|In this week’s edition of ‘Time of Our Lives’, we meet Cally Ward.|
Cally has been a member of DSQ since 2009 and has recently joined the board. She has added a great deal of value to DSQ over the years through her Gold Coast Titans program. As she is heavily involved in the aviation industry she strongly supports Women in Aviation alongside advocating for people with Down syndrome.
Read her inspiring interview below.
Tell us about you?
I’m Cally Ward, Mum to my amazing daughter Sarah, aged 13, who happens to have Down syndrome. Our family of Sarah, Nigel and myself lead a very quiet life these days! Before Covid, I travelled extensively as an aviation consultant. Now I work from home and dedicate my time my family, advocating for Down syndrome and Women in Aviation and supporting sustainable tourism in the Pacific.
What is your involvement with Down syndrome?
Apart from being a parent, I have recently joined the Board of DSQ. Since 2014 I have been organizing an annual event with the Gold Coast Titans on behalf of DSQ, where children with Down syndrome are afforded the opportunity to run out onto the footy field with the players of both teams at the kick-off of the game. It’s a fantastic celebration on the day of all that is great about being part of a community.
What inspires you to do what you do?
In the 1989 film Parenthood there’s a scene with Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen where they discuss life as being a roller coaster. Life for Nigel and I with Sarah certainly is a roller coaster. We have enormous highs and terrible lows. The highs always outweigh the lows, and seeing how hard Sarah works to achieve her goals inspires us to continue to create opportunities for her and her friends.
What are some of your daughter’s achievements?
Sarah has a passion for life and for people. When she is happy, confident and doing her favourite thing, performing, she is a joy to see and I love to see how other people’s faces light up, when they interact with her.
What are some of your daughter’s challenges?
Sarah struggles terribly with transitions when she moves from one location or activity to another. Her anxiety at these times can paralyse her and it’s challenging to give her the tools to help her cope with that will be a life-long challenge for her.
What are your goals and ambitions for 2022?
I don’t tend to think in terms of specific goals for a year, I’m always pushing forwards, looking for opportunities and embracing what fate delivers.
How long have you been involved with Down Syndrome Queensland?
Sarah was born in 2009 and we attended our first DSQ morning tea when she was six weeks old. I had a New Parent Visit prior to that, and I instantly felt comfortable and accepted within the DS community. What I value most is the advice of other families who are perhaps further down the path than we are as a family. The guidance and support our community can give is the greatest gift.
#dsqeducation #downsyndrome #inclusion