Ashley Robinson OAM

Thursday, February 8, 2024

I spent yesterday morning with Michael Burke from Lavender Co – an amazing independent living group in Yandina and Buderim. 
While I was there I was chatting to one of their wonderful carers and noticed his name – Cam Grant, one of the famous Grant family from the Sunshine Coast and Maroochy Rugby.

I also caught up with Lavender Co’s business operations manager Kaitlyn Akers, a Mudjimba SLSC life member who has been a great supporter of the Island Charity Swim which I started 23 years ago with Bill Hoffman to support Sunshine Coast special schools.

Michael Burke and his wife have developed beautiful supported accommodation for four young men with disabilities at Yandina and are keen to add eight high-quality pre-fabricated cabins to the mix.

There is a huge demand for supported accommodation on the Sunshine Coast. Yet Lavender Co’s plans have been stalled for the past 14 months as it seeks development approval from Sunshine Coast Council.

Whatever the reason for those delays, I know that a council I lead will be doing everything it can to assist the disability sector by working with them to achieve some amazing outcomes.

One family in every five moving to the Sunshine Coast will have a family member who is challenged by disabilities.
I’m very much aware of the struggle parents have and the desire they hold for their children to have the opportunity to maximise their potential and lead active, fuller lives.

There are enormous opportunities I will explore as mayor to better engage these young people in every aspect of community life. That will include ensuring the council can provide suitable employment opportunities across its operations.

I HAD an interesting trip back from Peregian the other day. I found this dude with two flat tyres, so I offered him a lift. It turns out his name was Simono and he’s from Como in Italy, visiting his brother who does Italian food at Eumundi and Noosa markets.

He had been in the country just one day with no phone so he was very happy to see me. Lovely young bloke. I hope he enjoys our country.