Tribute to Maria Roncan OAM, Founding and Life Member of MLS

Mrs Maria Roncan OAM
Founding and Life Member of Moe Life Skills

I am writing with a heavy heart to inform you that one of our founding members, Maria Roncan OAM, died peacefully on Thursday 7th May.

Some of you would have known Maria, if not in person, her work and leadership in the disability community.

Maria was a quiet gentle person, but all who knew her agreed that behind the façade was a determined and tenacious personality, that was absolutely driven to achieve better standards, understandings and outcomes for disability. Her life time work in the field of disability was a journey of seeking out information, finding appropriate supports and services and if they were not to be found, they had to be established. 

Maria was instrumental in the establishment of Moe Life Skills Community Centre.  She served on the Board of Life Skills resigning only one month before her 90th birthday. Maria was the organisation’s first Life Member.  Even though she had officially resigned, she stayed connected and involved.  In her 90s Maria continued to connect with new mothers across Australia.  She was there to support them as they set out on the journey she had already travelled.  Encouraging parents to want the best and expect the highest outcomes for their children.

Even in the last year of her life she continued to push for people with disabilities to attend University.  She knew they could do this, we just had to find a way to make it happen.

Her work was officially endorsed by governments both in Australia and overseas.  The Victorian State government recognised her voluntary work to the community in 2000.  She was awarded an Order of Australia medal for her community work in 2003.  The following year, Maria received an award from Italy, her place of birth had recognised her outstanding work within Australia. 

Throughout this time and beyond, Maria remained extremely modest about her efforts and was reluctant to take credit for the impact and influence she had on others.

As she often stated “what would I know, I’m just a mother”. 

So many of us were fortunate to have listened and learned from her experiences and insights.

The disability sector has lost a great leader.  We all must try to do whatever we can to carry on her legacy as a tribute to the woman Maria was, a woman, so much more than just a mother.

Dr Carole Broxham
Moe Life Skills CEO

Maria’s funeral will take place today, Wednesday 13th May 2020, at 11am. Due to current restrictions, the service will be lived streamed through Latrobe Valley Funeral Services website.

Closure update due to COVID-19 measures

Dear Families and Supported Accommodation,

Regrettably, we need to advise you that Moe Life Skills Community Centre will remain closed until further notice.

We will notify you when we have a confirmed date to reopen.

During our closure, we are taking the opportunity to revisit the way we deliver supports and services. As a result, there will be a staged return to our service delivery and we will contacted you individually, to discuss your support and service needs.

Please take care, look after yourself and your families.

Kind regards,

Board of Management
Moe Life Skills Community Centre
30 March 2020

How to stay well and healthy during COVID-19 measures

During these uncertain times, it is reasonable to feel concerned about the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Rather than focus on what you can’t control, focus on what you can control.

Read on for ways to help stop the spread and how to keep yourself well and healthy during COVID-19 times.

  1. Cough or sneeze into your arm

2. Use a tissue

3. Bin the tissue

4. Wash your hands

5. Keep your distance

Try to remember there are experts around the world who are working around the clock to find out more about the virus, treat those affected and develop a vaccine as quickly as possible.

6. Make mental health a priority

Eat well and stay active. Stay in touch by phone or video calls. Seek help if you need it.

7. Put things into perspective

This is a unique time we are experiencing. Take stock of what you are thankful for and look for opportunities to relish the time you have at hand.

Soak in a little sunshine (in your garden or by the window or go for a walk), it can lift your mood and might help you sleep better at night!

Temporary closure due to COVID-19 measures

In light of the ever changing and developing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the recent introduction of the government’s Stage 1 & Stage 2 measures, the Board of Management has made the very difficult decision to close Moe Life Skills. The health and safety of all employees and clients was paramount in making this decision.

This decision means that all direct support, accredited and non-accredited program delivery and 1:1 support is cancelled. 

The closure is effective from Tuesday 24th March 2020.  This will be for an initial period of 4 weeks.   

At this stage, we plan a scheduled return date of Tuesday 21st April, but this will be subject to further government and health advice, however, you will be advised of any changes and updates as they come to hand.

Our focus at this time is to ensure that we all contribute to limiting the spread of the Coronavirus within our vulnerable client group and within the wider community.

We encourage you to follow all government and health advice to keep you and your family safe throughout this period, more information can be found at

Please note if you have any questions about your NDIS funding or need to make urgent changes to your plan as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) you can call (NDIA) 1800 800 110.

Stay well.

