Michelle Lensink

National Disability Awards

Support for the motion from Hon. Kelly Vincent.

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. K.L. Vincent:

That this council notes the work of Peter Wilson and the Determined2 team, and—

1. Acknowledges the benefits of the Immersion Therapy Program developed and delivered in South
Australia;

2. Congratulates Peter Wilson on being the joint winner of the Excellence in Inclusive Service Delivery
Award at the 10th National Disability Awards.

(Continued from 1 March 2017.)

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I would like to support this motion from the Hon. Kelly
(aka Superfish) Vincent commending Mr Peter Wilson and his immersion therapy program, known
as Determined2, his team of staff and his family for this particular program. I would also like to add
my comments to the many accolades he is receiving for his program.

I guess it is very hard to upstage the Hon. Ms Vincent in her contribution. She has actually
been a participant in that particular program, and I think the first I became aware of that was when I
saw some of her pictures on social media where she was wearing a scuba diving mask underwater.
I thought it looked as though she was having a bit of fun, and clearly she was.

When I became the shadow minister for human services my predecessor in this portfolio
looking after disabilities on behalf of the Liberal Party, Dr Duncan McFetridge, advised me that
Mr Wilson was someone I should talk to for the innovative work he was doing.

He has a very interesting history; he has quite remarkable life experience in terms of having
been very seriously injured at work in 2007, with a very significant impairment of some 47 per cent
total body impairment. He had a very difficult time and attempted a return to work and also attempted
a business venture, and those things, sadly, were not to come to pass.

Because of changes to the legislation for injured workers in 2015, he was able to put his
dream into action and combine several things that he loved to start a new program to benefit people
with disabilities, in many cases some people who have very profound disabilities. He had a lot of
support from his case workers and case managers in his injured situation. He also obtained some
support from a specialist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Dr Wilkinson, who has been very supportive
of what he is doing and has enabled him to develop world-first medical standards under his guidelines
as the director of hyperbaric medicine at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

In 2015, Determined2 was born with a pilot period of different individuals with varying levels
of disability to trial the program and receive medical clearances in ways that they would not have
otherwise done before. I had assumed when I first met him and had seen the pictures that it was a
form of hydrotherapy, given my background, but, as the Hon. Ms Vincent said in her contribution very
eloquently: it is not just part of the cure culture. It is more than therapy because it is actually about
people having fun.

In the context of the NDIS and where I think the thinking on services and programs for people
with disabilities is, that is a really important initiative in terms of it not being all about those sorts of
boring things where the therapist designs a program of weights and those sorts of things. It is called
immersion therapy. As the Hon. Ms Vincent said in her contribution, it is not a diving program—they
do not teach diving—but people are enabled to move freely underwater because they have the scuba
equipment and the staff who work with them engaging in much more playful kind of activities.

Some people with some very profound disabilities are able to move underwater in ways that
they would not be able to on dry land. That has certainly contributed to significant improvements in
physicality and functionality for a number of the participants. Given the late hour, I would direct
people, if they are interested in more information, to a range of fantastic testimonials on the Determined2 website. The team are very active on social media and their program has been expanded. It is often at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, but it also operates out of the Hampstead centre and the Thebarton Aquatic Centre and is doing more and more work at Port Lincoln. With those brief words, I commend this motion to the house.

 

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