International Day of People with Disability 2019

The City of Joondalup is celebrating International Day of People with Disability by showcasing stories of people with disability who contribute to the diversity and strength of the Joondalup community.

The stories and images the City has collected will be displayed from Tuesday 3 December 2019 and will highlight achievements and contributions of the ‘person’, as opposed to celebrating the achievements of someone because they have a disability.

Clive

A love of drawing has resulted in a lifetime of storytelling through art. From the age of five Clive has been drawing pictures which tell the story of the places, people and animals that have been part of his life.

Clive is one of three sons born to English parents, the family moving to South Africa in the 1960s where Clive’s father, Fred, a world renowned geologist, worked for a number of mining companies. Clive and his brother, Ian, were both born with hearing and sight impairments and from the age of 4 and 4 ½ years-of-age they attended a specialist boarding school in Cape Town which supported children with disability.

It was at Boarding School over 50 years ago that Clive commenced his lifetime of art, inspired by letters sent to him by his father.  As the brothers couldn’t read, Fred would draw pictures which told the story of what he, their older brother and mother were doing.  Clive would then respond with his own letters filled with drawings.

The family returned to England in 1976, where Fred continued to work until he retired, and then relocated to Perth in 1988.  Ian and Clive continued to live with their parents. After their parents passed away, they were able to remain in the family home until 2014, with the dedicated support of their older brother. However, even with this support, the family decided to seek an alternative living arrangements due to Ian’s diminishing sight.

After researching the most suitable place for Clive and Ian to live,  Identitywa was identified as the best place and the brothers moved into a local house managed by  Identitywa where they continue to live.

The appreciation for Clive’s art,  and his profile as an artist,  have escalated over the past few years to a level which has seen him featured in exhibitions locally, around Australia, and internationally. His works have been in exhibited at LWAG (HERE&NOW13), Melbourne’s Alcaston Gallery (From The Outside, 2014) and Goldfields Arts Centre (Beyond The Western Edge, 2014). He has exhibited over 80 works at the Kunsthal Rotterdam with the Museum of Everything (2016) and one work in the Museum of Everything’s exhibition at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart (2017-18).

The University of Western Australia is currently featuring a series of Clive’s new drawings presented in partnership with DADAA (Disability in the Arts Disadvantage in the Arts).  These drawings were commissioned for the 2019 WINTERarts program.

 Clare

In early 2019, Mosaic Community Care was contacted by a young man who was concerned about his sister, Clare, in regional NSW. 39-year-old Clare lives with a disability and wanted to fly across the red centre to be closer to her brother and extended family and have the opportunity to live a supported independent life and involve herself in the local community.

Mosaic knew this move might be difficult but were keen to support her in her decision to relocate to Joondalup to be closer to family and live independently. Mosaic had only recently opened a home in Joondalup but it was currently empty and waiting for someone who would call the red brick, light-filled home that sat alongside one of Joondalup’s stunning nature reserves, home.

After an extended period of uncertainty, with Clare and family anxiously awaiting news, she was given the green light to relocate to WA. Her support worker from NSW worked with the team at Mosaic, flying over to WA with Claire to help with the transition into her new Joondalup home with a large accessible garden for her to enjoy.

Clare’s support worker and staff at Mosaic could see how important it was for her happiness to be surrounded by people who genuinely cared, particularly her family. Importantly for Claire was also a community which was accessible and inclusive. Clare is now an integral part of her brother’s weekly life, including seeing her sister-in-law, nieces and nephew.

Clare has become a part of the Joondalup community and is preparing to attend a local sports carnival for her nephew and visiting family regularly. These activities may seem like a small thing many of us take for granted, but finding somewhere to call home is pivotal to happiness and wellbeing.

It took the dedication of staff to prepare the home so it would be suitable for her needs, and work with her support worker so that she could be welcomed with full support. Clare is making friends and leaves a positive and bright impression on all she meets. She particularly enjoys having her hair and make-up done. Perhaps it is her big smile which is so endearing, something not as common when thousands of kilometres away from those she loves.

Daniel

Daniel is a young man living with Autism. He has an Italian heritage and cooking is his passion. EDGE Employment has supported Daniel in employment since 2016. When Daniel first came to EDGE he was asked  – what is your dream job? Without hesitation Daniel’s response was: “I want to be a proper cook or chef!”

Unfortunately, Daniel felt as though the barriers to his dream job were too high and too many. Daniel tried to complete a Cert III in food preparation at TAFE but struggled to maintain the learning pace that was expected of him. A college environment wasn’t for him: “I found it stressful; I was the only student with a disability. I was completely isolated.”

EDGE was able to support Daniel in an incredible traineeship opportunity, this exciting opportunity provided a slower paced learning environment in an Italian restaurant.

Daniel is now completing the traineeship at Tony’s Spaghetti Bar to become a qualified cook. He is loving it: “When I’m working at Tony’s Spaghetti Bar I feel like I’m working at my Nonna’s house – I’m home. I’m learning a lot in a small, calm kitchen. John (the owner) repeats the information lots of times for me so I can remember it.”

Daniel’s story has  taught the team at EDGE a valuable lesson. They have learnt that sometimes life doesn’t track the way we expect or want, sometimes we must make our own path to reach our goals.