Your Stories

We love to hear from you about your experiences, your dreams and your passions.

Click the button below to share some of these with us and the community – it can be a poem, video link, story or whatever you like.

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Children sitting in the school's sensory space

School Sensory Spaces Making a Difference

We all need to have a space where we can take time out in from time to time, but it is especially important for children with special needs, such as Autism. So when teachers at Harrington Public School found there were no ‘exit strategies’ in place for teachers to assist children who needed to take themselves out of sometimes noisy, overwhelming moments in classrooms, they decided to act.
Lyle in his chefs uniform in the Kitchen

The Life of Lyle

Life has not always been very simple for Lyle. Although only in his early 20s, Lyle has been forced to deal with issues many people wouldn’t have to face in their entire lifetimes. Growing up, Lyle had to deal with issues around homelessness, domestic violence, and family trauma. Furthermore, due to neglect as a child Lyle’s education was very limited which didn’t allow him to make strong friendships and made him very isolated after leaving school.
Participants in the Faceing Up program with manager at the seafood section of the supermarket

Facing Up – Woolworths Providing Work Experience Opportunities

Have you ever had an idea but not known what to do with it or who to approach?

When Dean, a manager at the local Woolworths developed an idea to include people with a disability in his Woolworths store, he wasn’t sure where to go.

So when Dean found out his former employee had become a Linker for Ability Links, he took the opportunity to pitch his idea. Excited by the opportunity the Linker looked for a group of people that may be interested.

Lara's dog laying down on the grass overlooking the beach

Embarking On A New Business Adventure

For Lara, having Bonnie, her service dog, by her side means everything and it’s something she now wants to give others the opportunity to enjoy. When Lara was 17, she and her family made a fateful trip to go shopping at their local shopping centre. “We walked past a man in the car park who was carrying a tiny, scrawny, wormy pup who had fleas literally jumping off her,” Lara explains. “We stopped and gave the pup a pat and the guy said "Do you want her?" so we brought Bonnie for $30 in the car park.” Lara says originally the puppy was going to be for my mum, however, due to her mum being ill and Bonnie being a rather boisterous puppy, she took over her training. Now, that once boisterous puppy, is trained as a psychiatric service dog and helps Lara with her anxiety and depression amongst other things. When Lara was 17, she and her family made a fateful trip to go shopping at their local shopping centre.
Two female army cadets changing vehicle tire

Cadets to Fight Discrimination Armed with Knowledge of Inclusion

It’s a lesson we could all learn, but for Army Cadets on the North Coast, it’s a lesson they are hearing loud and clear; everyone, no matter their story, plays important roles in our community. As part of an education campaign run by Far North Coast Ability Links, cadets from around the Tweed Shire gained valuable insights into the importance of inclusion and understanding their own values and beliefs. Army cadet, Fred Fewtrill said that the program had changed the way he thought about discrimination and given him the tools to stand against it. “I could always see the discrimination but I didn’t know ways to manage it,” Fred said. “A lot of the times I couldn’t see myself doing... View Article
Karen Perry resting against a wall holding Hearing Loop notification cardsKaren Perry resting against a wall holding Hearing Loop notification cards

Hearing the Accessibility Message

For most people going to the movies, catching a train or visiting the local council office isn’t something that’s thought twice about. However, for people with a hearing impairment, it can be a very different and sometimes challenging experience. It’s a challenge that Karen Perry, a North West Alliance Linker with lived experience of hearing impairment, knows all too well, and something she is trying to change. “I’ve been to training days where I’ve been unable to hear, I’ve missed a plane because the boarding gate was changed and I didn’t hear it and I’ve gotten off a train at the wrong station and had to go all the way back to where I came from,” Karen explains. Through her role with Ability Links, Karen works with local and regional businesses, as well as community groups to increase their capacity to support people with hearing impairments.
Jennifer at TAFE

Jennifer’s story

Click on the link below to see the latest video featuring Jennifer who has received support through Ability Links via her Linker Mark Eather. It's an inspiring story of how one of our Ability Links participants followed her dream to study art at TAFE and exhibit her work among other Northern Rivers artists. Thanks to Brendan Shoebridge for his fantastic job of taking the footage and editing it for us. Feel free to take a look and forward on to anyone you think might be interested.
Ken smiling at camera in an akubra

Ken’s story in song

Ken had lost one of his arms in a motorcycle accident 25 years ago. Since recovering he has written over 300 songs but had never known anyone to put music with the songs. The Linker made contact with the music community and found Michael who offered to record Ken’s music using iPhone. Ken has trouble working technology so the Linker supported him to record his songs and send them to Michael. In his spare time, Michael records different versions of the music for Ken’s feedback. Ken had also been unable to find work since his accident, and his Linker put him in contact with Glen Industries where he secured a position in the woodwork workshop.  Glen Industries have since added... View Article
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North West Alliance

North West Alliance