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Special chair makes a dream come true

Wednesday 24 October, 2012

An all-terrain Trailrider wheelchair has helped make a dream come true for Ann Stokie, a member of the Victorian Malleefowl Recovery Group and its secretary for ten years. Ann really wanted to visit an active Malleefowl mound nest, but having become wheelchair dependent, visiting one in a remote bush location had seemed an impossible dream.  

The group contacted Katherine Dyson at Parks Victoria’s Halls Gap office who arranged the loan of the special wheelchair for their recent training weekend at Wyperfeld National Park.

With one person front and back the Trailrider can be steered over any walkable surface, and the chairs are now available in some parks so that less mobile visitors can also enjoy the sights and sounds of bush walking.

Although the bush in Wyperfeld National Park was too dense for the Trailrider team, they found it very easy to transport Ann to an active mound at a National Malleefowl monitoring site in nearby Dahwedarre Bushland Reserve. Ann was also awarded Life Membership of the Victorian Malleefowl Recovery Group at its Annual General Meeting on the weekend

“I never thought I’d ever see a Malleefowl mound again,” said Ann, “It was absolutely wonderful to be able to visit an active mound for the first time in two years, and this Trailrider chair made it possible. It was safe and very comfortable, easy to get in and out of, and it really made my dream come true. ”

Group Member Bernie Fox says he found the chair far better than anything he had imagined.  

“It was far lighter than envisaged with very easy assembly and the adjustments were endless and catered for every possibility. The instructional DVD for the chair was a great help and set a very positive theme. We also found manoeuvring the chair was simple once we realised that wider than usual turns were required of the frontperson. All in all it gave us pretty good access to the bush.”

For more information about the all-terrian wheelchair go to Victoria's parks are more accessble than ever.

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