creative kids as fearless leaders of an inclusive future.
When you and I
were growing up, education lead towards vocations.
(Do you want to be a doctor, teacher, vet, artist, astronaut?)
But tomorrow's world
To survive and thrive our kids will need skills of collaborative creativity
driven by diversity and inclusion.
We are sisters,
Alison and Joanne,
Conventional education separated our journeys.
But community brought us back, to explore a new way.
Now i want to inspire families everywhere to create more inclusion for kids with disabilities."
As parents, we see
our little ones’ lives speeding by.
will they grow up with a
Will they live a life of
purpose driven by genuine passion?
we want to hear your ideas.
I grew up on a wheat farm near Bruce Rock, 3 hours away from Perth (Western Australia), with 3 siblings - a brother and 2 sisters.
Life was tough when I was a little girl!
Doctors told my parents that I will never be able to read and write. I think it's because I got extra help at home and extra support at school that I can do those things now.
The Mums from Bruce Rock volunteered to help me with my school work for 1 or 2 hours a day for my whole schooling in Bruce Rock.
At the end of year 10, I went to a Special Ed unit at Sacred Heart College in Perth and boarded there. It was very hard for my parents to do it, but they knew I couldn't just stay at home. It was the best thing they ever did for me.
When I finished high school at Sacred Heart, I then moved in with my sisters in a house in Perth.
I'm pretty confident to look after myself.
I love socialising and making new friends.
When I started working for Worksafe, I had a employment agent (Bizlink) come in to visit me every week for 1 hour to see how I was going. After I got more confident, they only came every 2nd week.
I resigned from Worksafe when I was 4 months pregnant and had a lovely baby boy, who is now 7.
I suffered depression most of my life and always took medication.
One day I decided to start weaning myself off the tablets and now I'm a more positive person...
I now go to the gym every day. I self-motivate myself to go.
I've traveled the world to Europe, Japan, and often go to Sydney and Melbourne to visit family members.
I am a determined person. I never give up on things.
I always get the results I want, even if it might take a little longer for me.
I live independently and am bringing up my son on my own.
I have an online craft shop on Etsy. I'm also creating my homemade craft goods.
Now I am running my own business with my sister Jo.
Hi, I'm Joanne.
When I was a kid, I was pretty good at translating what Ali was saying to other people. And I also loved helping to tutor her at home after school.
We lived on a farm where our parents taught us to make absolutely everything for ourselves. We took pride in wearing, eating, driving and playing with everything that was home-produced.
But when I grew up I struggled for years to grasp a sense of how to apply my creativity.
I had been recommended to follow a professional course of study based on my academic skills (for me, maths, art, physics), because that's what kids like me did, right?
I followed that path and became a dedicated - albeit frustrated - architecture academic, guiding students who were equally adrift for lack of empowerment to shape and innovate their future for the better.
Over the years it became clear to me that we'd all been worn down to an 'ideal mould' by years in the competitive academics system.
In that worldview, how we collaborate towards the greater good is far less important than how well we compete.
Breaks of light came when I travelled the world and created exciting collaborative workshops with others who were different to me.
Eventually, my stars began to align when I co-founded an innovation lab at the university where I worked, and as a collective we thrived on the diversity of interests, cultures and abilities that it attracted.
We discovered that solving problems with creativity and diversity is the key to innovation.
In fact, Wonderchums is like an innovation lab for kids; globally distributed and focused on disability inclusion.
We welcome you to the very beginning of this journey with us!
We know so little, and can only dream so much...
But with you, we might just build this extraordinary community for all of our kids, and for our greater vision of how their future might evolve.
Here's to an Adventure!
(For the parents as well as the kids)