Queenslanders leading by inspiration

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Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Desley Boyle

Queenslanders leading by inspiration

Logan's Michael Heynatz and Woodridge's Jenna Kitt are among 12 Queenslanders chosen to share their inspirational stories in a 2010 Bligh Government calendar creating greater awareness about issues people with a disability face.

Acting Disability Services Minister Desley Boyle congratulated the residents who appear in the free 2010 Share Your Story calendar and she encouraged Queenslanders to show their support by obtaining a copy.

"This is a truly motivating collection of stories from Queenslanders who are sharing not only their experiences, but their triumphs and achievements as well," Ms Boyle said.

"We always get a great response to our request for stories, and Michael and Jennea's are both great inclusions in the 2010 calendar."

Michael, who is featured in the month of April, is a little boy who has well and truly beaten the odds according to his mother Carmen.

Five years ago he contracted meningococcal and as a result he had both his legs amputated below the knees as well as many skin grafts.

"Michael has gone from strength to strength over the past year. When he started prep at Harris Fields State School I was so proud of him," Carmen said.

"He has even become 'famous' for his legs - he was asked to help launch the renovations to one of Logan's playgrounds that has been upgraded to an all abilities playground."

Jennea Kitt is a young woman working towards her dream of winning Paralympic gold hoping to make it to the 2012 Paralympics in the rowing team.

"My friends say to me people don't think there's anything wrong with you - they think you're normal," said Jenna.

"Well I am normal. I'm a normal 23-year-old. I just happen to have a form of albinism, which is quite rare in girls, that affects my sight.

"Moving to Queensland when I was about eight really changed things for me.

"I went to mainstream schools and did all the subjects eve ryone else did, with help from the teacher aides from the schools vision impaired units," she said.

Featured in the month of January, Jennea said she has had a disability all her life and that it is just one of those things and it doesn't worry her at all, she is to busy getting on with her life.

Member for Woodridge Desley Scott said Share Your Story gave people with a disability an opportunity to share their experiences, opinions, hopes and dreams.

"By sharing these stories, we encourage people to appreciate diversity in the community and to acknowledge our similarities as well as our differences," Ms Scott said.

Others featured in this year's calendar include a North Queensland man who lived his dream of learning to scuba dive, and a Kingaroy woman who regularly volunteers at a local hospital.

The free Share Your Story calendar is available from Department of Communities offices and Queensland Government Agent Program offices.

Calendar stories along with other stories submitted can also be viewed online at www.disabilty.qld.gov.au

Queensland Government, Disability, Home and Community Care, and Community Mental Health Services :
Sunshine Coast Office: Level 1, 12 King Street, Caboolture
07 5431 2230
1800 177 120
Queensland Government, Disability, Home and Community Care, and Community Mental Health Services

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