You haven’t seen happiness until you’ve seen the look on Michael’s face when he gets to sit behind the drum kit… | Michael’s Story
By Interchange Australia Marketing Coordinator Ainslie Hiebert
Michael is a go getter. He doesn’t let his disabilities limit him, and his clear passion for music drives him to get whole heartedly involved in the various music programs that Interchange offers. Michael has been a member of Interchange Australia’s original rock band “The Hidden Wonders” for many years now, and in that time his love for percussion has only grown. You haven’t seen happiness until you’ve seen the look on Michael’s face when he gets to sit behind the drum kit at band practice and play as loudly as he can. He barely even looks down at the drums as he’s busy yelling for his friends to watch as he proudly shows off his skills.
Michael also attends Day Options at Travis House in Bowral, and in the music mania program there he really lights up. Each week he borrows a music DVD from Travis House, and brings it back the next week to swap for a new one. Whenever it’s his turn to choose the song they play together it’s never hard to guess what he will choose – as a lover of the country classics it’s always Slim Dusty’s ‘Duncan’. Walking into the room at Day Options during Music Mania is like walking into a room of joy where everyone there is having fun, support workers and clients alike. Music really is the language of everyone – that crosses the divide of age and disability, and allows our clients for whom communication is difficult to be themselves in a free and expressive way.
Music isn’t the only thing that brings a smile to Michael’s face, he also loves participating in the Garden Gurus program. He can be quite unsteady on his feet and requires a walker to safely get around, but this doesn’t stop him gettting into the garden and helping out. This term they have been growing their own herbs from seed in their own personally decorated pots, and now they are making use of our brilliant new raised accessible garden beds, perfect for wheelchairs or for those who can’t easily bend down to the ground. It’s always a joy to see Michael get involved across our whole curriculum, and his positive attitude is an inspiration to the others, encouraging others to not let their disabilities limit them from getting the most out of life.