Multicap’s Disability Support Worker Robbie, aged 25 years old, describes the past three years working at Multicap’s Mount Ommaney Hub as an absolute life changer.
Originally from New Zealand, Robbie’s family moved to Australia, first to Melbourne and then Brisbane just over 20 years ago. Robbie the eldest of three boys, has right sided hemiplegia which impacts movement in his right hand, in particular his fine motor skills.
Robbie explains that his early experience with his disability was more than a physical challenge.
“I’m no stranger to the side effects of having a disability,” said Robbie. “Anxiety in all of its forms, but in particular social anxiety and social performance, made me very hesitant to try new things for fear of judgment,” Robbie said.
“Working at Multicap has given me confidence to not worry about my disability.
“I owe a massive part of what I have achieved and where I am today to my caring and persistent parents that forced me to take on challenges rather than leave me to my own devices – technology and other anti-social tendencies,” he said.
Robbie has achieved remarkable achievements representing Australia and travelling not only throughout Australia but also Ukraine and England playing soccer for the Australian Paralympic Football team.
Robbie explains that working at Multicap has been a journey of not only learning new skills but also self-development that has managed his anxiety in a safe environment and fostered more confidence in social situations.
“My parents raised me to not let my disability hold me back and working at Multicap has reinforced that I don’t need to be embarrassed or worry about my disability.
“The team that I’m working with at Multicap are the best bunch of people I have ever worked with – supportive, understanding, humorous, light-hearted, playful but professional,” said Robbie.
In his spare time, Robbie enjoys creating 3D objects and is currently working on a psychology project with university students from Scotland and USA to develop a video game that features an environment for a social gathering of people.
Robbie explains that he is especially interested in the creative arts industry.
“I’m passionate about virtual reality for people with disability and those that have social anxiety as it has really helped me practice socialising in a safe environment.
“Having a disability helps me to better support people with disability because I have insight into how they feel and I’m a big believer in encouraging them to push themselves to ‘give things a go’ and develop skills to be as independent as possible and live a happy life,” he said.
Robbie is currently focussing on developing skills to become independent and is working on obtaining his driver’s licence in the coming weeks, and plans to purchase his first car and find his own place eventually.
Before obtaining a casual DSW position at Multicap in 2019, Robbie participated in the Queensland Governments Skilling Queenslanders for Work course to obtain his Certificate III in Individual Support.