Taking the plunge at Polio Day

Taking the plunge at Polio DayHeld at The Rocks in Williamstown, Polio Day saw more than 80 polios from across the state in attendance. With magical views of Port Philip Bay the venue provided a stunning backdrop for the 27th Polio Day and perfectly suited the day's theme, 'take the plunge'.

Kicking of the day was Russell Anbiah, Coordinator at Polio Services Victoria. Russell explained why Hydrotherapy is the best form of exercise for Polio survivors and those suffering from Post Polio Syndrome. He enjoys it too, often getting into the water and joining consumers!

Next up was Dr Rowan Molnar, a leading anaesthetist based at St Vincent's Hospital, who has many treated Polios. Dr Molnar was keen to help those in attendance understand recent developments in anaesthetics. His fantastic presentation clearly showed how the Polio virus affects nerve endings and muscles; he went on to describe the make-up of general and local anaesthetics and how they work.

Rhiannon Harrison from Slater and Gordon then took to the stage to discuss the very necessary subject of wills and power of attorney. Rhiannon shared with guests that from her experience women often wanted to make sure their cherished rings were passed onto family members, whilst many men wanted their tools to go to good homes!

Lunch then followed where attendees had the opportunity to play boccia, browse the art and craft tables, and of course talk and mingle with others.

During lunch Polio Australia's Program Manager Mary-ann Liethof also gave guests a preview of the new clinical study for allied health professionals titled 'Managing Muscles and Mobility'. Described as a 'must read for all Polio Survivors, their treating teams and carers', the book is available from the Polio Australia website for $20 plus postage.

The afternoon's proceedings began with Dave Nicholson, Fire Safety Program Officer for Melbourne Fire Brigade. Dave gave a terrific talk and showed attendees a range of smoke alarms, including one for the visually impaired that vibrates.

Polio Day at The Rocks in Williamstown

Up next was Jim Kerin who talked about the benefits of Men's Sheds, which he described as the world's healthiest lunchroom culture. The atmosphere in Men's Sheds that he visited was of a strong fraternity, where men could discuss mental and physical health issues, as well as share their skills.

Peter Whelan, a MetroAccess worker for the City, spoke about accessible buildings and a range of community grants available for projects.

Ken Haley, Independent Traveller, was the final speaker and wrapped up the day wonderfully. Ken has visited 74 countries in his wheelchair and was most entertaining when explaining the pitfalls of being stuck in a taxi, in a bog, in a Safari Park, at night. Ken, a 'reformed journalist' and paraplegic rather than Polio, has written several books about his travels including 'Emails from the Edge' and 'Europe at 2.4km/hr'.

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