Many Llews at Butterflies shed
AN MP can have many faces.
Wide Bay federal MP Llew O'Brien certainly found that out when he visited Sunshine Butterflies disability support service and charity in Cooroibah on Wednesday, to deliver a $71,000 grant.
The Butterflies team had banded together to create numerous portraits and paintings of him to present on his arrival, with a special introduction by Butterflies member David Norquay, himself an accomplished artist and photographer, despite having some visual impairment.
In the spirit of the moment - flicking the switch to vaudeville, former prime minister Paul Keating would quip - Mr O'Brien was happy to brandish a portrait of himself in a bikini from a previous Butterflies visit for a group photo.
"It's like a big family here,” he said.
"I'm always captivated by a visit here; it's such a good vibe.”
The grant would be used to build a Family Central building, Butterflies spokeswoman Synda Turnbull said.
"It will be a private counselling room; a family support room,” Ms Turnbull said.
"We've never had a quiet space for family counselling out here.
"We try to support families from day one, from the first diagnosis, to cover all families' needs.”
Ms Turnbull said it was important to emphasise Butterflies' support work "was for the whole family, not just the individual”.
She said the National Disability Insurance Scheme was beginning to bear fruit for many of the Butterflies members and their families.
"There lots of success stories,” Ms Turnbull said.
"It has been life-changing for some families.
"There have been some teething issues, but for people caring for a child for their entire life it has been life-changing, as they are able to access things like home support.”
She said some parents, reaching their seventies, have previously been very concerned about their child's prospects once they had departed.
"But they know now they will have support for for the rest of their child's life,” Ms Turnbull said.
Later on Wednesday, Mr O'Brien journeyed on to Tewantin Noosa Cricket Club, to deliver $500,000 to the club, for a new lighting system.
"The new lighting will allow [teams] to play in the cooler hours when the sun's gone down, extending their ability to practise and improving utility of the grounds for match times,” he said.
By increasing the availability and accessibility of the pitch, Tewantin Noosa Cricket Club will be able to attract more visiting teams, host more local, intrastate and interstate championships and thereby boost the local tourism market.”