Brain Injury Australia’s Executive Officer, Nick Rushworth, chaired the 4th Acquired Brain Injury National Conference held in Melbourne on the 24th and 25th October. Always the conference highlight, this year’s ‘Consumer Opening Address’ was delivered by a long-time friend of Brain Injury Australia’s, Col Brokenshire, who spoke candidly and courageously about being taken advantage of by internet scammers.
“…At some stage I met ‘Doris’ and began chatting casually to her through messenger. Whilst chatting with her she casually mentioned that she was an expat Canadian nurse residing in Ghana and sent me some photos of herself. The contact I had with her were mostly chat sessions using text and at this stage never video calls and only on the rare occasion was it a voice call through the internet.I find it hard now to remember when the requests for money began or for what reason and I’m not sure if this is due to me blocking it out or my brain injury…requests for money started when ‘Doris’ asked me to invest in gold. I sent her money that I had received in a bequest – there wasn’t a real feeling of ownership of the money, so I didn’t feel negative about giving it away. The stories and requests became more dramatic – “Doris” was now in jail and needed money for food and the internet and legal fees. This was supported by her “lawyer” and a “policeman” who appeared in uniform in a video call in skype…”
Hear Col, his neuropsychologist Dr. Kate Gould and Brain Injury Australia’s Executive Officer, Nick Rushworth on ABC Radio National’s Breakfast program on the morning the conference opened: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/brain-injured-man-loses-tens-of-thousands/9079210
Brain Injury Australia’s successful application for $10,000 in Australian Government Department of Social Services National Disability Conference Initiative funding also supported 20 people with a brain injury, their families and carers to attend the conference. Download the conference program here.
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