingly posed patiently with anyone who wanted pictures with them. They kept smiling. Pleasing the 250 plus people who turned up.

Graciously they spent a spent a few minutes talking with me afterwards. They work hard for their money. Zumba is physically challenging and burns calories. They were hungry and eager to share their stories with me.

I really wanted to ask them one question. Why did you become an instructor?

“We grew up with this music. “The sounds of our childhood. We like to make others happy.

They went home to eat. Rest. Then do it all again the next day. Sharing with the others the joy of living.

Zumba is South American hospitality at its best. I went home to sleep. Exhausted and exilharated


Posted on 29 June, 2017 at 5:25 Comments comments (0)

"Raphael," Robyn Szechman wants to meet you. I was at Gasworks in 2015 where I had several articles on display at the Home Is Where The Art Is Exhibition. I didn't know at the time who Robyn was, why she wanted to meet me let alone how important this introduvation would be.

Robyn informed me a short course called Voices of the South around public speaking. Robyn Szechman and Deb McIntosh are used to working with individuals with often very complex backgrounds to find their own identity in the community with meaningful activities.

I have a very challenging background.  I found out later Robyn and Deb were a little 'apprenhensive' after an interview for this course. Six years earlier an intake officer  decided I was unsuitable for anger management in 1:1 sessions let alone a group environment. A social worker orgainzed a personal helper and support worker in 2012 and the brief to a counsellor was to see if she could asssist me to sleep through the night and if thyey were activities that would assist behavioural and attitude problems. Both outcomes seemed like delusional , wishful thinking . At the time I was sleeping on a concrete floor in the middle of winter with 1 sheet to cover me. Most nights I woke  up shivering. I didn't keep any pets. In the mornings they were a possible source of protein. In the previous thirty plus years I was always running, been sacked from volunteer jobs and desrcibed by professional as impossible and too stressful.

"Voices' tells a little of my story and a little of 2 other people's journey as well. What people need to understand is the flow on effect into the commuinity of what happenned since in my case.

Through completing 'Voices' I met Marjeteka McMahon, a drama faciliator for RAG Theatre, I played the big, bad boss in There Might Be Ghosts. This year I am currently rehearsing for No Offence a play as part of Melbourne Fringe Festval in 2017. The counselor I was seeing in 2012 thought creative activities may be a good match for my vivid imagination. She was right. In 2015 I was a finalist ion The Emerging Writers Festival.

The peer support worker would be excited as the Voices documentary. When she stopped working  with me in 2014, she explained I was her biggest success story ever in 20 years of working in community services.

I completed A Heros' Journey at Elwood Community Centre. Voices of The South assisted me in identyfying what was important to me and how by building confidence, people could change their lives by addresing previous patterns which in my case included very destructivve tendacies..

Robyn passsd on information about various short courses including Social Media Marketing, Event Management , Into The Limelight and Find The Funny.  The first two along with A Hero's Journey helped me create my own website http/ . Into The Limelight was a series of comedy skits shown at St Kilda Fim Festival in 2017" target="_blank">/https/  Earlier this year with the encouragement of Justine Sless professional comedienne and  Facilatator of Find The Funny I competed at National RAW Comedy. Many contestents congratulated me for showing what was required and what could be done . "Voices' involved public speaking which was a huge advantage.

I hosted a series called A Rambling Beurologists Dream on 3CR in 2016. This was a series of broadcasts about how to approach entertainment in different forms such as music, film, public speaking, drama, writing and comedy.   The staion manager asked me would a host a similar series in 2017.  The courses I learnt about through Robyn Szechman by particpating in 'Voices" led to this by giving me  taste of what was on offer in those industries.

I entered "Christined by Fire"" target="_blank">https/  at The Mojo Film Festival.  Voices explained why it was important to share my story with others showing people CAN and DO change.

For the decision makers in funding bodies for courses such as "Voices" and debate are they worthwhile. I hope This short entry about what Voices achieved encourages you to continue funding social engagement projects such as "Voices" and what positve outcomes may happen.  In the context that in my case I had over 40 years of a revolving door case with over 100  'health professionals' involved with me since the age of 10 and none were succesful, you may like to consider what Voices did afterwards in 18 months since I completed it. 



