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Veronica loves sport, nature and making new friends. She also has a hidden superpower in mathematics. However, due to traumatic family circumstances, Veronica and her dad Kurt were forced to move away from their home and friends interstate to the unfamiliar environment of the NSW North Coast. A referral was made to Ability Links and Francis, a Far North Coast Linker, began working with Kurt and Veronica around their goals. Several months down the track and with supportive people who understand her and her capabilities, Veronica is set to thrive.
Look out New York, Paris and Milan – ‘Blind Grit’ is out there and heading your way! Blind Grit is the label and brainchild of Australia’s first legally blind fashion designer, Nikki Hind, and with the help of Ability Linkers at North West Alliance partner Intereach in Albury Wodonga, Nikki (above) has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for her first ‘for sale’ fashion line aimed at the athleisure wear market.
For Ability Links participants Mike Smith and Mathew Daymond, dreams came true on the first weekend in November 2018 when they were able to attend the prestigious Artstate 2018 Bathurst with the support of Ability Links Far North Coast (FNC). The two men are artists with Lismore-based arts company RealArtWorks.Inc. Mike is a musician and songwriter who has been blind since birth, while Mathew is a visual artist and lives with schizophrenia. Both also have an intellectual disability, and both are passionate advocates for their community and its recovery from the devastating floods of March 2017.
It’s a long way from Bangladesh to Mudgee, but with the support of Ability Links Barsha is making the transition. Barsha migrated with her family to Australia from their home in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, in 2016. Barsha and her husband wanted a better life for their two children and believed the open spaces, fresh air and good education system in Australia would give their children the best opportunities.
After relocating to a small town in southern NSW, a change in Narelle’s health brought her career to a halt, resulting in disability and isolating her from her community. To keep mentally active and busy Narelle pursued her love of art and craft, but she felt isolated and disengaged from the outside world. With the help of her Linker she regained her sense of self-worth and since then Narelle's personal growth has been remarkable.
Emily is a young woman with Down Syndrome who lives in Dubbo. About a year ago her family saw an opportunity for Emily to engage even more with her community through the micro enterprise concept. With the support of Ability Linkers at LiveBetter and the Community Leadership Program in Adelaide, Emily and her family set up a microbusiness and engaged a personal assistant to help Emily get involved in niche work opportunities in and around the regional NSW centre.
‘Hurricane Chef’ Nate has moved mountains in his quest to pursue a career as a chef. Now he has realised another dream – to produce and publish his own cookbook. ‘The Cookbook and Story of the Hurricane Chef’ features a collection of Nate’s favourite entree, mains and dessert recipes, along with his tips and tricks and a description of his food philosophy. But it is far more than that. Nate – who is diabetic, totally blind and has two cochlear implants to allow him to hear – recounts his life story and the passion for food which has allowed him to overcome adversity.
Respected Aboriginal community member Michael Jarrett (Micklo) came to Ability Links seeking advice on strengthening his family and community connections. Micklo was happy with the effort the Linker has shown to support him, his family and his community. “Everyone is healthier, and more connected,” he says. “We are hopeful for a positive future for our mob.”