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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Autumn 2020

A fresh look for NDIS support We’re all in this together – a message from our CEO Myth busting the stigma of attending counselling Food matters

MSWA

MSWA MEMBER FAME AND TIM I’m famous! Well, I met someone famous, and I’m sure it brushed off on me. I went to see Tim Ferguson in early February at the Perth State Theatre, and after the show I bought his book, The Cheeky Monkey so I could speak to him when he signed it. From now on I can claim to know him personally. He is pretty well known, and therefore famous, so now I am famous too. Image courtesy of Currency Press I did the same thing a couple of years ago when Tim Winton launched a new book. I bought it so I could meet him and claim forever more to know him. Hmm, I can see a bit of a theme here. It’s the Tims in my life that make me famous. Tim Ferguson, for those who may not remember, came to fame as a member of the Doug Anthony All Stars (DAAS), along with Paul McDermott and Richard Fidler. I mentioned that to a young acquaintance of mine recently and she just looked at me blankly. I guess even knowing who DAAS are ages me. DAAS were a musical comedy trio who were most active between 1984 and 1994. I remember them as being hilarious back then, and Tim has certainly not lost his talent for comedy. Tim Ferguson has Multiple Sclerosis. According to my research he has possibly had symptoms since he was 19 years old. I remember him as being a very active and sometimes positively bouncy member of DAAS, but as time progressed he began to need a walking stick, and these days he uses a wheelchair. Over the years he has written several books, directed films and written screenplays, teaches and lectures on comedy and screenwriting, and continues to perform in films, TV shows and stand up (or sit down) comedy. He is certainly not lazy. When my friend and I went into the city to see his show we arrived early and went for a walk to fill in time. As we were about to cross a busy road, who should be crossing in the other direction but Tim Ferguson? He smiled and nodded at me, acknowledging our common experience of using wheelchairs. Later, when we went into the small theatre, we managed to snag seats in the front row, only a couple of metres from Tim on the stage. I’m sure he was relieved to see a familiar face in the audience when he saw me, though he hid it well. His show was called The Art of Funny and was about how to write comedy. It was not a dry lecture such as might have been expected back in my University days, but was liberally scattered with examples of humour. To demonstrate using puns, or phrases with double meanings, he said: “When the cannibal showed up late to lunch, they gave him the cold shoulder.” At one point he even got the audience involved. We were given the task of thinking of a title of a love song, then changing, adding or deleting one word to alter the meaning into something funny. My companion and I looked at each other blankly. I couldn’t think of a single song. I’m not sure where my brain had gone. The example Tim Ferguson gave was the song “Angel of The Morning” which he changed to “Angel of The Morning After”. After the show, when I finally got to meet Tim as he signed my book, he mentioned seeing me as we crossed the road earlier. I tried not to swoon in case I fell out of my wheelchair. I told him that his book would be useful for me as I often try to include humour in the articles I write for the MSWA magazine. He asked me if I had MS. As we chatted, I felt the overwhelming burden of fame descending on me but I managed to keep smiling and talking. I think that is the hallmark of a famous person. Henry Kissinger once said, “The nice thing about being a celebrity is that, if you bore people, they think it’s their fault.” I find that very reassuring. The Cheeky Monkey is available from currency.com.au ROS HARMAN 18

MSWA MEMBER ACCESSIBILITY: STATE THEATRE CENTRE OF WA The State Theatre Centre is one of the newer venues in Perth and as such, has good facilities for people with disabilities. Information about this can be found at: ptt.wa.gov.au/venues/state-theatrecentre-of-wa/your-visit/accessibility/ Bookings and enquiries can be made by calling 6212 929. There are three parking venues close by with several ACROD bays in each. The theatres are all easily accessible by wheelchair. When booking tickets it is important to telephone and speak to a staff person to explain your specific needs and they will do their best to accommodate them. There are accessible toilets at the venue, and lifts to the different levels in the building. ANNOUNCEMENT: ACTIVITIES ARE ON HOLD At the time of print, all face to face MSWA group activities are temporarily on hold. This includes MSWA group activities such as: / Outreach / Physio group sessions / Events / Seminars or group services Any individual services and support, currently delivered directly to you, remain as is. This decision has been made following Federal Government advice about the COVID-19 situation and will be reviewed at the end of April. The wellbeing, safety and security of our community is paramount. Thank you for your understanding and support. If you have concerns and would like to talk to us about alternatives for you at this time, please contact us on 9365 4888 or email customerservice@mswa.org.au 19

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