The Boldness 2016/17 Review Radiothon

Posted on 14 June, 2017 at 18:40 Comments comments (0)

Support The Boldness for Radiothon 


Ring 03 9419 8333

21 June 2017

6 pm - 6:30 pm

3CR 855AM

Continue to make stories like this possible

The Boldness Shows were

20 July 2017

Guest: Tomohiro  A Carer

Subject: Proposed reduction in after hours care

The Boldness was intrigued

Proposed disability cuts

Keep quality care

No if or buts.



17 August 2016

Guest: Samantha Conner Disability Advocate

Topic: Perception of Mental Illness in The Community 

The Boldness covered

Stigma in the community

Views on Mental health.

It strikes without immunity.



21 September 2016

Guests: David Turk Light and Kinetic Artist

James Wray Port Phillip Housing Association Manager

Topic: Art and Accomodation

The Boldness explores culture

At The Laneway Artspace

Plus secure accommodation

Instead using a suitcase.



19 October 2016

Guest: Jax Brown Disability Activist

Topic: Relationships and Disability Rights


The Boldness discussed

Disability Relationships and overnights

With sexual consent

Not parental fights.



16 Nov 2016

Guest El Gibbs

Topic: National Disability  Insurance Scheme

The Boldness chatted with

A writer called El Gibbs

Pro’s and con’s of the NDIS

Research without any fibs.



30 Nov 2016

Guest: Sue Armstrong

Topic: Women Only Psych Wards

The Boldness explains why

A Women Only Psych Ward

Something that is needed

For ladies to move forward.



International Day of Disability

Guest Back to Back Theatre

Topic: A radio play "Rosie's Latest Adventure" 


The Boldness was fascinated

By Rosie’s Latest Adventure

A radio play

Imagination without censure.

   17 Dec 2017

Guest:Emma Bennison

Topic: Audio Description for Film and television

The Boldness highlighted

Importance of audio description

Otherwise social inclusion is

Still a work of fiction.




18 Jan 2017

Guest: Heidi Everett

Topic: Mental Health Events 2017 

The Boldness spoke about

2017 and Mental Health

Events for less fortunate

With little material wealth.



Feb 2017

Guest: Bonnie Millar

Topic: New President of People with Disabilities

The Boldness interviewed

A lady called Bonnie Millar

President of People with Disabilities

A new hand at tiller.



15 March 2017

Guest: Samantha Conner Disability Activist

Topic:  Sexual abuse, violence and neglect in homes

The Boldness exposes

Sexual Abuse, Violence and neglect

We want to know why

There is no Royal Commission yet?



29 March 2017

Guest Dr Ilan Wiesel Expert in Urban Development 

Topic: Affordable Home Ownership 

The Boldness was interested

On how to own a home

A practical solution

A home equity loan.



19 April 2017

Guest Alistair Baldwin State Finalist RAW Comedy Competition

Topic: Entertainment and disability

The Boldness guest was

A comedienne Alistair Baldwin

Insights into expectations

Audience making a  loud din.



17 May 2017

Guest Ross Crawford 


Topic: Schizzy Week and Mojo Film Festival

The Boldness informed you

Free entertainment show

Schizzy Week Jam

We hope you did go.



31 May 2017

Guest Lloyd Williams State Secretary Health and Community Services Union

Topic: Certainity for Disability Campaign

The Boldness revisited

What’s new with the NDIS

Possible lower standard care

If pay rates are slightly less.



The Boldness is is Disability Current Affairs program on 3CR hosted by Phin Meere and Raphael Kaleb. Tune in on the third and fifth Wednesdays of the month at 6 pm - 6:30 on 3CR.

Support The Boldness for Radiothon 


Ring 03 9419 8333

21 June 2017

6 pm - 6:30 pm

3CR 855AM

Continue to make stories like this possible

Mojo Film Festival

Posted on 8 June, 2017 at 5:25 Comments comments (0)

“Never met anyone

Without a tarnished past

You can’t change

What the shadow cast” From Shadow Game – Lyrics Raphael Kaleb ©

The brief was “something you wouldn’t find in psych ward.” The closest I have come to a psych ward is visiting friends supporting them as they address mental health.

People reach out for assistance for any number of reasons. Was there a way I could convey a message of hope? Something that was personal. Something they could see that life might improve. Something that showed people can and do change. In my case that took decades for me to understand and accept I could have better life if I was prepared to really work at it.

