OperationMD ShortBreak!

 OperationMD ShortBreak!

 Do you have a child under the age of 18 with a Neuromuscular Disorder?

Are you a young person under the age of 18 with a neuromuscular disorder, who wants to be involved in a fun weekend away with other people of similar age, interests and needs? Then this program may be for you!

What is OperationMD ShortBreak?

OperationMD ShortBreak is a weekend program which operates mainly during school terms. It is an overnight recreational/respite opportunity for people aged 6-18 who have a neuromuscular disorder.

It’s a place for a young person with a neuromuscular disorder to have fun and a chance to spend some time away from home and the routine.

 The Purpose of OperationMD ShortBreak?

OperationMD ShortBreak is aimed at providing parents or primary carers with much needed respite, whilst their child is cared for in a safe and comfortable environment by staff with the skills and ability to sufficiently care for their child’s special needs.

It also provides the participant with an informal opportunity to meet and interact with peers, who have similar needs and interests and where friendships are encouraged and embraced.

How many people are at an OperationMD ShortBreak?

Each OperationMD Short Break involves at least four children who are of similar age, and trained, qualified staff who are allocated at a ratio of 1:2 or for children with high needs at a ratio of 1:1.

How many times a year does OperationMD ShortBreak run?

Each year MDA conducts at approximately 12 OperationMD ShortBreaks in the Melbourne Metropolitan region.


The group of participants and staff stay at either a self-contained wheelchair accessible three bedroom apartment or MDA’s Wheelies Rest facilities at Axe Creek and Phillip Island.

What is the cost?

There is no cost to participant. Transportation, accommodation, meals and activity costs are covered by MDA.

How do I get there?

Parents are required to drop their child off at the beginning of the program (Saturday morning) and pick their child up at the end of the program (Sunday afternoon) at a predetermined meeting point which is selected by MDA. The meeting point is usually within the participant’s region.

Are there activities?

The activities provided are planned and resourced to ensure that each child undertakes activities within their ability and activity outcomes contribute to positive self-esteem.

Activities often include ten pin bowling, movies, visiting shopping malls, going to the zoo, aquarium, galactic circus, science works and much more.

This is the first time my child is attending, can I stay?

First time participants are welcome to accompany their child throughout the day activity, making it easier for the child to adapt.


“The time without Kate was a busy, but much appreciated break. It was great to catch up on some relatively undisturbed sleep”

“I loved going away without mum and dad and I had so much fun. The carers were nice and looked after me really well”.

“I didn’t think I could cope without my child for the weekend, but when I dropped him off I found so many things to do that I didn’t think about it.  I was able to rest, recuperate and get some sleep. What a nice break. Thank you MDA”.

“I really liked hanging out with my friends and getting to know new kids”

 How do I access OperationMD ShortBreak?

If this sounds like a program you or your child would benefit from and like to access, or you would like more information, contact MDA’s Respite Coordinator on (03) 9320 9555 or respite@mda.org.au who will provide you with further information, details on specific program dates and destinations and any relevant paperwork.

*These programs are available, however please note, they may not be available or accessible in all geographic locations.