The exhibition is a showcase of 20 local Toowoomba residents all living with disabilities, as large black and white portraits, accompanied by candid profiles that provide an insight into the hopes, dreams and interests of each individual. The exhibition not only marks the beginning of National Disability Action Week, but also celebrates the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Ms Coral Smith a local featured in the exhibition, expressed her pride in being featured as well as the experience of being photographed by a professional photographer in a studio environment. “I work at the op shop, Collectables, two days a week, and that makes me very happy”, Ms Smith said. “My job is to clean the shop, sweep the floor, look after the money, and help people. I don’t feel nervous while I’m working, just good.”
Launching at the Toowoomba Library, the exhibition exists to show the wider community that residents living with a disability, also have dreams and aspirations, that they are keen to achieve.
Also appearing in the exhibition, alongside his fox terrier, Rocky, Mr Tony Town expressed his hopes for his future. “One day I would like to travel”, said Mr Town. “But only if I can take Rocky! He is my best friend. Every morning he barks to wake me up and then he licks my face.”
The launch event will also play host to guest speaker, Mr Huy Nguyen, who will share his story about becoming a humanitarian engineer, social entrepreneur, and traveller, against the backdrop of suffering from polio, since 18 months of age. Mr Nguyen has won numerous awards, including ACT Young Australian of the Year (2014), the Australian Disability Award (2014), and the Australian National University Young Alumnus of the Year (2014).
Words By Matt Taylor
Image Supplied by Heather Smith