Variety Victoria Partners With Shine To Deliver Flagship Language-Learning Disability Program

04-Oct-2017 4:25 PM

MELBOURNE, Victoria: Variety Victoria and Melbourne-based charity SHINE have announced a strategic partnership to deliver the inaugural Variety SHINE Intensive Program (VSIP) in 2018.

Held at Port Phillip Specialist School - Port Melbourne under the directorship of Dr Carl Parsons, the January program has been running for 16 years. The multidisciplinary, evidence-based three-week long service provides intensive assessment, therapy and support for children aged 4-14 with Language Learning Disabilities (LLDs).
Since 1975 Variety’s establishment in Australia has worked to ensure that every child has the right to attain their full potential regardless of ability or background. Variety Victoria steps in to support children and families when no other resources are available.
Variety Victoria’s CEO, Janette Connolly, said the merger of Variety’s infrastructure and reach with SHINE’s unique program was a meeting of minds.
“Variety and SHINE have a great deal of crossover in terms our goals and objectives in supporting Victorian children,” Ms Connolly said.
“We knew when we came across that the work of SHINE and in particular the intensive holiday program that it was something with which we wanted to be involved and to support.”
SHINE has provided intensive opportunities for children with a range of disabilities to access high quality multidisciplinary team services at no cost to families for two decades. It also runs the largest clinical placement for postgraduate speech pathologists in Australia.
The charity prioritises students who are not funded by other federal or state programs, are under-funded or under- resourced, or who have known disabilities but have no services available to them.
SHINE’s Founder and Director, Andrew Fildes said it was an exciting new chapter in their journey.
“It has been an amazing ride after 20 years of building the foundation from scratch, from the early years in our family lounge room,” Mr Fildes said.
“We are proud of the work we have done and the services we’ve been able to build through the incredible philanthropic support in Victoria. This partnership with Variety is the next step for us to consolidate the summer intensive program and ensure its future. We are committed to working with Variety in the long term to deliver this and other programs to Victorian children.”
Applications for the VSIP 2018 are now open HERE.
For further media information, assets and interviews please contact:
Sonia Caeiro, Chief Executive Officer, SHINE, 0450 018 466,
Georgie Smith, Marketing and Communications Manager, Variety – the Children’s Charity, (03) 8698 3900,
For program application information please contact:
Pauline Graafmans, Children’s Programs Manager, Variety Victoria, 03 8698 3900,

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More about Variety – the Children’s Charity
Variety – the Children’s Charity supports children and families who are facing many challenges through sickness, disadvantage or living with a disability.
Our work allows children to gain mobility and freedom, to get out and about in the community, to communicate, achieve independence and increase self-esteem, and where possible, assistance to help them integrate into mainstream school and activities.

More about SHINE
SHINE is an incorporated not for profit organisation that works to ensure every child with learning differences, and their families, have access to early multidisciplinary therapy, ongoing treatment and support, at no cost. We believe that every child has the basic right to learn, and to reach its potential.
A division of The Andrew Dean Fildes Foundation (est 1996), SHINE exists to provide children with language and learning problems with the opportunity and tools to overcome their challenges. The ramifications of this are enormous for children, their families and communities.
As a young child with dyslexia and autism, founder and CEO Andrew Dean Fildes knows firsthand the benefit of early intervention, dedication, persistence and support. He has spent his whole life achieving what others never have thought possible, but he and his family knew otherwise. The family motto has become that of the charity – the child who believes can achieve.
For the last 20 years Andrew has led the Foundation and SHINE, assisted over 22,000 children find solutions and changed the lives of families forever. SHINE also runs the largest clinical placement for postgraduate speech pathologists in Australia.

More about Dr Carl Parsons
The VSIP’s National Program Director, Dr Carl Parsons, is an eminent clinician and academic. He is the brains trust behind SHINE’s unique programs and the work of the Foundation over the last 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Speech Pathology & Audiology), a Master of Science in Education and PhD in Communication Disorders and Psychology.
Carl’s career has spanned many posts as a professor, clinician and consultant to universities, schools and specialist centres in Australia and the United States. He is widely published internationally and has contributed his expertise to innumerable curriculums, projects and policy development projects. These include the positions at LaTrobe University of Associate Professor in Child Language Disorders, Head of School of Human Communication Sciences, First Associate Dean of Research - Faculty of Health Sciences, Deputy Dean - Faculty of Health Sciences and Head of Department of Podiatry.
As the National Program Coordinator for SHINE and the Andrew Dean Fildes Foundation he has built clinically effective, multidisciplinary programs informed by many decades of senior experience, the highest level of international research and technology. SHINE’s programs are robust, rigorous and evidence based, and over the last 20 years has immeasurably improved the lives of 22,000 children and their families