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Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Page: 1710

Ms MACKLIN (Jagajaga) (13:58): I received an email from Katie Robb from Bracken Ridge in Queensland yesterday. She wanted to share the remarkable story of her son William, who has Angelman syndrome and severe epilepsy. Katie writes:

Since William gained access to the Better Start for Children with Disability program 12 months ago, William has begun rolling, crawling, and actively investigating the environment around him.

Prior to Better Start, William was only able to access physiotherapy once every six weeks. Now with Better Start, William can go to speech pathology, physiotherapy on a fortnightly basis as well as hydrotherapy. Access to these services has enabled William to develop new skills and a level of independence and confidence previously considered unattainable. He has improved his comprehension, developed pre-walking skills and for the first-time can stand independently for short periods of time. Katie finishes by saying:

I can't wait to see what new and exciting skills William will acquire this year.

Since Labor introduced Better Start, more than 26,000 children with disability have benefited from improved access to services. Better Start is making a real and lasting impact to the lives of children with disability, children like William.

The SPEAKER: In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members' statements has concluded.