Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : December 7, 2016 Contents THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2016 - PAGE 7
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Nowhere for mums
and babes in Cowes
technology for Youki
WELL-KNOWN local Youki Innesis will ben-
efit from new technology that will give him
more independence in daily life.
Youki was recently selected to participate
in the Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) initiative,
whereby a team of engineers set out with the
specific purpose of changing the life of a per-
son living with a disability.
TOM is a global not-for-profit movement
originating in Israel.
The aim is to change the lives of those liv-
ing with disabilities, bringing together engi-
neers, designers and coders (‘Makers’) and
people living with disabilities (‘Need-Know-
ers’), to build real solutions in a 72 hour
The program came to Australia for the first
time last month.
‘The Makeathon’ took place over three days
from November 28 to 30 at Swinburne Uni-
versity in Hawthorn.
Teams were given a brief of the needs of
the person with a disability, and then had 72
hours to find a solution for them.
The challenge for the team assigned to You-
ki was to create a device that can hold Youki’s
weight while his mum Sayuri dresses him.
Youki has cerebral palsy. He cannot walk
and uses an electric wheelchair, which he
controls via a joystick with his right hand.
He cannot use his left hand, and with both
legs paralysed, it’s very difficult to balance.
As Youki is now 19, the increasing chal-
lenge for Sayuri is dressing him. His weight
makes it very difficult for her to support him.
So Sayuri identified this need for the chal-
72 hours to change the world
The Makers and Need-Knowers of TOM
joined forces in 10 teams and worked inten-
sively together for the three days last week,
tirelessly looking for a tailored outcome that
may ultimately change Youki’s life.
Teams had access to cutting edge tools of
modern manufacturing to develop bespoke
assistive technologies, addressing everyday
barriers, with a focus on how the result can
also impact lives beyond the room.
Some of their other projects have included
aiding those visually impaired to navigate
a smart phone, and prototypes that allow
those who can’t feed themselves to eat inde -
On this visit, they also designed crutches
that transform into a seat, and a device that
enables wheelchair users to access stairs and
other uneven terrains.
Mechatronics engineer, Joel Kuperholz
said: “Sacrificing three days of my time is
nothing compared to the challenges these
people face. I feel privileged to have been part
of the journey.”
A key force in bringing the movement to
Melbourne was Debbie Dadon AM, chair of
the Besen Family Foundation. She witnessed
a 2015 Makeathon in Tel Aviv that prompted
her to get involved.
“I witnessed passionate and creative people
coming together. The atmosphere was excit-
ing, powerful, human and incredibly inspir-
ing. We wanted to further the community
for innovation, and friendships here in Mel-
Born from a joint vision of the Reut Group
and Schusterman Philanthropic Network,
TOM hopes to positively impact 250 million
people across the world in the next 10 years.
All the plans and prototypes created be-
come freely available online.
The Minister for Small Business, Innova-
tion and Trade, Philip Dalidakis opened the
Last week Youki Innes was selected to participate in an initiative that took place at
Swinburne University in Melbourne, where experts worked on new technology to allow
him more independence.
THERE is nowhere in Cowes for young moth-
ers to feed their babies in reasonable comfort,
in the Cowes commercial area, a fact Skye
McFee of Rhyll is well aware of.
When Skye is shopping in Cowes with three
month old Matilda, there is nowhere to go for
It is also difficult for young mothers with
prams to access public toilet facilities, Skye
The Exeloo in the main street does not have
water to wash your hands, nor soap in the dis-
penser, she comments, so it is not an attractive
“The loo flushes when you open the door, but
there is no water for the basin.
“You can’t wash your hands, which is not good
for anyone, as far as general hygiene goes,” she
The public toilets at the Heritage Centre are
also impossible to access with a pram.
Short of sitting there with the door open, that
facility is not an option for anyone with a pram.
The toilets at Woolworths and Coles have
been her salvation when shopping in Cowes,
but they are private facilities.
Skye said the Cultural Centre would be an
ideal location for a facility young that mums
could access, but does not know if this was con-
sidered in the redevelopment plans adopted by
She would like to see the new council address
this issue, and make provision for the needs
she has identified.
Skye tends to find a seat in the main street
when Matilda needs a feed, but this is not par-
ticularly comfortable for either mother or babe.
She was sitting on a street bench in Thomp-
son Avenue last week feeding Matilda, and it
was windy and cold.
Then out of the blue came Rosa Scalato, who
had spotted her from Pino’s Trattorio.
Rosa ushered Skye into the warmth of her
building, into a comfortable chair and position.
“She was great!” said a very appreciative
But she also emphasises that a public facility
RIGHT: The only place Rhyll resident Skye
McFee can find to feed her three month old
daughter Matilda, when shopping in Cowes,
is on a public bench seat like this one. Skye
would like to see a public facility established
in Cowes by the council for this purpose.
With the number of visitors to the area over
summer, she believes such a facility is long
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