Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

MyTime groups reach 100th milestone with launch in Canberra

Parents of young children with disability in Canberra will have access to a peer support group following a launch at Noah’s Ark Resource Centre in Rivett.

, Bill Shorten said the Canberra group is the 100th group formed in Australia, as part of a $9 million nation-wide peer support program called MyTime.

“Parents of young children with disability experience particular stresses and can feel isolated from the larger community due to the intensity of their caring role,” Mr Shorten said.

“MyTime groups support the sharing of experiences, ideas and information, giving families the opportunity to socialise and share ideas with others who understand the rewards and pressures of what they do.”

The MyTime program is coordinated nationally by the Victorian-based Parenting Research Centre with funding from the Australian Government.

By 2009-2010, 2,500 families are expected to benefit from a network of over 300 MyTime peer support groups Australia-wide.

“MyTime groups help to improve family lives by strengthening community capacity to support parents of young children with disability.

“These families experience a lot of pressure and they need all the specialist support services a caring community can provide,” said Mr Shorten.

The Rivett-based MyTime is the first of three groups planned for the ACT. A Cook group is scheduled to start by the end of February, and a third is scheduled for the second half of 2008.