I’m a natural born leader. It was at school, when I realised I enjoyed supporting other young people, whether it be in sports, or with their homework. Whatever was needed I put my energy into others around me with the aim of reducing the pressure and stress of school and life.
A chance meeting with an amazing young woman, heavily involved with fundraising paved the way for me to carry the baton and by the age of 19 I had cast my sights on the national Crossing Borders Camp for young Deaf Australians.
As a two-time leader of the camp I can honestly attest to the amazing experience it brings. Although I represented New South Wales, state borders were merely labels in these bi-annual gatherings, where young people inherit leadership skills from veteran leaders.
Suddenly the world stage beckoned. My successful submission to accompany two young people to the Junior Camp of the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section came in 2013. The event left a profound impact on my psyche and I was hooked! Meeting so many new people, using an array of different languages and experiencing a multitude of new cultures gave me the drive to inject changes to my home environment.
Luckily I wasn’t the only one who had mountains to climb. Joining forces with other similar minds made possible the founding of Deaf Youth Australia where I have served as a committee member, secretary and president until December 2018.
Having moved on from DYA I proudly reflect on the support we gave to young Deaf people through fundraising, arranging events and being a beacon of hope to which they can aspire.