5 July 2024

"Jermaine travels back to Country every two months."

Image: Warren and Jermaine at a community event, smiling at the camera.

When Warren’s housemate moved out, he joined his long-time friend Jermaine in the suburb of Rosebery, just outside Darwin in the Northern Territory. Jermaine has lived there with supports from Life Without Barriers for over five years. 

Warren is a Yolŋu man from Milingimbi Island (Yurruwi). In 2023, Life Without Barriers supported his return to Milingimbi to reconnect with his community and family members. He keeps in touch with his sister in Milingimbi and his aunt in Tennant Creek through regular phone calls. 

Image: Warren and Jermaine with another individual, standing in front of a road sign.

"Warren also enjoys connecting with his culture through his artwork, dance, and music. He is an accomplished artist and enjoys attending his weekly workshops at the Arts Access studio in Darwin," said Sandar, Disability Support Leader.

Arts Access Darwin (AAD) provides arts-based workshops, professional development opportunities, and produces events inclusive of people with disability. AAD partners with disability service providers and arts organisations to increase access to, and participation in, the arts for people with disability in Darwin.

Image: Warren and Jermaine stand either side of a kangaroo statue.

Jermaine’s origins are from the remote town of Gunbalanya in Arnhem Land.

"The Life Without Barriers' support team helps Jermaine travel back to Country every two months. He loves to get back to his roots and spend time with siblings and other community members," shared Sandar.

Warren has encouraged Jermaine to explore their mutual cultural heritage, and together they have enjoyed many cultural experiences. Jermaine has been very supportive of Warren’s desire to improve his mobility and walk without his walker. He is with Warren every step of the way, tying his shoelaces when Warren is unsteady. At home, they share household duties, cleaning the house, washing and folding laundry, and helping staff pack away grocery deliveries.

Their days are filled with community activities. They enjoy shopping at the mall, visiting nature parks like Howard Springs and East Point, attending AFL matches, the Noonamah Rodeo, or fishing at Elizabeth River. Recently, they attended the Barunga Festival, a celebration of Indigenous music, culture, and sport.

Image: Warren and Jermaine stand in the crowd at a local sporting event.

Warren, with support from his team, has become a bit of a whizz on YouTube. Passionate about his cultural heritage, he saw the event promoted on YouTube and expressed his interest in attending. Sandar quickly took action.

"When Warren mentioned he wanted to go to the Barunga Festival, I immediately looked it up and saw it was only a few days away. I knew we had to act quickly." Said Sandar.

"Warren and Jermaine were able to attend and enjoy the festival."

Image: Warren and Jermaine sitting in camp chairs under a tree.

Warren and Jermaine had a wonderful time at the festival connecting with culture. Jermaine also got to see his brother, who had travelled from Gunbalanya in Arnhem Land.

We are committed to Reconciliation

Learn more about our commitment to Reconciliation through our Reconciliation Action Plan

Related Stories