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How Music therapy began at HDHQ

Music therapy was introduced into the long running Social club in late 2018. Facilitated by Xiaoyan Lu (Lulu), a music therapy student from Western Sydney University . The structured activity was interactive, inclusive and educational, and was aimed at improving a person’s quality of life (QoL). Within this active music therapy program an evaluation tool measuring people’s motivation, enjoyment, emotions and communication was compiled that could assist with further research into gauging gains in health and QoL benefits.

The club members accepted Lulu’s challenge to learn Christmas songs as a group and a few chose to play guitar and ukulele solos. Everyone’s hard work was on display at the Christmas concert, and a sense of pride was evident in the smiles that followed roaring applause.

The reins of our new look Music and Social club were handed to Cathy from Delicious Harmony Music Therapy, for two terms while Lulu enjoyed maternity leave. Cathy considered her time with our members as a “privilege” and was grateful for the warm welcome she received at each session. Members particularly enjoyed playing the drum where they were challenged to use their hands to cross the midline of their body and to use their voices to improvise/vocalise while they played. Handbells were used by participants to follow the beat and play on time for their note. The smiles on members’ faces demonstrated that they were having a wonderful time playing music together.

The Social club then changed format in 2019 as our organisation adjusted to a loss in overall program funding, retiring staff and veteran volunteers. The therapy-based model used for the Art club was adopted; session time was reduced, lunch was replaced with a snack, and Music therapy became a permanent activity alongside a few hardcore games of UNO.

Lulu returned in October 2019, and in February 2020 a partnership was been formed with Harmony Direct Music Therapy and Education to run a new look Music and Social club. Sadly, this activity ceased in March due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Latest News and Stories

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Published date: 3 April, 2023

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An update on all things Huntington’s Australia

Published date: 29 March, 2023

As a valued member of the HD community, we’d like to keep you up to date with Huntington’s Australia (HA) developments. The merger implementation is in full swing and just about everyone is getting involved in some way, shape or form. All staff are in the process of having discussions with our CEO, Lenni, and our HR Specialist, Lyn, about transitioning into the new HA organisation. We are still expecting that most of the staff employed by State Associations will transfer to HA. In addition to our CEO, we now also have another two of the senior management team selected, and both are starting this month - Leah Atkinson as the Head of Finance and Corporate Services and Basil Mabuza as the Head of Community Programs and Services.
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HD News Autumn 2023

Published date: 23 March, 2023

Download your copy of HD News Autumn edition by clicking on the link. Some of the highlights in this edition are: Introduction to our counselling service Youth education scholarships Appointment of a CEO for Huntington’s Australia We hope that you enjoy this edition of HD News. If you have any feedback or would like to get in ... Read more

Ailsa’s Legacy – HD Education Scholarship

Published date: 17 March, 2023

We are excited to announce that applications for the 2023 Ailsa’s Legacy Youth Scholarships are now open and invite all children and young people in our HD community needing assistance to start, continue, or return to education in 2023 to apply. We have a number of individual grants available this year of up to $2000 each for children and young people living with an HD affected parent or carer. These grants can be spent on anything that makes accessing education easier and more likely such as course or school fees, uniforms and shoes, computers, IT and software, school camps, school sports, extra tuition, extracurricular activities, transport, accommodation, and more.
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NAA pre-budget submission for the 2023-24 Federal Budget

Published date: 6 March, 2023

The Neurological Alliance Australia * (NAA) is pleased to provide a pre-Budget submission to the Australian Government for the 2023-2024 Budget. This submission focusses on four key areas that will impact people affected by the conditions represented by the members of the NAA.

HD Heroes book release

Published date: 6 March, 2023

Huntington’s Disease Heroes includes stories from a scientist who switched from cancer research to studying Huntington’s after finding out her mother had tested positive for the disease, a young man whose biggest fear was testing gene negative and not inheriting the disease, and a woman who grew up in survival mode, unable to express her grief. We learn about the ways their lives are better off because of the hardships they have faced. By sharing these intimate parts of their lives, they are taking away the fear and stigma of living with Huntington’s in their families. They are giving a voice to this unheard rare disease community and empowering others to speak up.