Ausnew Home Care | After a decade of going it alone, Randyn is finally

After a decade of going it alone, Randyn is finally getting the help he needs

disability Disability Employment Services disability law disability stereotypes intellectual disability Living With a Disability NDIS NDIS Aged Care Approved no ‘dis’ in disability. Seeing the ability in disability umbrella of disability

Sweat beads drip from Randyn Kitchener's face as he rakes leaves in the garden of Kowanyama's aged care centre in 40-degree heat.

But he couldn't be happier.

It's been a rough decade for Randyn, but he thinks his life has finally turned a corner.

"I feel more independent," he said.

A car crash in 2009 left him with a brain injury and chronic pain; for a while it sent him down a dark path.

"It was letting me down, I was feeling down."

Two years ago, Randyn finally received the help he needed when a specialised support service arrived in the remote Cape York township through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Since then, he's started physical therapy and volunteering at the aged care centre.

A man stands and trims another man's hair, who is seated in front of him. Ausnew Home Care, NDIS registered provider, My Aged Care
Ian Brown says support in communities like Kowanyama needs to be multifaceted.(ABC Far North: Holly Richardson)

A focus on culture

Team leader Ian Brown said cultural needs were central to the disability service.

"It does help a lot; being an Indigenous man myself, I basically already have that connection … and I know what they need culturally."

Randyn mowing
Randyn hopes he'll soon get a paid job and return to the footy field.(ABC Far North: Holly Richardson)

Mr Brown said reconnecting Randyn with elders and the wider community was just as important as his physical therapy.

"I see huge improvements with Randyn; he's coming to work every day, he loves coming in, helping the old people.

"That wouldn't have been him a year or two ago.

Randyn agreed that the connections he had made had improved his motivation.

"That keeps me going, when I'm speaking to them, that lifts me up in a way too."

Many forms of culturally focused care

Fellow client Arnold Possum's life changed when he returned to his traditional land on Wallaby Island earlier this year.

It was the first time in decades he had set foot on country where he grew up.

"I just said to myself, 'Wow, I'm back again, in my home … where my Dad and my Mum grew up," he said.

"Now, I've seen my homeland, such a beautiful country and I've been overwhelmed."

Two men sit in a small metal boat, pointing out over blue waters
Wallaby Island is a remote spot on the western side of Cape York.(Supplied: Kowanyama Rangers)

Arnold made the journey with local Indigenous rangers, including senior ranger Fitzroy Lawrence.

Mr Lawrence said it was the first time the rangers had worked on such a project with the NDIS.

"I saw a lot of joy, a sort of healing process Arnold was going through as we were approaching Wallaby Island," he said.

"I've seen a lot of that in Arnold on that day, just the joy and the happiness he had."

An older man sits in front of two rangers, in the shade of a tree
Wallaby Island is difficult to access and Arnold had not been back in decades.(ABC Far North: Holly Richardson)

Mr Brown said the transformation in clients was remarkable. 

"You do see huge changes; after Arnold going out on country and him coming back into town and his whole perception on everything, it just changed.

"Going back on country … it gets him back on, resets your mind and your body."

He said while funding was always uncertain, he was hopeful many more locals would be able to receive assistance with a similar focus.


Source: ABC

Older Post Newer Post