The acclaimed exercise program NeuroMoves has announced that potential clients with spinal cord and similar disabilities will now be offered two-hour initial assessments free of charge.

The only requirement is for people to become members of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA), the organisation that runs the program that began operating last month from a dedicated gym space in Southern Cross University’s Health Clinic on the Lismore campus.

SCIA membership for people with a disability and their immediate family and carers is also free. Inquiries can also be directed to 1800 819 775 or locally to 0403 091 364.

Social Futures CEO Tony Davies with Kevin Hogan, Federal MP for Page, at the announcement of extra funding for youth mental health services.

The not-for-profit organisation Social Futures will now be managing the Lismore branch of the early intervention youth mental health service Headspace, with government funding also enabling an expansion of much-needed services to Casino and Kyogle.

On 9 March the Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan announced funding of almost $1.4 million, saying, “It is often difficult for young people in our smaller towns like Casino and Kyogle to access the services they need compared to those living near Lismore. These new services fill that gap”.

The funding follows last fortnight’s announcement of a new Headspace planned for Grafton, along with a number of other mental health programs that will service the Clarence Valley.

Chris Hendry pictured with former Australian Test cricketer Adam Gilchrist, one of Chris's greatest admirers.

Multi-award winning sportsman Chris Hendry, a person with disabilities who lives in Ballina, discusses his achievements with GP Speak’s Robin Osborne.

The first remarkable thing when meeting Chris Hendry is his powerful handshake, which could hold dangers for the unwary. However, there is no attempted dominance about Chris’s grip - it is simply the way he is: straightforward, self confident and as fit as a fiddle. Despite all, one might perhaps add.

After learning of his multiple achievements in the sporting world, from athletics to cricket and even ten-pin bowling and snooker, I was keen to see him in action. Unfortunately the cricket season was ending by this time, so all on offer was a sampling of Chris in action at the Ballina nets, and even then it was case of light-duties as he had recently damaged his shoulder bowling in a representative state game.

Dr Siobhan Clayton

I arrived in Lismore in mid-2015 to begin a 12-month rural clinical placement for Medicine from the University of Wollongong, coordinated by the University Centre for Rural Health. In August 2016 , following exams, I returned, and took up an elective surgery placement and a pre-Internship placement at Lismore Base Hospital, completing this in November.

In January this year I began the Internship program at LBH, and am hoping to continue there as a Registrar. I chose this area because it was a part of NSW,I had never visited, yet had heard so much about. The North Coast is known for its eclectic mix of people, shops and artists. It is a vibrant and unique area, with beautiful beaches, national parks and waterfalls to explore. It sounded the opposite of my home town of Bowral, a quiet, conservative ‘sleepy’ place, dubbed by locals as the retirement village of Sydney. I thought that being in my mid-twenties it would be a good time to set sail to the winds.

Robert Coote (Colonel Pickering), Stanley Holloway (Alfred P. Doolittle) and Rex Harrison (Henry Higgins) from the Broadway production of My Fair Lady.

"Why can't a woman be more like a man?", sang Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady, Lerner and Loewe's 1964 musical adaption of George Bernard Shaw's, Pygmalion

It would seem poor advice for medical practitioners, however. In this issue of GPSpeak, Dr Jane Barker reports on the significance of the recent JAMA article showing patients of female physicians in American hospitals had a lower mortality rate and were less likely to be readmitted within the month. This finding adds to previous knowledge of differences between female and male medical practitioners.