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Kate Talks // 1 September 2020

Week 5

Dear all,

Welcome to the latest weekly update for all Melbanians, for all people connected to Melba and especially for those of us who receive services. With us all stuck at home and watching the news a lot lately, I’d really love to quickly point something out. I’m leaping to the defence of my fellow reporters. I’m a print journalist, so I write about masks. But TV journalists have been copping it a bit lately for not wearing masks. But I wanted to point that they don’t have to. Not while they are broadcasting on the air, at least. Their mouths are not covered, so that people with a hearing impairment can read their lips. It’s the same for the weather presenters. After their broadcasts, when they are off-air, their masks go straight back on again. I like knowing that they’re able to help communicate like that. It makes me happy.    

First up this week – more about the ARROW Group. It’s my north, my south, my east and my west at the moment. All puns intended. I’ve asked Melba management to accelerate the reboot of the ARROW Group because it’s so important. ARROW stands for Advocacy, Rights, Representation, Outcomes and Worth.

Each area that Melba covers is supposed to have its own ARROW Group, and it’s important that we, Melbanians, get involved. Joining your local ARROW Group gives you the opportunity to provide feedback to Melba on the services that you receive from Melba.

It gives you an incredibly important opportunity to self-advocate, because it is made up of the people who receive Melba services. It’s one of the best ways to make your voice heard. So to speak, that is. Melba is already committed to supporting Melbanians to access ARROW. So if you prefer to use a communication aid, or any other form of communication, then please go with that. So, while Melba works out some technical difficulties, please make a note to join ARROW when it’s back and going at full steam ahead.

Speaking of making your voice heard, below is the list of names and email addresses for each of the General Managers of Outcomes at Melba. They would love to hear from you. They’d love to help you connect with your ARROW group. Get cracking on the keyboard and email them at:

GMO Central Highlands & Wimmera, Rachael Jones (

GMO East, Aaron Fry (

GMO Gippsland, Kerrie White (

GMO South, Angela Quero (

Finally, here is my fun fact for the week. Lego has launched braille bricks. That’s right, now us parents of children with vision impairments can also accidentally step on Lego left scattered all over the floor. Although, it is only available to educational institutions at the moment. The braille Lego looks like it’s great for teaching kids braille, and there are loads of ideas and YouTube videos about some pretty cool activities using them. Lego has been around since 1932, so it’s about time.  

The next update will be on Tuesday 8th September 2020. In the meantime, you can visit, like Melba on Facebook and follow Melba on Twitter and Instagram using @melba_support 

Thanks, stay safe and try to have fun,

Kate Taylor


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