Actor, writer, At Home Care Grants panelist, disability advocate; Emily certainly knows how to keep busy!
If you’re one of our long-standing supporters, you may remember Emily as one of Youngcare’s first New South Wales At Home Care Grant recipients. At 20 years old at the time, Emily was struggling to find her independence and needed an automatic front door opener and a manual wheelchair to help with her mobility and access.
“It was really quite life-changing, because I was unable to be at home by myself and the automatic door led me to have more time by myself. It allowed my parents to go out and not have to be so worried. The manual wheelchair can’t be understated because it helps with travel. I have friends in Brisbane which I couldn’t see if it wasn’t for the manual wheelchair,” she said.
Almost ten years on and Emily is still using the wheelchair regularly; a simple gift that has impacted her quality of life in unimaginable ways! The generosity of Youngcare supporters has helped to launch Emily into adulthood with confidence and independence.
So, where is she now? As well as doing some work for the Youngcare team writing policy submissions and sitting on the At Home Care Grant panels, Emily has excelled in the screen and theatre industry.
“My association with Youngcare has been on-going, I sit on the At Home Care Grants panel. I’ve been given these wonderful opportunities, I know first-hand what a difference it can make and it’s fairly magical to be able to give that to someone else,”
“I’m an artist, I’ve made a few films, I’ve written a play that premiered last year.”
Her latest film Groundhog Night, which she wrote and stars in, has been selected for the Sydney Film Festival, you can watch the trailer here www.youtube.com/watch?v=770hJQKk1x0
“It’s a comedic approach to the ups and downs of living with disability and the wide-ranging impact that can have on family relationships. It is by no means a true story, but it’s kind of based on a lot of elements from my own life and I even like to describe it as a love letter to my family and our dynamics.”
As a disability advocate Emily recognises that people with disabilities are hugely underrepresented in the media. She is working hard at changing that!
“Hopefully when people see this film they either think about disability in a new light, or they see themselves and their experiences represented in it. I hope that it opens up opportunities for other people with disabilities to see what I’ve done and see what is possible for them to do as well.”
To YOU, the people who made her life that little bit easier through the grants, Emily would like to say this:
“I think about all the people Youngcare supporters help and for a lot of us it’s the difference between having a good quality of life and not, and you can’t put a price on that. So I would just say THANK YOU. You may never know the full extent of what your impact has been, but I can tell you, it is life-changing.”