New leaders a real asset to the community

Enjoying a celebratory lunch at the Sporties Club in Dubbo on Monday were (back) Ross Bailey, Gabby Husband, Nick Brandon, John Ballingall, Stephen Grant, Shane Lipari, Kylie Coffee, Sarah Bowkett, Peter Fraser, Dianne Bowkett (front) Kim O'Donnell, Maurice Gleeson, Nick Gleeson and Unity (companion).										     
Photo: BROOK KELLEHEAR-SMITH
Enjoying a celebratory lunch at the Sporties Club in Dubbo on Monday were (back) Ross Bailey, Gabby Husband, Nick Brandon, John Ballingall, Stephen Grant, Shane Lipari, Kylie Coffee, Sarah Bowkett, Peter Fraser, Dianne Bowkett (front) Kim O'Donnell, Maurice Gleeson, Nick Gleeson and Unity (companion). Photo: BROOK KELLEHEAR-SMITH

FIVE Westhaven clients and another five people from surrounding towns are now leaders amongst their peer groups and communities after they successfully completed a My Leadership Matters course.

The course was organised by My Choice Matters and focused on ways people with a disability or parents of someone with a disability can be leaders in their day-to-day lives.

The course ran from May through to November with the participants involved in one day workshops a month, while also having to complete work in between classes.

The course culminated in the groups organising a community project, with the five Westhaven participants working toward hosting an open day at Westhaven that showcased the facilities and what work the clients do.

The second group concentrated on showing how important it is for people with disabilities to be employed.

One of the facilitators of the course Nick Gleeson said the 10 participants made some great leaps forward over the six months. "Some of the outcomes we achieved were increasing self-confidence, self-belief and showing the value of supporting each other," he said.

"Everyone was challenged and made a great contribution to the course. "They realise they are equal to that of everyone else and they can make massive contributions to the community."