Previous Events

Presentation to Rotary Club Of Ferntree Gully

On Thursday 20th August, Mimi and Konrad Ermert gave a presentation about aphasia to the Rotary Club of Ferntree Gully.

The members enjoyed the talk and commented that they learnt a lot.

Club president Robert Hurst had this to say:

“Thank you for your talk to our club last Thursday, it has certainly made us aware of a condition that most of us, if not all had never heard of. It certainly sparked a conversation amongst us following Mimi’s explanation of the impact of Aphasia on her life.”


Donation By Rotary Club Of Beaumaris


In January Mimi and Konrad Ermert were invited by the Rotary Club of Beaumaris to give a presentation on Aphasia.  As is common, prior to the presentation, few of the members knew of the condition and the effect it has on their lives. 

Mimi told of her early difficulty in reading, resorting to baby books and pictures to relearn words.  She also described her joy on discovering a feature called Voice Over in her iPad.  By very slowly reading the words on the screen, Voice Over helped Mimi to eventually regain her reading. 

After the presentation, the club members very generously donated to Aphasia Victoria a new iPad for use in helping others with aphasia to regain their reading ability.  On 12 March, at a meeting of the club members, David Hone, Club President, presented the iPad to Mimi.   It is inscribed “Donated to Aphasia Victoria by the Rotary Club of Beaumaris”.

We, at Aphasia Victoria, are delighted by this wonderfully generous gift and will put the iPad to good use in helping others learn to read again.

Mimi shows the inscription on the iPad generously donated by the Rotary Club of Beaumaris

Apple and Aphasia Victoria visit the Cheltenham Aphasia Group


On Tuesday, February 25th the Monash Health Cheltenham Aphasia Group had the pleasure of hosting an information session with Dan, Ash, Kim and Joe from the Southland Apple Store and Konrad and Mimi from Aphasia Victoria.

The Apple team brought not only a selection of iPads for the clients to practise with but also smiles, enthusiasm, patience and a lot of “thumbs up”.

They presented instruction, demonstration and ‘hands-on’ assistance with the group on how to access and operate Spoken Content which allows the user to have the Apple device read any written text aloud. Key words to support understanding during the demonstration were provided by the group’s facilitator.

Spoken content is a useful function for people with aphasia who find it hard to read but can understand spoken words. The person with aphasia can follow along with the text while listening to the words. The rate can be changed so that the words are read aloud slowly. This can be used to access books, newspaper articles, emails and text messages.

The group appreciated the Apple Southland team’s clear communication and approach to assisting them to use the devices with ease. The team from Apple commented on how much they had learnt about aphasia from the session. They encouraged all group members to come to the store so that they could work to support their communication further.

As a result, the group has requested regular in-store information meet-ups to learn more about this function, learn about other aphasia apps/features and to practise using their devices.

They have reported increased confidence using technology to improve their access to different forms of communication.

Group members who were in attendance have enjoyed teaching those who missed out, how to use spoken content with their newfound knowledge and confidence!

Article written by:

Cherie Poulter (Speech Pathology Allied Health Assistant) and Roz Shand (Speech Pathologist)
Group Facilitators
Cheltenham Aphasia Group
Monash Health

Southland Apple Store members showed patience in their demonstrations


Conversation With Centrelink


On Monday August 19th, Aphasia Victoria hosted an event –
A Community Conversation about using Centrelink for People with Aphasia.

There were two speakers:

Kym Brockhoff had a stroke four years ago.  He has aphasia. After his stroke, he could not work.

Kym spoke about how it was hard to access Centrelink. It took him three years and lots of work to get approval for Centrelink payments.

He shared some tips to help others.  His tips included:

  • Never give up – keep trying even when people say “no
  • Have people on your side – family or friends, health workers (your doctor, your social worker, your speech pathologist)

Nick Carbines from the Centrelink Community Engagement Team talked about how people can access Centrelink payment. He shared some information about the sorts of documents and paperwork that people need.

Nick also shared some resources with Aphasia Victoria – these might help people better understand how to access Centrelink.

The audience included people with aphasia, carers and family, speech pathologists and students. There were lots of questions from the audience, and discussion about how to make it easier to access Centrelink.

The audience asked lots of questions and there was a good discussion.

Aphasia Victoria will stay in contact with Centrelink. There might be an opportunity to do some training with Centrelink staff about communicating with people with aphasia.

Aphasia Victoria will hold more events like this and talks on different topics. Keep an eye on our website, our Facebook page and our emails for news about the next event!


Improving Communication


In the accompanying article from the 15th May 2018 edition of the  Leader newspaper, our Co-Chair, Phillip Wilkins, comments on how his tablet computer helps him to communicate and continually improve his communication with others.


Read more about Phil and his inspiring journey with aphasia  – on page 5 of this recent Monash Link Health and Community  pdf publication [April – June 2018].



Aphasia Vic Committee members at a very successful “A Night for Aphasia”, held on 21 Jun 19