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Movies, mates and music for Luke

Jan 10 2020

When Luke Barrett moved to McDowall from Lismore several years ago, he struggled to meet new friends in the city.

Now, with support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Luke, who has a moderate intellectual disability, has found a day program where he can socialise and explore his interests.

Luke is a massive music fan with a passion for performing and listening to his favourite tracks.

“I love music. I like anything from the 60s, 70s and 80s, country, rock and pop,” he said.

Attending the Street to Rock program at HELP Enterprises one day a week, Luke has taken part in a series of live performances with his friends from the program.

“We go out around town and sing. We had a concert underneath the story bridge,” said Luke.

“That was for HELP’s 50th birthday. We changed the lyrics to the Beatles song HELP.

“We have also gone out to Nundah to do a public performance and to Petrie town.”

Luke has also been honing his singing skills at a weekly karaoke performance.

“They do karaoke in the afternoon which Luke absolutely loves,” said Luke’s mother, Robyn.

Luke’s other favourite pastimes are watching movies and playing video games.

With the rest of his mates at HELP, Luke has been involved in the production of a short film.

“We are making a movie. My character is trying not to be late for work. The movie is about telling people not to drink and ride trains.

“There are a few people working with cameras. People have come to teach us about making a movie.”

When he isn’t singing or acting, Luke can be found volunteering his time at Lifeline.

“I volunteer at Lifeline one day a week. I do whatever they need me to do. Sometimes they get me to take the trollies out to the donations truck.”

Robyn said the NDIS had provided Luke with lots of new opportunities.

“For Luke, it has been a great outlet. The program he is in is with 20 and 30-year-olds. They are age-appropriate and it gives him somewhere to go to socialise.

“With travel training, he goes to the gym, and to the movies or the city, this helps him interact with people.”

“Luke’s independence has really improved, and he really likes living here now.”

Luke is supported on his NDIS journey by Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community program in the Brisbane region and his Local Area Coordinator Rose, who helps him access and implement his funding.

“We have been really grateful, Rose, our LAC has been fantastic and has given us a lot of help. It is a great program, it has been great and he just loves it,” said Robyn.

For more information about the NDIS or how to access it, please contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or cq.enquiries@ndis.gov.au