Alana’s inspiring story

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Today in Time of Our Lives we had the pleasure of speaking to Alana. Born and raised in Brisbane, Alana is a young woman with Down syndrome following her dreams. Alana graduated from school in 2003, where she enjoyed music and was a soloist on the alto recorder. Alana has since been employed in a diverse range of roles. Working at McDonalds for 5 years enabled Alana to pursue her love of research, where she eventually obtained a position as a Research Assistant at the University of Queensland (more on Alana’s position can be read about below). Alana’s dream job is to either become a coach or fashion designer.

When asked about someone who inspires her, Alana says that her mum is her hero. Along with her dad, her mum has taught her the skills she needs to live a life she loves, whilst also supporting her in achieving her goals. After moving out of her family home in 2018, Alana attended the STEPS Pathways College, where she learned the skills to eventually live independently. She currently lives in a share-house with 4 other women who Alana has come to call her friends.

After having a heart operation when she was one that saved her life, Alana is happy to be alive and has a passion for life. In her spare time, Alana enjoys dancing (she has danced jazz, line dancing, Bollywood, funk, highlands and rock and roll), or spending time with her boyfriend. She also knits and loves being on stage, singing in a choir.

As part of the DSQ Peer Support Network, Alana has been co-facilitating workshops alongside DSQ staff for other people with Down syndrome. She has contributed to podcast episodes and has been developing her leadership and public speaking skills, as well as advocating for other people who live with Down syndrome.

Alana shared that “Life can be hard for people with Down syndrome. People see you as different. I want people to know me as a person, not just someone with Down syndrome. I just want people to see me as me”.

We thank Alana for her time with us and wish her all the best.