On April 11, 2017 I was honoured to receive a New Zealand Youth Award for Youth with a Disability for my contribution to the disability sector and my community. The award ceremony took place in Parliament in Wellington and I was presented with my award by the Minister of Youth, Nikki Kaye.
I was also honoured to be asked to speak. In addition to thanking everyone I said this:
I want to change people’s attitude towards disability so that society focuses on what we can do and not on what we can’t.
I have been brought up to believe that anything is possible, but I still face some challenges in life. So often people with disabilities need to fight even harder to achieve their goals.
We want to have the same opportunities as everyone, but often we need support – from our families, schools, communities, and government, so we can live a life we are capable of living.
If I can be a leader in the community, inspiring others and showing what is possible with the right kind of support and the right kind of attitude, then that would be great.
We create a better society when we are all able to be the best we can be. We all have the potential to positively impact the world.
One of my favourite quotes is: “When you have a dream, don’t let anything dim it. Keep hoping, keep trying, the sky is the limit”