Let me take you back. In the 1980’s and 1990’s I was completely footloose. 80 moves I can count and couch surfing everywhere. Long term security was not part of my life path. In fact I did not understand why people sought permanent happiness in anything let alone comprehend how they could develop self-love or a feeling of being worthy of a better life.

One rooming house I lived in, the smell of garbage from overflowing cans welcomed residents and guests alike from 300 meters away. My future neighbor’s voices carried through a broken window when the caretaker showed me a room that had a tobacco stained décor. They were discussing retirement plans after extracting gold from the sea over flagons of port and cask wine. When I opened the communal oven door, a spider ran away as I broke its web. I caught tinea for the first time. When I left after 5 months the caretaker quietly stated “I would be back.” They knew something I didn’t or wasn’t ready for.

Words are cheap. Meaningless. By chance I still had about 3 photo albums. I had done my best to forget where I had come from. I didn’t want to remember. Angry, frustrated streams of despair flowed as my body shook at the memories I wish I didn’t have reliving the contents.

Part of the healing process is knowing when and how to let go. From visiting friends in hospitals I knew that often they told me that no-one understood or where they had similar experiences or could show them how their life had changed.

The photos were over 20 years old. Apart from me they were the oldest belongings I had. Nothing else had survived but I had. As a teenager I went to private school with many opportunities. Looking at the pictures I wondered if this was part of the legacy I wouldn’t to leave behind. Was that the way I wanted others to remember me.

The next morning, the aroma of pumpkin and sweet potato bread stuffed with cheese, tomato, chives and garlic tantalized my taste buds. Bamboo floorboards warmed my feet. The Northern Aurora Lights had nothing on the soft glow of the chandelier in my dining area. The night before Baroque classical music was more calming than a mother’s voice singing a lullaby putting a child to sleep. My body was warmed overnight by blankets making sure I healed through the night. Sweet oxygen filled my lungs to capacity and I gladly verbally thanked the sun for providing light. There was plenty of pleasant day dreams that gave me reasons to have truly grateful memories.

I looked at those twenty year old memories hidden in album cover innocently displayed in a book case where no –one could see them. I knew I wasn’t that person any more.

Traditionally people drew, wrote, and played music, danced to express themselves. Those memories were handed down. Sometimes the meaning changed. We live in a digital age, where staying off the grid completely is very difficult.

The new Tower of Babel called Google is what we currently have to share memories, dreams, ideals, goals, visions with others everywhere. Maybe they can learn. Maybe this is important to future generations. Maybe historians and others may find those very memories I wish I didn’t have in photos in a paper form with no explanation of what happened and decided to give their version of what my life was like. And get it completely wrong. For me that isn’t important.

I combined those past photos with what happened afterwards. – All those resentment in lungs, inflamed anger hurting my liver, the toxic lifestyle I had where a past aura reading was black terrifying the medium.

I still remember the lit candle as she felt the catch and asked “if I gave her permission to remove them through Reiki principles” A person is not ready to die until they know how to live. I said “yes.” It was the right time.

It’s the right time NOW to give the world “Christened with Fire” It’s a completely silent 1 minute 13 second film intentionally for the viewer to experience what isolation and loneliness where I thought no-one listened as I wasn’t ready to speak.

Christened with Fire is dedicated to “Sue” from Kundalini Yoga who did what no-one could do. Gave me permission for me to be me and the courage what I could live without regrets and a future that was beyond anything I could have imagined. People CAN and DO Change. Eventually. Even me.

Anything But Lame

Posted on 7 June, 2017 at 5:50 Comments comments (0)

Public speaking is the number one fear of most people. It takes courage to intentionally move into the ‘discomfort’ zone. Entertainment is more challenging than other industries.

Often when a person has a disability their dreams, career and aspirations are squashed. Fortunately for the comedy world, Alistair Baldwin was blessed by a lateral thinking teacher who gave him sound career advice.

At a high school talent night, Alistair Baldwin entertained his peers. Took the ‘mickey’ out of everyone, the education system, everything he could think of including a particular school teacher.

Was the teacher offended? No. They took it in the spirit it was intended. Instead of receiving a year of two hour detentions, they encouraged Alistair Baldwin to gain further training, experience and develop his craft.

