On the 23rd of July I had the pleasure of attending Titanic – the Untold Story: Resunk by the Monkami Drama Group hosted at the Karralyka Centre. The performance revisited the drama group’s 2007 production through the introduction of new characters and a revised script.
Monkami is a service provider for adults with an intellectual disability and aims to develop skills that will enable them to live with the greatest degree of independence within their own community.
Each performer was given the opportunity to develop their own character drawing upon many popular names such as James Bond, Captain Jack Sparrow, Wolverine and Judge Judy and of course Napoleon who was the villain of the show.
The level of detail in the performance was incredible, not only was the stage decked out as the Titanic, and the costumes extremely thorough, but they even gave Titanic hats to the audience to ensure that they were part of the show. It was all hands on deck, when everyone tried to escape the sinking Titanic, fortunately with the audience joining in on the hokey pokey we were all able to escape to dry land!
After two successful seasons the production is now considering further opportunities to continue the performance, including the potential of a touring show.
The Ringwood Spiders, based in Jubilee Park in Ringwood, is a football team for people with disabilities and on the 27th of July I attended their last home game for the season against the Maribyrnong Bulldogs. Like Monkami, the Ringwood Spiders is another example of how people with disabilities can participate within our community. It was great to see the Spiders playing one of their best games for the season, with the players coming together as one team and playing some extraordinary football.
With such on-field skills the Spiders defeated their opposition, which was a fitting way to end their last home game for the season at Jubilee Park.
Groups like Monkami and the Ringwood Spiders demonstrate that when given the opportunity people with disabilities can participate within our wider community. Perhaps the most wonderful aspect of these two events, was the breadth of the wider community support. Community groups such as the Ringwood Ballet Group and the Ringwood Movie Makers provided immense support to Monkami and the Ringwood Football Club is one of the Spiders biggest supporters, providing the use of training facilities and clubrooms.
On the 5th of August I attended Maroondah’s Forum for People with Disabilities and Carers, which provides an opportunity to raise issues in regard to accessibility so that we can strive for an inclusive community.
The forum provided an opportunity to discuss the feedback from the workshop held earlier this year and it was encouraging to see most of the input being incorporated into the forum. I would like to thank the many departments that are responsible for the forum, including Metro Access, aged and disability services, community planning and development and council’s engineers.
The forum continues to demonstrate the importance of providing dialogue and hearing first-hand the accessibility issues that exist within Maroondah so that as a council we can work towards making a difference through creating an inclusive municipality.
Lastly, this morning I attended a steering group meeting of the Maroondah 2008 Writers and Readers Festival.
The Festival which will be held between the 3rd and 5th of October include writer’s workshops, discussion groups and keynote speakers around the key theme of crime. The event which is funded through a Maroondah City Council grant in partnership with Eastern Regional Libraries will feature a number of prominent writers including John Silvester, the author of the Underbelly.
Once again the community spirit shines through in the preparation for the festival, with North Ringwood Community House offering to manage ticket sales and businesses such as Lakeside Cafe being available as a venue.