Day 4: Brooke

Brooke is from Western Australia has always loved being an active member of her community. Brooke is also a member of the Down Syndrome Advisory Network. She shares why working and volunteering are so important.
Day 4: Brooke thumbnail.

Story by Brooke Canham

I’m working with Inclusion WA at the moment on a Tuesday. I’m loving it. I love it because what we’re trying to do is make real decisions for people with intellectual disability. We got feedback from other states and territories into our resources, and now we’re making a PowerPoint and brochure to deliver workshops about how people with intellectual disability can have more independence.

I have been working from home for a few weeks and I like it. 

Support people are often making decisions about things like what you should have for dinner, having a house, guidance with money, saving for bills and a mortgage – which actually is a big thing and parents need to help a bit more. But things like shopping for clothes like a dress is my decision. If I want to spend money on that I can, and nobody can tell me I can’t.

I also volunteer at the Down Syndrome WA playgroup. I make coffee and tea, and we hold the little babies. They’re so cute. I’ve done lots with DSWA and I like children and they make me feel happy. And the parents feel happy that there are things like this for people with Down syndrome. 

Being in lockdown was hard. We found out we’re going into lockdown in 2021 and I had a party to go to the day before. But Nanna came and picked me up to stay with her for the week. This was good because I’m more likely to go to the shops or go out for a walk without thinking. It’s good to be with someone, but I missed my house and own bed.

I feel close to everyone in my circle. There are so many people in my life. If there’s a problem, you know they can talk to you about it. If something happens to someone you can always talk to them and be there for them. 

This year I’d like to go away and do something, on holiday to Hawaii. I know I’m dreamin’ though. 

I’d also like to have a full-time job. Being busy is good for me, otherwise I binge eat. It would make me feel very good, but sometimes work makes you tired as well. But getting some more income, making some new friends, being more social, and going to social clubs would be good.