Our inspiration – Shevaune
How Shevaune spurred the nation into action
It was one couple’s struggle to find dignified and appropriate care that inspired the formation of Youngcare in 2005. Shevaune Conry had multiple sclerosis and required full-time complex and high care.
By the age of 33, she had reached a stage of illness where her beloved husband David was no longer able to safely care for at home. Shevaune and David were faced with agonizing decision for Shevaune to move out of their home and move into aged care, because it was the only place that could provide for her care needs and simply, no other alternative was available.
Shocked by the massive gap in care provision and the injustice of the situation, David and his three mates – Matthew Lawson, Nick Bonifant and Simon Lockyer – vowed to change the system. They set out to create a brighter future for Shevaune and the thousands of other young Aussies like her. And so Youngcare was born.
When Shevaune and David courageously shared their story in a television documentary, it struck a chord with the nation. The next day David was inundated by offers of support and contacted by hundreds of people in similar situations having experienced inequality, hoping Youngcare could help them. The issue was bigger, broader and more complex than they could have ever imagined.
From then on, David and Youngcare committed to bringing national awareness to the issue and delivering housing and programs to help young people live young lives.
The support they received from businesses, government, and the community as a result led to the construction of Youngcare’s first ever development at Sinnamon Park, Brisbane.
Shevaune was one of the first residents when the Youngcare Wesley Mission Brisbane Apartments at Sinnamon Park opened in 2007. She lived there until her death in 2012 aged just 40.
Everything Youngcare has done, or will do in the future will be guided by Shevaune’s wishes or what she could have benefited from to make her life better and subsequently the lives others.
Shevaune’s legacy lives on through Youngcare’s programs, and the Youngcare Founders brave actions cast light on a previously hidden problem. Shevaune brought new hope to families, showing that it is possible to offer choice, independence and dignity to young people with high care needs.