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Intro: Choice and Control, a podcast celebrating people with disability. In this season we're talking about access, inclusion, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This podcast series is brought to you by Carers Queensland, NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community.
00:00:23 Jodie van de Wetering: G'day, I'm Jodie van de Wetering. Today we're talking to Martin Broad. Martin comes from Springsure, it's about four hours southwest of Rockhampton in the Central Highlands region. Today Martin's a public speaker, using his experiences and his big bush larrikin personality to educate people about disability and about the dangers of alcohol and risk-taking behaviour. This is a particular issue for Martin because back in the day, when he was a younger bloke, he scored himself a very well-paid job out in the mines in the Northern Territory. And he celebrated getting that job by going and playing up a bit. And that's when his life changed forever.
01:02 Martin Broad: I went out, and I got a bit drunk. I didn’t have my key to get into my house with me, but I always had my back door open because it was on the seventh floor. And who’d try to climb onto a seventh floor balcony? Well, I did.
I slipped and I fell seven floors. That’s why I have an acquired brain injury, because I fell seven floors. I’m lucky to be alive.
01:23 Jodie: After the accident, what was the process of recovering like?
01:26 Martin: They sent the best doctor in the state up to work on me. He was flown up from Brisbane. I was in hospital for about two or three months, and when I came to I couldn't walk so I had to go in a wheelchair for a couple of months. I was told ‘you won’t be allowed out of hospital until you can walk, and look after yourself’ pretty much.
Once I was told what I had to do, that was my focus. That was all my focus was, getting better so I could get out of that place. Who wants to be in hospital? Nobody wants to be in hospital. I was just very determined to get out of there, so that’s what I did. I had to get better.
02:05 Jodie: What’s life like these days, Martin?
02:07 Martin: Actually it’s pretty good these days. They didn’t think I’d ever work again, so I got paid out my superannuation. Luckily I’d worked long and hard enough that I had good super, so I had enough money in my super account to buy a house. So now I’m a homeowner, and the best thing is no debt, I don’t have to pay off a loan. And I’m still a young fellow, so I'm still happy.
Right now as you’re talking to me I’m at a respite service in Emerald, and mate, they’ve been a Godsend. They’re my home away from home. Because of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, they allow me to come into Emerald two nights a week, three days a week. This is my home away from home, and I love it. I’m very happy with it.
02:52: Jodie: What support do you get through the NDIS? You get the time in Emerald, and there's also therapy and ongoing support like that?
03:00 Martin: I get gym twice a week, and physio once a week. Gym’s good because before my accident I used to be a pretty fit and strong bloke. I’ve never worked behind a desk. Being back at the gym is good to get that fitness back into you, get some strength into you. Me getting fit again will take years, so it’s something I can look forward to, getting better all the time.
One thing I did recently, I actually ended up getting my drivers licence back. I can’t drive a manual, but driving an automatic, who cares? Most cars are automatic these days.
03:40 Jodie: That’s a huge deal living in Springsure and coming into Emerald, because there's not a lot of options as far as public transport out that way.
03:48 Martin: My mum's getting on a bit too now, and it’s hard for me to force it onto Mum to provide transport to get me in there all the time. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my own car shortly, so that hassle will be off Mum’s shoulders. I do want to be independent again, I want to be as normal as possible, like I used to be.
04:10 Jodie: Martin's now sharing his experiences through his new-found role as a public speaker educating other people about disability and about the dangers of alcohol and risky behaviour, starting with one of the groups maybe most at risk of that: school leavers.
04:36 Martin: The important thing is to learn about not getting this way yourself. I’ve started off with schoolkids, year 12 students. I started talking to them about eight years ago in Emerald.
Don't be silly around alcohol. I see it on the news every year that kids do silly things down in the big cities, fall off buildings and everything, do big damage to themselves. I’m trying to stop that from happening.
One school in particular in Emerald, Marist College, they’ve been getting me to talk to them every year for the last eight years. This year  was especially good, the kids were very involved and they were asking me great questions.
05:06 Jodie: Having that message come from someone who's lived through it, and someone who's local, would make a big impact on the kids too?
05:16 Martin: That’s what I thought too. If someone had said to me when I was in high school ‘don’t do this, don’t do that’, I’d probably think about alcohol differently, because I'm actually someone who’s been there and done it, and lived to tell the tale. The message comes with a lot more strength from someone who’s actually lived through it, hopefully it means a bit more coming from me.
05:39 Jodie: What's next for you now, Martin? What plans have you got for the future?
05:45 Martin: I went and spoke to our local Member about getting my talks out there further, because I’m only doing them locally at the moment. My problem is finding someone to sponsor me to do it. That's all I need. I’m confident in being able to provide a good service, I just have to get my talks out there so people know more about it.
Me being a motivational speaker, I actually have my own business cards. Because I have an acquired brain injury, which is called an ABI, I called it Actually Bloody Incredible. And that's what I am. I'm Actually Bloody Incredible.
06:32 Outro: Thanks for joining us at Choice and Control, a Carers Queensland podcast. For more information about Carers Queensland, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, or the Local Area Coordination Program, please contact us online at www.carersqld.com.au.
Or you can catch up with us on Facebook, search for ‘Carers Queensland NDIS’.
This podcast is a place for people with disability to share experiences, stories, and achievements. If you have a story you think we should know about, please contact us through the Carers Queensland inquiries line on 1300 999 636, or email email@example.com.
Until next time, thanks for listening.