Ben O’Dea will happily blend in with a sea of students, schools and businesses dressed in orange today as part of Wear Orange for One and All day.RENEE THOMPSON May 9, 2014 3:00am
Ben O’Dea will happily blend in with a sea of students, schools and businesses dressed in orange today as part of Wear Orange for One and All day.
Blending in, in a more general sense, is something the seven-year-old, who has Down syndrome, and his family are grateful to the One and All Campaspe Inclusion Project for.
The program works with schools and the community to get people to see past disability and accept people for who they are.
It has changed the life of each member of the O’Dea family
Ben’s mum, Prue, said one of her concerns had always been that Lauren would get bullied or teased at her school for having a brother with a disability.
She said the project’s co-ordinator Jacqui Davies’ work with One and All had done a lot to alleviate her concern this would happen.
‘‘Lauren’s class at Moama Grammar has taken part in dancing classes at the Echuca Specialist School,’’ she said.
‘‘Ben’s class has attended Moama Grammar for Christmas craft and on Friday they will take part in sport activities at Moama Grammar as part of Wear Orange for One and All.’’
She said such interactions had resulted in ‘‘really positive feedback’’ so far from parents of Lauren’s classmates.
‘‘Being exposed to kids with disabilities has started discussions at home with other siblings and family members,’’ she said.
Ben’s father David said one Moama Grammar student had even stood up in front of the Echcua Specialist School council to tell them what it meant to him to have the inclusion day and meet kids from the specialist school.
Mr O’Dea said it was thanks to the hard work of people like Miss Davies that such a turnaround in attitudes toward disability was possible.
‘‘The schoolyard’s different from what it was like in my school days,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s because of things like Jacqui’s program that that is the case.
‘‘It’s a great relief to families like mine.’’
Mrs O’Dea said having a child with a disability made her realise how narrow-minded some of the attitudes towards disability could be.
‘‘I want my kids and their friends to grow up experiencing the benefits, blessings and rewards of knowing someone with a disability
‘‘The One and All Program allows this to happen.’’
Tatura's new forwards coach Maddie Rijs is most likely a pioneer for women's coaches in country football after being appointed by the Bulldogs.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala Cricket Club has hosted the first ever ACA Masters contest at the Stan Hargreaves Oval in Yarrawonga.
The regular annual tour of heritage-listed former Internment Tatura Camp One again this year attracted interest from Melbourne and Interstate visitors.
AFFORDABLE property is not out of reach — it is just out of town.
A GROUP of Rochester Secondary College students visited Bendigo last week to donate blood for the first time.
Bowls Club hosts 49th Victorian Country Masters Pairs
The Oriential Weatherloach has infested the Goulburn River.
The largest ever Strawberry Fields crowd turned out to enjoy the event on the Murray River at Tocumwal at the weekend.
AFTER the hottest October in Victoria since records began in the 1850s, it will come as little surprise that rainfall across the district was unusually low.
Although finishing the competition a day earlier than he would have liked, Katamatite local Curtis Hanley was still thrilled that he reached his goal at the recent Victorian Open for Lawn Bowls.
‘Peppinella’ development bigger than first planned
Watch and Act issued for Corowa and Wahgunyah near Rutherglen, urging people to leave now as conditions may worsen.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.