Perhaps that teacher was Nostradamus reincarnated. In a short four years Alistair Baldwin was a State Finalist in the National RAW Comedy Competition. The teacher recognized that Alistair Baldwin was good at. Making people laugh.

When Raphael Kaleb approached Alistair Baldwin about the possibility of his availability for an interview with The Boldness on 3CR, Alistair was curious about how Raphael found out him and what did Raphael know?

Alistair was pleased to learn that when Raphael googled disability and comedy in Melbourne, his name was mentioned in most of the first ten websites that came up.

Obligingly Alistair came in to 3CR for a prerecorded interview. It was the week of the Victorian State Final for RAW Comedy and Alistair was in demand. Everywhere. Gigs coming up, work commitments, acting as host of various comedy rooms and now a radio interview.

Alistair apologized that he was unable to do a live interview- nearly every broadcast of The Boldness is live to air and then proceeded to willingly share his experiences as a comedienne with listeners.

Entertainers have showmanship. Charlie Chaplin had a walking stick, Marcel Marceau used body language and Dame Edna has those glasses. Instead of minimizing or hiding the fact Alistair has a disability, ingeniously he uses it as part of his act emphasizing and exaggerating using it as readymade prop.

Sadly the half hour spent talking with us went very quickly. From how he started, how to prepare skits and what to expect as an entertainer.

The Boldness was very happy that Alistair Baldwin made the time and effort for an interview with us even though he had many other commitments. That’s professionalism. But it explains why Alistair Baldwin is described as an emerging star of the Melbourne Comedy Scene.

Ring 03 9419 8377 on Wednesday 21 June 2017 6 pm -6:30 pm donating to 3CR Radiothon  supporting The Boldness to broadcast stories like this.

Listen to the podcast and feel free to add a comment.

Uncertainty in Disability

Posted on 29 May, 2017 at 1:40 Comments comments (0)

An indication of society is how they care and include others in our society. Twenty per of Australians have a disability.

Australia does provide some income support for less fortunate members of our community. People with a disability like the same rights and independence that is given to other members of society.

Often people with a disability need access to personal care and services. Traditionally this was left was to family members and friends to act as care givers.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is supposed give people with a disability a wider choice in accessing care and services


Community Services workers especially in disability are among the lowest paid in Australia. The majority of workers are females. Females usually receive less pay in other industries than their male counterparts. Usually females are the primary care givers for children. Additionally females do more housework and household chores than males.

Let’s consider the following. Many services and personal care jobs under the National Disability Insurance Scheme are privatized reducing pay rates in an industry that is already lowly paid. Some people with a disability require care 24/7. Often that means there are staff changeovers with shifts.

What happens at end of the shift is the next person is delayed? Or absent? Does the current worker stay on their own time without getting paid and is late their job losing to provide high quality care at their own personal loss. It usually doesn’t happen in other industries. Why is community services different from other industries? Ditto for a scenario where a staff member is injured?

These are inherent dangers with the National Disability Insurance Scheme where employment is sourced privately.

Already Community Services has trouble attracting and retaining staff providing high quality care and services in the community. With lower wages a distinct possibility, there is a strong likelihood that a rewarding career working with others is less attractive than previously. This reduces the standard of living for people with a disability, the exact opposite intended outcome of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Here are possible solutions for the Federal Government to consider alongside the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

- Reduce the amount of HECS payable for those working in Community Services

- Increased holidays or flexi time

- Automatic transfer of long service leave between Community Services Employers

- Study and Training bonuses for staff who complete their qualifications.

- Annual bonus incentive for each year consecutively with same employer.

- Different taxation rates for different industries instead of deductions.

- Implementing a child care subsidy for Community Services Workers

- Access to counsellors as needed

- Travel allowance between jobs

- Mentoring scheme within the Community Services industry.

These are suggestions; some I believe are more practical than others. The point is how to create a better standard of living for people with a disability and workers resulting in a more inclusive community where everyone has similar opportunities regardless of disability, race, color, creed, sexuality, language and others.

Lowering pay for Community Services under the NDIS is supposed to improve everyone’s quality of life. I don’t think so. As far as I am concerned the NDIS really stands for Needing Disability Initiatives Soon.

