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Peer Mentor Profiles

Your CDAH Peer Mentors

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Leonie

Hi, my name is Leonie.  I'm a support worker for people who are deafblind or have other disabilities. I'm also a volunteer in the Lake Macquarie Deaf Social Group and a Deaf Liaison Officer for Emergency Services in the Hunter Region. I'm a deaf person in a hearing family.

I can offer mentoring in:

  • getting more involved in the community
  • encouraging elders who are deaf to participate in the community
  • developing skills to improve self confidence

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​Suzy

Hi, I'm Suzy. I am a mother raising two beautiful children on my own and living with low vision. I am very active in the Aboriginal community as I am an Aboriginal woman.

I will offer my mentee:

  • encouragement to empower you while you are setting goals for the NDIS.  Goals can be anything from living more independently; enrolling in further education or gaining employment; joining a sporting team; organising a cleaner for your home or wanting to get more involved in your community.
  • I will support you: whether to live the life you’ve always wanted to live, or the life that you are thinking about for the first time. We can work together to achieve this.

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Erin

Hi, my name is Erin. I have just moved out of home to share a house with my new housemates. I love sharing my story, learning new things and getting on with things. I was helped through a tough time by a peer mentor. It took another person with intellectual disability to help me through, someone who has walked a mile in my shoes. And look at me now.

As a mentor, I can talk with you about:

  • who to talk to when you want to move out of home
  • how to interview someone, I have interviewed new housemates and new support workers
  • how to get a volunteer job at somewhere like Bunnings.

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​Phil

Hello, my name is Phil. Handling a late-onset disability creates a huge disturbance in your life, and in the lives of others around you. But, with some support and guidance, life can still be rich and fulfilling.

Things that I found helpful were:

  • focussing on the future rather than the past
  • approaching your skills and interests in a different manner
  • remaining open-minded about what life has to offer
  • finding the right aids and supports to help you achieve your goals​

I would be interested in mentoring people as they move through this tough time, help them along the path that leads to a new future, and help them to get the most out of their new life.

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​Tania

Hi, I'm Tania. I'm a proud Aboriginal woman from the Awabakal tribe in NSW. I'm a mother to a beautiful daughter and a wife to a doting husband. I have endured living in aged care facilities for 3 years because of lack of services for young people with disabilities and in 2014 I finally came home to my family.

As your peer mentor I can offer skills to:

  • support you with planning to achieve your goals and aspirations
  • be there for you to support and listen throughout this mentoring process
  • be a sounding board to the challenges or obstacles you may face to achieve your goals, and encourage you to share your experiences.

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​Charmaine

Hi I am Charmaine and I am the mother of two children, my eldest is on the Autism Spectrum and an NDIS participant. The NDIS has been life changing for our family and our decision to self-manage was the result of coming along to a CDAH Planning Café back in 2014.
I can offer mentoring in:

  •  Accessing the NDIS for the first time
  •  Choosing to self-manage or plan-manage your NDIS budget
  • Navigating the NDIS Participant Portal
  • Getting ready for NDIS reviews and appeals

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​Dianne

Hi, my name is Di. I have supported people with disabilities and their families for a long time and have learnt a lot on my journey from my peers and would love to share my knowledge with you. I also know a bit about animals as my son who is autistic is an expert on this subject. In my spare time I work at my photography/printing business.

I can offer skills to:

  • empower and enable you to achieve your goals
  • build your inner strength and equip you with skills to help boost your confidence
  • break down your goals/dreams into achievable steps
  • help de-stress your life

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​John

Hi, I'm John.  I can share the knowledge, experiences and ideas I have gained over the years as a personal trainer and athlete. I am the first legally blind athlete in the World to complete an Ultraman Triathlon.

I can:

  • share my experiences,
  • offer guidance and understanding,
  • talk with you about some of life’s challenges we all have to face.

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Jo

Hi, my name is Jo. I have an adult daughter who loves life, her passion is horses. Spending time with the equestrian community gives her a great sense of belonging. I am passionate about people with disabilities and their families developing their own vision of a valued life, defining their own meaningful identity and a sense of belonging within their local community.

