Our vision for AQA's Community Networks 

02.03.22 08:01 PM By Dan
Hear about some of the exciting developments this year will herald for AQA's Community Networks.

By Georgina Fiorentino, Community Engagement and Network Coordinator at AQA.

The purpose of the Community Networks at AQA has always been to provide a platform that enables our members to share and learn from each other's knowledge and experience, surrounding numerous topics of common interest, but particularly topics relevant to those who have sustained a spinal cord injury.

We have empowered many members over the years, ranging from those who live in metro Melbourne to those in regional Victoria, enabling them to connect and participate actively within their communities and improve their lives. Specialised networks have also been formed to cater for special interest groups, such as the Women with SCI Network. 

AQA’s vision for the Community Networks is to continue supporting the networks, but also to assist those networks, particularly those in regional Victoria, to build their capacity to coordinate their own gatherings, and to become adaptable to changes in the world. We’ve witnessed the importance of that adaptability over the past two years.

We want to recommence our presence in regional Victoria, with the aim of visiting and supporting those members that have felt more isolated. We want to empower the regional communities to stand on their own, with the help of their local organisations and councils, to build and improve accessible services so they’re not as reliant on the services provided in Melbourne.

In the next 12 months, we’re looking to create new networks formed around topics, for example, a dedicated NDIS group, or a dedicated Student group. We’re also looking to engage younger members to learn about how they could benefit from joining a community network, in contrast to what they are currently accustomed to joining, eg. a social media platform.

Please look out for an invitation to one of your favourite Community Network meetings, where we hope to reintroduce face to face meetings, social activities and specialty guest speakers to talk on important topics chosen by yourselves!

Peer-led capacity building programs at AQA

AQA's Living Well Project offers a range of courses that build on practice that is informed and delivered by people with lived experience of spinal cord injury or a similar disability. Learn more.