The Boldness is interviewing Lloyd Williams , State Secretary of The Health and Community Services Union on Wednesday 31 May 2017 6 pm - 6:30 pm Melbourne Time on 3CR 855 on the am dial about the impact of The National Disability Insurance Scheme on The Disability Sector.

***This article is purely Raphael Kaleb’s personal perspective on the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Raphael Kaleb is co-host of the The Boldness on 3CR, Emerging Writers Festival Finalist in 2015, competed in 2017 National RAW Comedy and recently appeared in Into The Limelight shown at St Kilda Film Festival in 2017.

Seeking Stardom and Into The Limelight

Posted on 21 May, 2017 at 18:15 Comments comments (0)

Creative people with a disability face more challenges than most when chasing a dream. Quite often at the first sign of them wanting to action ambition they are deemed unwell.

Fortunately there are organizations such as Prahran Mission who believe everyone deserves a decent life. Recently Prahran Mission ran a series of workshops called Into The Limelight.

Declan Cole-Flynn - producer of The Naked Lion, Samuel McDermott director of The Green Woman from Senschut Film while author and playwright Neil Cole the 1999 Winner of Writers prize utilized their professional and industry experience for a high quality production. .

Emma Buckley Artistic Director ensured participants were given an opportunity to work with professionals with industry experience. They learnt about lighting, make up, sound quality, collaborating and working as a team.

Director of Photography Mishka Baka ran a workshop on lighting and angles. Mishka stressed the importance of not crossing the line when filming and why mobile phones are switched off when on set. When they go, the entire scene needs reshooting.

Production Designer Anna Russell ensured costumes fitted the characters for various roles.

Rima Chaumon Makeup expert ran workshop how to apply makeup and how to remove it. With low budget films the cast need to apply make- up them reducing costs

Don Bridges who appeared in Chopper and Herculene Hercules professional actress recently in Newtons Law prepared the cast members over 4 months about what to expect. Understanding a characters motivation helps actors stay in character.

Emma Buckley searched for suitable locations and dates arranging permits with various authorities. Prahran Mission, Peanut Farm Reserve St Kilda, Alex Theatre. St Kilda Botanical Gardens and Taco Bills South Melbourne were some of the locations used. For filming “We Are Looking For A Mexican” Taco Bills South Melbourne provided hats for the main characters to wear. A big thank you to Taco Bills South Melbourne who donated lunch to cast and crew after filming that day.

Cast members read for parts for the creative team to discuss suitability for roles. Many roles required learning lines ready for ShowTime. As film dates approached, cast members and film crew received the running order for the day regarding call times, costumes and expected finishing times.

Jack McCullough the sound recordist technical and people skills were invaluable during The Police Games Handicap. He had a quick chat to the gardening maintenance asking for break mowing lawns while shooting that scene. They obliged taking an early coffee break. Much appreciated guys.

Flavio was the official photographer taking publicity shots unobtrusively in the background. Jedda Kelly was an extraordinary production assistant behind the scenes. Her role looking after cast and crew, making sure their belongings were secure and organizing catering meant people could concentrate on performing.

The outcomes for cast and crew were positive. People with a disability gained an experience in a challenging industry guided by recognized professionals doing something that would not be possible otherwise. Harris Frankou and Raphael Kaleb have discussed working on a music project together. Prahran Mission provided a short writing course. Industry professional learnt people with a disability were reliable, had talents and could perform under pressure in front of a camera.

That’s why it’s called Into The Limelight. Everyone makes a start. Somewhere.

Into The Limelight showing on 27 May at St Kilda Film Festival was financially supported by the Victorian Government, Department of Human Services and Creative Victoria. Additional services and support were provided by Prahran Mission City of Stonington and City of Port Phillip.

Raphael Kaleb appeared in 7 of the skits paying various roles including Chester Cad QC in No to Answer For, Race Commentator in Police Games Handicap and Tiberus in Modern Shakespeare.  Raphael Kaleb has 

Co-hosted The Boldness for 8 years on 3CR

Finalist in 2015 Emerging Writers Festi\val

Wrote and Recorded Attitude Princess with the Free Wheelin' Spirits

Played the Big Bad Boss in There Might Be Ghosts With RAG Theatre

Competed in 2017 National RAW Comedy Competition

Hosted A Rambling Beurologists Dream on 3CR

Order your Chester Cad QC poster here.