“I was born here and went to Kingscote area school back in the day. I did my year 11 over two years and because of my learning disability I did the whole structure a bit different. Back then the kids didn’t really understand and I got bullied a fair bit. People not understanding your needs kind of thing so you got a label. You can’t really take it too hard; I don’t think they really understand what’s going on.
I’ve got little bits of everything and I haven’t actually been diagnosed as such. I was born with hip dysplasia; I have a rare bone disease in my wrist as well. I have a little learning disability, learning and writing, get numbers muddled up a bit; lots of little bits. The doctors always say, I am unique. They’ve tried to work it out but the reality is that maybe I shouldn’t need to know. Maybe I just get on with life, do what you can for you and your community.
The community and my family and friends have always supported me and said, ‘you can do this.’ Like me for who I am or you know where the door is.
I could talk for hours about the jobs I have done. My first job was cleaning Elders back in the day when I was still in school, then started working at Foodland and worked there for 8 years. When a job came up at the hospital, I went for that and have been there for 13 years now. I’ve also done my cert 3 in childcare as well, and I did my disability study. I can go and be a carer in someone’s house, I got all my tickets for that. I am very much a people person and caring. I would do anything to help someone.
I have been thinking about what else I can do next; I always want to have a new challenge. I downloaded an app to learn sign language. See what the new year brings. If I want something bad, I find a way. Getting my licence and buying my first car over here was like that; just awesome, I was so excited. My message to other people is persevere and you’ll get there. My dream has been to provide a service for people with disabilities, child and youth age, in a fun and safe environment, for after school or on the weekends, in school holidays. I want to get them to work out what they want to do. That’s always been a dream, will see how it rolls. I take every day as it comes. I am a very community-orientated person and I just love to help look after other people.”