Alaskan Vocational Training Team

The Alaskan team arrived in Perth and commenced their training on 2nd April 2019. The team comprised
Mr Michael Jeffery            
Retired Superior Court Judge.  
Team Leader (Rotarian)
Ms Marilyn Pierce Bulger
Family Nurse-Practitioner/Certified Midwife
Coordinator/Medical Manager for the Anchorage FASD Diagnostic Team
Tami Eller
Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Psychology.
Master  Psychology
Clinical Supervisor-Treatment Foster Care Program
Monica Mae Charles           
Bachelor Education (Elementary Education)
Guardian ad Litem, Office of the Public Advocacy
President (2015- present) Association of Village Council Presidents (Bethel Alaska)
Dr Pam Hill
Fellow American College Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Fellow American College of Surgeons
Retired -Volunteer specialist
Their training including meeting with the Aboriginal Refence group, the PATCHES team, the team at Telethon Kids Institute (TKI) - FASD is an area where TKI is a Centre of Excellence in Australia. They presented at the District 9455 conference where Professor Carol Bowers (TKI) was a keynote speaker.
The team then travelled to Kalgoorlie where they presented to the Police and Juvenile Justice workers, the teachers at East Kalgoorlie Primary School and a group of midwives, Drug and Alcohol Counsellors and other community support workers.  We had very successful Rotary meeting with members of the Rotary Clubs of Boulder (a FASD project partner) and Hannan’s Rotary Club. 

The team travelled on to Leonora, 250 kms North of Kalgoorlie, and met with a group of Aboriginal elders, learning more about their culture and their experiences and building friendship bonds.  The team met a number of the key community leaders in Lenora and met with the PATCHES Team who were in Leonora for the first clinic. While in Lenora the team continued their training and presented several workshops to the Police, Leonora teachers, midwives, community staff and Drug and Alcohol workers.
On return to Perth the team presented to a group of family carers and foster parents as   well as to staff from Wanslea, about 35 attendees. On their last day they had a very big presentation to about 120 Police officers and detectives at Joondalup Training Centre. There was great interest from this group who have to deal with issues of juvenile crime and understanding their personal behaviours.

PATCHES First Clinic in Leonora

The PATCHES Team comprises of Dr John Wray (Paediatrician), Juhi Sanghavi (Neuropsychologist), Annette Paul (Assessment, Diagnostic and Therapy Manager and Clinical Psychologist) and Dianne Raby (Speech Therapist). A total of 6 children and youth full assessments were completed, with the team seeing an additional 6 children in preparation for the next visit. The young people engaged extremely well and enjoyed interacting with the different team members. The caregiver/s of the children also met with the team to discuss their children.
Out of the assessments the following diagnoses were made:
  • At risk for FASD–1
  • FASD-2
  • Intellectual Developmental Disorder – 1
  • Language Impairment - 1 
  • Adjustment Disorder, with unspecified mood - 1
At the Welcome party Tami and Annette shared their treatment models, ideas and committed to connecting on a regular basis to develop this further even considering a possible visit by Annette to Anchorage in early 2020.
The outcomes of the Alaskan VTT team surpassed the expectations of the Make FASD History project committee.  We made great friendships, learned a lot from each other and raised the awareness of this preventable condition to many people.  We look forward to keeping in touch with the VTT team, sharing learning experiences and meeting again in Alaska in the future. Several WA Rotarians have expressed interest in being volunteer visitors on the return VTT trip in the future.