Be passionate, believe in your abilities and get involved in the things that matter most to you. These are just some of the words of encouragement that we share with our clients, residents and supported employees each and every day.

They are also the words that drove Grahame, who works at our Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) in Minto, to take action to support local wildlife, which in turn has seen him recognised as a finalist in the Australia Day Honours for 2021.

Grahame has a real passion for wildlife, plants and the bush. He has a keen interest in reptiles and regularly enlightens his fellow supported employees with facts about lizards and snakes.

Grahame’s interest in wildlife sparked four years ago when he collected a pamphlet from his letterbox that talked about a bush care program with Campbelltown Council.

Being a keen bushman, Grahame brought the pamphlet into work and spoke to a Vocational Support Worker who supported him with contacting the Council and joining the program.

The bush care program requires no experience and encourages participants to learn more about the local waterways, birds, insects, plants and wildlife. It also supports skills development with the group getting involved in tree planting, erosion control, litter removal, weed management and of course, wildlife spotting.

Since joining the group, Grahame has spent much of his spare time volunteering to care for the local environment. He meets up with other volunteer members on weekends and together they set off to care for their local flora and fauna.

If Grahame and his mates come across injured wildlife, they contact WIRES and other volunteer services who come in to take care of the animals. If a lizard needs moving, Grahame has the ability and confidence to relocate the lizard himself.

“Graham loves to volunteer with the group. He meets a variety of people who have the same interests. On occasion, we have had lizards enter our office and we have called Grahame to remove it with care,” said Liz, Office Coordinator.

Grahame’s dedication and enthusiasm for bush care have earned him high praise and recognition as a finalist in the Australia Day Honours. It is a great accomplishment for Grahame and highlights the importance of following your goals, dreams and living the life you choose.

Find out how Afford can support you to achieve your goals for life.

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