Australian Election: Puppy Therapy, Disability Politics, and the Greens

Andy Grace, Therapy Assistant

Last year we were very blessed to meet a new furry friend who made last year’s winter eventual. Getting out into the cold of Armidale winter was exhilarating and reconnected us to good old mother nature. It was a fun distraction from pandemic circumstances and otherwise stressful times.

Over the months, even as a puppy, Andy has visited various clients during #Telehealth sessions and opened up hearts and minds to sharing, learning, and healing. It is surprisingly not surprising to any animal lover how much the presence of a pup or otherwise four legged canine provides a therapeutic presence that shifts the whole dynamic of #counselling, #psychotherapy, and #behavioursupport. Of course, we are speaking about adults and children. As the range of therapy we engage addresses all ages and dispositions.

The next paragraphs would normally speak about the empirical literature and how canine therapy is very well supported, and it is, but quite frankly, we won’t bore you with the endless details in this particular article. Suffice to say that we have engaged in high level clinical assessments to support canine therapy with children with Autism and in complex cases, and found that in some situations even the NDIA has listened. Surprise, surprise!

But alas, no one can make any promises about the #NDIS consistently funding anything these days. The patchwork pattern of denials of ‘reasonable and necessary supports’ while supporting in other cases what appear to be extraordinary expenditures simply leads people to despair in the #NDIA regime and its government. #LegalAid being capped while the agency spends without limit on their own legal defence is dragging too many people with complex needs through the mud.

The only person at the top of any party who makes a bit of sense at the moment is the Green’s leader Adam Bandt. The Greens platform is actually, well, a platform! Compare this with the recent budget sell out to fossil fuels and big business, and the current government look like crooks. The Greens platform comes with a pinch of intellectual integrity and moral fibre. A lot more than we can say for the others.

Frankly, I fail to understand why any sane Australian would bother any more with either #Liberal or #Labour parties. Like in my old patch of Canada, the two dominant party system sucks in an age when we need a contemporary solution to national and #globalcrisis. Australia needs a radical change by electing an actual leader who speaks the truth and stops the endless postering. The old guard will not suffice.

We leave you with #AdamBandt, whom we found to be refreshingly sane and genuine. He actually reminded me of the youthful and refreshing clarity of the likes of Ukraine’s #VolodymyrZelenskyy. The #AustralianElection needs a big surprise and leadership needs a generational shift. Australia definitely needs a new voice at the top. My gawd. Please. Pretty please.

By the way, huge Happy Easter to you all and to your families!

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