Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 17-03-2015 Contents 5 - Tuesday, March 17, 2015
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Autism funding cut gets mum pacing
Sammie Behr is doing a 24-hour walk and scoot around Lake Burley Griffin to raise money for a small autism
organisation in Canberra.
Photo: Matt Bedford
When Sammie Behr discovered
Canberra support agency Autism
Asperger ACT would lose a large
chunk of funding, and need to cut back
services, she was incensed.
The organisation played a critical
role in helping her family when her
daughter Eden, 4, was going through
Ms Behr is determined to keep
Autism Asperger ACT s range of
services going for as long as possible.
Her mission is an epic 24-hour
fundraising walk and scoot around
Lake Burley Griffin on April 10.
"These guys are amazing, Ms Behr
said. "I was bowled over by how much
time they invested in our family."
She simply won t accept the
organisation could shut down services
due to funding cuts.
"It can t happen, Ms Behr said.
"Families need this, future families in
Canberra and the surrounding area
need their support because they were
so vital for us."
She rang chief executive Peter
Brady to see what she could do to help.
"I was just enraged. I said we really
need to do something and I really want
to help. I thought about walking to
Darwin. But then I thought it would be
good to do something where Eden
could join in."
While she expects doing a 24-hour
walk around the lake will be physically
painful and mentally tough, she
believes in the cause.
"They are so passionate, she said
of staff at the organisation. "It is so
heartwarming. There is something
special about them.
Autism Asperger ACT operations
manager Susanne Morton said five
people worked at the organisation and
they provided support to about 1300
families. Ms Morton said she was
overwhelmed at the challenge Ms
Behr has taken on.
"She just put her hand up and
wanted to do this. I can t imagine
that she is going to walk for 24
hours non-stop. I m a bit worried
about her, I think she has bitten
off a lot."
To donate for Sammie Behr s 24
Hour Scooter/Walk visit chuffed.org/
scooter--walk-for-autism. The walk
and scooter will take place from 3pm.
Think big for
The Tuggeranong Arts Centre has
launched the Silver Linings project to
mark its 25th birthday.
The silver jubilee project invites
the community to respond to the
question: What would you like to
The centre is calling on the
community to think big and
forge innovative and
While it is not guaranteed that
all project ideas will be realised,
those that aren t will be shared as part
of an ideas exchange and open up
possibilities for the creative future
Share your ideas at community
meetings on Thursday, March 26,
from 6pm or Saturday, March 28,
from 2pm in the theatre at
Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Register
interest and send in ideas to
TO TACKLE OBESITY
A new community-based nutrition
service has been established to
counter increasing rates of obesity
through education and awareness.
The ACT Nutrition Support
Service was launched on Thursday
afternoon after the ACT government
provided a $419,000 three-year grant
to Nutrition Australia ACT, who will
co-ordinate the service in coming
years. The initiative will see
accredited dietitians provide free
advice over the phone and tailor
programs for Canberrans.
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