• Certificate III Public Safety (PUA30400)
  •  Certificate III Storage and Distribution Warehousing
  •  Provide Training through Instruction and Demonstration (TAADEL301A)

Why I joined the Firstchance Board

A deeply personal need to help make things better for others” I have two boys, both “normal”, however, my youngest sees the world through a kaleidoscope while his brother uses a telescope.  Like most parents in our “situation”, I am as hands on as I can be with my sons’ therapies and have been lucky enough to be at some of his home therapies as well as attending in house group sessions at the Firstchance centre meeting some wonderful people along the way. 

Our family were first welcomed into the Firstchance family via the early intervention program when it was run out of Newcastle University.  Here like many other families, we met Darren and his band of magicians who held the hopes of parents in their hearts.  As well as helping my son to begin to flourish I witnessed other children who were closed off and non-verbal in groups come out of their shell and welcome others into their world. 

When we were finished with the program the transformations I witnessed were simply amazing, and cemented in my mind that Firstchance was the best place for our family to be for the journey ahead because lets’ face it, it’s not just our kids who get the therapy it’s the whole family (don’t tell NDIS). Skip forward a brief couple of years and we get an invite to SibsRule, and since my wife works nights I’m it (now I’m not much of a people person, but hey anything for my family). 

Catharina, Carolyn, Michelle the Firstchance staff facilitating the 8 week Sibsrule program made even this ‘ambivert’ feel accepted and valued of opinion. During the program I met Nicole a parent and one of the Firstchance staff. Within the group, we shared experiences raising children with needs alongside their siblings. From this when a position on the Board opened up Nicole contacted me and offered me the chance to meet with the board and apply to sit. With everything Firstchance has done for my family I felt that if this was my chance to help make life just that little bit better by offering my input then I’m going to grab it with both hands and enjoy the ride.

The skills I bring to the Board

Not too sure how to answer this one. I don’t really bring too many on paper quantifiable “skills” to the table. Other than 9 years currently as a father with a son on the Autism spectrum, I have over the past 24 years helped my wife provide irregular respite for her sister who has developmental delays and more recently research for my mother-in-law for my sister's other medical conditions which have begun to impact their lives. I provide research and advice to my own parents who live in Victoria, on mental and mobility support my mother can herself provide for my father who is living with both dementia and Parkinson’s. So I would have to break it down to passion. A passion to help, a passion to learn and a passion to impart knowledge onto others.