6 July 2022

Access to a specially modified vehicle helps John to stay connected to his family and his culture.

A young Aboriginal man wearing a black t shirt is sitting at a table and smiling at the camera.

Everyone has their own unique story to tell - today, meet John. John*, a young Aboriginal man that we support has a strong connection to his birth family thanks to the support of his Carer, Serah.

When John is around his siblings, the big smile on his face, his constant laughter that rings out in the room, and his general high spirits are all clues that he is in his happy place. It is one of the reasons why Serah takes special care to make sure that John and his brother Jerry keep up their connection with their birth family.

John has five siblings in total. He lives with physical and cognitive disabilities, uses a wheelchair, and does not speak. When he visits his family, they like to make a big fuss over him.

As well as maintaining a connection to his family, the visits are good for John’s wellbeing. It is a place he is familiar with, and importantly, it gives him a sense of belonging and supports him to feel connected to the country on Dharawal land.

In order to travel, John needs a specially modified vehicle, which Serah uses to take him places- including his much-loved visits to family. John turned 18 last year, which meant he would move into different accommodation and lose access to the vehicle.

Knowing how important it is for John to have suitable transport to maintain his family visits, Kate Goodwin from Life Without Barriers' Sydney Aboriginal Family Care team, advocated for the transfer of the vehicle to him. And she was successful.

Thanks to the gift of this vehicle, Serah is able to keep bringing John back home to see his family and keep his precious family connection alive.

The back of a large white van with a wheelchair being lifted into the van.

A persons' story is precious. We take story telling seriously. Sometimes people are able to tell their own story and we love that. We always make sure they give us their ok and we will always honour the trust placed in us to bring their story forward.

*Names have been changed to protect the children in this story.

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We believe that reconciliation must live in the hearts and minds of all Australians. Learn more about how we’re raising awareness.

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