“I’ve written a children’s book,” Julie tells us at the very beginning of our phone interview.
Her manuscript, which has the working title How to Charm Birds, is based on her experiences of the last three years.
The book is also the result of NDIS support. “I had extra funding for capacity building, so I used it to enroll in a one-day course on how to write a children’s book.”
In How to Charm Birds, a child befriends the birds who visit her balcony.
Julie herself is a big fan of her feathered friends, who visit her often.
“I have mental health issues and I was immunocompromised, so during lockdown I just stayed in my apartment, by my balcony,” she shares. “The events in the book are taken from my own life. I still have a great bag of bird seed to feed the birds.”
A mother, Julie says she wrote “to write for my inner child, and for my own child, too.”
“I’ve had a horrendous life journey,” Julie shares. “I had a horrific childhood, lots of trauma and abuse.”
But things are changing for the better.
Positive life changes
“I experienced lots of positive changes in the last four to five years, including getting on the NDIS and getting my first carers from Afea. I’ve experienced homelessness in the past as well, so my little apartment unit is a blessing.”
Julie found Afea after a bad interaction with another provider.
“So I looked for another and that’s how I ended up with Afea. I remember being very impressed. The Team Leader at the time came over to meet me. They were very, very professional. Afea has always struck me as trustworthy with very high standards.”
A good match
She also likes that the Afea team can take the pressure and stress from her if she wants to change her carers. “If there’s a carer who I think is not a good match, I just tell Afea and they can handle all of that for me.”
She considers her current support worker a good match. “We’re close in age and I get along really well with her.”
Afea Support Coordination
In addition to in-home and community care services, Julie also receives support coordination services from Afea. She works with Afea Support Coordinator, Jessica. “Jess is good. If there’s a problem, she’s very good in solving it.”
“Everything for Julie is implemented and up to date now, so it’s just a matter of working with her to keep track of her NDIS plan budget and check in with her regarding her providers,” Jessica shares. “We want to ensure Julie is happy with their services and funds are allocated accordingly.”
As Support Coordinator, Jessica connects Julie with her Exercise Physiologist, keeping track of Julie’s progress, reports, support letters and recommendations.
“I informed Julie that she had the opportunity to increase her exercise physio sessions as funds were available, and she is now getting more out of that funding category and services.”
Jessica organises Julie’s other allied health services and conducts regular check-ins with her care team at Afea to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Accomplishing her dreams
As part of her capacity building, Julie and her carer look for community centres in her local area, “so now I know where they are.”
“It became this ongoing hobby for me, as community centres offer different courses.”
Julie’s ultimate dream is to be a published author and is currently on the lookout for an artist with disability who can collaborate with her.
“I wrote the book to demonstrate that people with disability can do things, that we’re still here to accomplish our dreams,” she said.
Contact Afea Care Services
Jessica and our team of support coordinators are friendly, dependable and are experts in finding the best providers suited to your needs. If you want to know more, reach out to our team of experts by calling 1300 65 11 33 or filling out our form.