Diagnosed with a psychosocial disability in 1994 aged 25, I was able to start ECC in late 2017 after my self-managed Recovery journey had progressed slowly (“baby steps”) to the point where my situation had greatly improved. A late Autism Spectrum diagnosis in 2019 at the age of 50 has put a lot of those early struggles into perspective and informs the continuing process.
I started my formal studies and then work in this field later in life, first completing my Disability Certificate III in 2009 and then moving upwards eventually onto a degree in Social Science, specialising in Social Welfare. The habit of Praxis which I developed in these studies has continued to inform my holistic approach to the welfare of individuals in the context of Community with all the wider political and economic factors affecting this.
Living on the Disability Support Pension since diagnosis in 1994 I had first-hand experience and observation of many economic and societal challenges affecting the disadvantaged. It is now my passion to continue to serve and support others in what I believe comes from the unique place of having been through the process of identifying, evaluating, and successfully implementing the various strategies which supported me while propelling me on my journey of healing and growth.
These have led me to focus on issues of fostering community cohesion, nutritional health, and sustainable food security as fundamental to fostering well-being and resilience in times of stress be it individual or communal. To this end ECC is now implementing plans to provide quality environmentally sustainable food on a non-profit basis with a view to affordability. Priority will be to low-income households and individuals, with opportunities of greater discounts, social connection, and engagement for volunteer participants. This will be slowly developed on a new property near Bathurst, NSW.