The Attadale Rotary Club meeting on Monday 16th April was a very enjoyable night. President Colin McCulloch greeted everyone with "Konnichiwa" ('Good Evening' in Japanese). He and Gail had just returned from an amazing and enjoyable trip to Japan. He also welcomed Guest Speaker Rhona Bolger and her husband Clay and Colin's guests Maxine and Kathryn Shortland-Jones.
Rotarian Martin Houchin introduced Rhona Bolger who spoke about Alyssa's Autism Acceptance Project (The AAA Project). Alyssa is her ten-year old autistic daughter. Rhona and her husband Clay launched Alyssa's Autism Acceptance Project in 2015, shortly after Alyssa became one of the year's Little Telethon Stars, as a way to promote autism acceptance throughout their community. They also have a son Lachlan who has autism. The AAA Project has two main aspects to its work:
The first is a series of school talks where Alyssa and her family travel to schools all over Western Australia to chat to students, family and educators about life on the spectrum. The school talks aim to make sure that kids on the spectrum know how awesome they are and provide information to their peers, families and educators about autism, how autism can affect people and the importance of autism acceptance.
The second aspect of the AAA Project is 'Brick Time' clubs. These after school clubs provide a safe and fun environment for all children and young adults, to spend time developing friendships as they build Lego sets together or play games.
Rhona was a delight to listen to. Her enthusiasm and commitment to Autism is to be admired and the Club will look forward to welcoming Rhona and Clay again in the future.
Pictured are Attadale Rotarian Martin Houchin with Guest Speaker Rhona Bolger and her husband Clay. Also pictured is Attadale Rotary President Colin McCulloch with his Guests for the evening Maxine and Kathryn Shortland-Jones and also Colin and Gail McCulloch in Japanese style enjoying their recent most enjoyable holiday in Japan, which they timed perfectly to see the cherry blossoms.