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Catrin is going for gold

Jun 12 2019

Whether swimming for Australia or working towards a fulfilling career, Catrin Culla is determined to make her dreams come true.

The 19-year-old from Carindale is achieving big things in the water, having represented Australia at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi in March.

Walking away with two medals, including a gold for the 50 metre freestyle event, Catrin – who has Down syndrome – first decided to take up the sport more than three years ago to help build her strength and provide mental stimulation.

But it is Catrin’s determination to find work that is her latest passion.

The recent school-leaver has started a program preparing her for work using funding available through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES), an early intervention approach for Year 12 school leavers to support their transition from school to employment, aims to help build the skills and confidence of NDIS participants in areas where they feel they need help.

Using this funding, Catrin attends a local disability service provider four days a week to further her skills to find a job, including completing resumes and doing work experience.

Catrin said she loves drama and acting and is learning more about the creative industries while there.

“Learning new things for me is exciting and sometimes challenging, but I always love having a go and I am hoping that someone in the future will help me achieve my dreams,” Catrin said.

Her desire to work with children is also important to Catrin as she has already completed work experience as a teacher aide in a Prep classroom.

She said she is excited to have the chance to undertake formal study to become a teacher’s aide in the future.

“I have always wanted to work with younger children. I love playing games and helping them read and make good decisions.”

Catrin also accesses other supports through the NDIS, including allied health professionals and a carer to help build her capacity for shopping and learning more about managing a budget.

She has received assistance to apply for and implement her plan from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Brisbane region.

“Without the NDIS it would be hard for me to continue to do all these activities,” Catrin said.

Catrin’s Mum, Michelle, is grateful for what the NDIS has already helped provide for her daughter.

“It has given her independence; she is capable but she just needs help. The NDIS is about everything she can do and how they can help her with that.”

Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for the Scheme and to help you get started with your NDIS plan.

If you’re not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can also help you identify and link to options in your community.

To find out more about how the NDIS can work for you, visit Carer’s Queensland NDIS Local Area Coordinator Partner in the Community Program for the Brisbane region at Garden City Office, Building 20, Level 1, 2404 Logan Road, Eight Mile Plains or call 3719 9600.