Fulfilling a long-held dream, a Capalaba man has made the journey to Canberra and today mowed the lawn on top of Parliament House.
Twenty-one year old Queenslander Joshua Ball was one of three winners of Endeavour Foundation’s “imagine what’s possible” competition, which saw more than 400 people with intellectual disability enter to have their biggest dream come true.
Endeavour Foundation’s Interim Chief Operating Officer, Kerin McMahon, said Mr Ball was an inspiration for everyone, whether they had a disability or not.
“Of all our incredible entries, Josh’s dream was one of the standouts because it was so unique but also highlighted one of his other dreams – to have gainful employment,” Ms McMahon said.
“Josh wanted to mow the lawn on top of Parliament House in Canberra wearing his high visibility jacket and be told, ‘Well done!’ “
Josh has funding in his NDIS plan to pursue a career mowing lawns so to mow the lawn at our nation’s Parliament and be thanked by the Prime Minister himself is a huge highlight for him and something he hopes could lead to further work.”
People aged between 15 and 64 years with disability have a workforce participation rate of just 53%, compared to 83% for people without disability.1
“Josh’s experience shows that when we focus on ability, we can achieve our dreams and Endeavour Foundation urges employers to enrich their workplaces by employing people with disability,” said Ms McMahon.
Endeavour Foundation supports more than 4000 people living with disability in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales across a range of services including supported employment, Learning and Lifestyle day services and supported independent living.
The inaugural “imagine what’s possible” competition was run in partnership with Cherry Energy Solutions, COACT and Community Solutions Group from June 7 to September 17, 2018 and open to all applicants with intellectual disability in QLD, VIC and NSW.
1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS): 4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2015