MMO Presents: Music for the Valley 2019

MMO - Image

The Monash Medical Orchestra is pleased to announce their Gippsland concert, Music for the Valley, will be returning in 2019!

About this Event:
The Monash Medical Orchestra is a non-profit ensemble established in 2011 by a group of passionate musicians who studied medicine at Monash University. While many medical students play musical instruments, it is difficult to continue to practise and perform whilst in medical school. MMO encourages students to pursue passions alongside medicine by providing our players the opportunity to share their musical interests, continue performing amidst a busy schedule and express themselves creatively.

This year, their concert will be in partnership with the Latrobe and Francis Orchestra. Join us as we bring another evening of orchestral music to the Latrobe Valley, featuring soundtracks from popular films and iconic musical works.

  • SILVESTRI The Avengers Main Theme (arr. Brown)
  • BRUCH Double Concerto for Clarinet and Viola in E minor, Op. 88
  • SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 (‘Unfinished Symphony’)
  • WILLIAMS Star Wars: The Force Awakens Soundtrack Suite (arr. O’Loughlin)

Date: Friday 30th August 2019
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Location: ‘high street community hub’, 4 High Street, Moe, VIC 3825
Entry: By Gold Coin Donation

The Other Film Festival 2018

The Other Film Festival 2018 screening program has launched!

Arts Access Victoria invites you to The Other Film Festival 2018. The Other Film Festival delivers an invigorating disability-led program of local and international screenings, industry panels and workshops to showcase and foster the rich talent and diverse voices of the Deaf and Disabled communities in a fully accessible environment.

The main Festival venue is: The Coopers Malthouse in Southbank and Getting There details are here. They will also be bringing along Nebula, which will be located at The Coopers Malthouse Courtyard. The Closing Night Party – Music Video Showcase is at Loop Project Space and Bar.

Full details of The Other Film Festival 2018 screening program is available on their website here or downloaded in PDF format here.

The Festival social media hashtag is: #TOFF18


All tickets are free.

Tickets can be booked on the following link on The Coopers Malthouse website:

Access bookings

For all access bookings, please call The Coopers Malthouse Box Office on 03 9685 5111 or email

Patrons are encouraged to book their tickets in advance, as sessions will fill up quickly! People with access requirements are also encouraged to book in advance.

Changing Places in Latrobe Valley

Changing Places brochure V3 - P1

What are Changing Places?

Changing Places facilities are different to standard accessible toilets. They have extra features, more space and can often be accessed 24/7 with a Master Locksmith Access Key (MLAK).
Each Changing Places toilet provides:

  • Push button entry and exit
  • Height adjustable adult-sized change table
  • Ceiling hoist
  • Additional circulation space
  • A safe and clean environment


Changing Places in Latrobe Valley:

24-38 Kay St Traralgon
(accessible during opening hours and via MLAK at all other times)

1-29 George St Moe
(accessible during opening hours only)

have an overhead hoist and adult-sized change table
as extra features to their Accessible Change Rooms (accessible during opening hours only). Both centres have a hoist and chair available for accessing the heated pools.

Corner of Old Sale Rd and Southwell Ave, Newborough

**Users will need to provide their own sling for use with the hoist**

People with a disability can purchase a MLAK to gain 24/7 access to Changing Places facilities. A letter from a doctor or disability organisation will need to be provided.

For more information visit and click the ‘Learn More’ tab.

A full list of Changing Places facilities around Australia can be found on the Changing Places Australia website

Some of the major Victorian locations include MCG, Melbourne Zoo, Flinders St and Southern Cross stations.

Fantastic Flicks – A screening

Fantastic Flicks – a screening of films made by and about people with disabilities presented by the Moe Peer Action Group (including Moe Life Skills participants) in partnership with Moe Library and our film-makers and producers from the City of Port Phillip, Arts Access Victoria and the Self Advocacy Resource Unit (SARU).

The films capture the lived experience of disability across a range of contexts and explore love, relationships, politics and activism, work, everyday fears and hopes and a range of other issues associated with membership and participation in community.

Fantastic Flicks will be held at the Moe Library on the Friday 1st of June from 12.00 – 3.00pm.

Lunch will be served from 12.00 with the first screening commencing at 12.30pm.

Full details for RSVPs and further screening information are included in the flyer.

The Moe Peer Action Groups meets on the 1st Friday of the month from 10.00 – 2.00pm at Watsonia Library. If you would like to know more about the Moe Peer Action Group or would like to come along to one of our meetings please contact Paul Dunn at VALID,au

Fantastic Flicks Moe 010618