In my mentoring I can offer skills to:

  • assist you to develop your life vision and/or set goals to work towards that vision
  • identify actions and skills required to achieve your goals
  • ​build your confidence with your existing skills and your ability to learn new skills.

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​Ros

Hi, I would like to welcome everyone to Peer Mentoring with CDAH. I am a human being, a wife, a mother and a strong believer in the human rights of all in our community. 

I would like to offer mentoring in:

  • Assisting people with disability and family members to build self-advocacy skills.
  • Supporting you to have your voice heard.
  • Assisting you through daunting government systems.
  • Helping parents get their head around early intervention.

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​Scott

Hi there, my name is Scott. I have Cerebral Palsy and as a result have been in a wheelchair for all of my life. I am able to relate very well to others with a disability because of my life experiences. Throughout my life I have had to face many up and down periods which has enabled me to gain a unique way of looking at the world. I also currently own two businesses.

The qualities which I would be able to bring to a mentoring relationship are:

  • the ability to help you think outside the box
  • to show you simple strategies on setting goals and achieving them
  • ​to show you a simple technique that helps greatly improve your self-confidence, self-belief and gets rid of self doubt.

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Christine

Hi, I'm Christine. I grew up profoundly deaf (since birth). I am a volunteer Auslan tutor and volunteer Deaf Liaison Officer assisting in delivering deaf awareness training to emergency services in the Hunter region.

As a mentor, I can offer skills in:

  • how to be a strong person
  • how to be assertive
  • ​listening to your stories and giving guidance.

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Leigh

Hi, my name is Leigh. I believe that people with disability should have dreams and goals to lead an ordinary and rewarding life.  I love making dreams happen and inspiring and empowering other people with disability.  I have Down Syndrome which is an intellectual disability but I don’t focus on my disability, I focus on my abilities.

As a mentor, I can offer:

  • how to become a strong self-advocate and speak up for yourself
  • how to set your goals high…reach for the sky…and how to stick to those goals until you get there, even through the ups and downs
  • how to ask people for something to get the result you are after
  • how to develop your confidence to be a public speaker.

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Peter

Hello, my name is Peter. As a parent, I was never happy with just doing what needed to be done.  I am very proud of my daughter's achievements and that I had the opportunity to help in that journey. As a nurse, I have worked as a carer and supported families during hard times. As a teacher, I have a passion to help guide people as they learn and grow.

As a mentor, I can offer skills to:

  • help guide you through your decisions in supporting your disabled family member
  • help understand a disability
  • help build skills in training, presenting or public speaking.

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​Nathan

Hi, my name is Nathan. I am a man living with a disability and I enjoy helping other people. I know of the struggles of being in small communities, of depression, anxiety, stigma and being a social outcast. I have managed to break through, though I still struggle at times. I am human, I make mistakes but I truly believe that I can make a positive impact on your life if you would like me to!
I am deaf but I can hear you! If you choose me as your mentor I will listen, give input, guidance and throw in humour for free.

I am looking to mentor with my skills in:

  • confidence building
  • use of technology to build your social network
  • setting SMART goals (long and short term)

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Jessica

Hi, I'm Jessica. I have a long association with many people with disability and disability services. This support has enabled me to work in a mainstream environment at Big W; to get my driving licence; to live independently and to participate in State disability championships in both horse riding and in swimming.

As a CDAH mentor I’d like to help:

  • young adults who are having issues in finding support, activities and friendships
  • I have many friends in the disabled community and like to socialise with them in my free time.  Where I can, I also like to help them achieve things they find difficult doing by themselves.

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Kerrie

Hi, I'm Kerrie. I have three awesome kids. I believe in kids of all abilities being included in mainstream environments. I am passionate about kids being as confident and independent as they can be and actively participating in their community.

As a mentor I can offer:

  • a peer to listen to you, I am very good at listening, being empathetic and understanding. I will learn as much from you as you will from me.
  • to help you gain skills in listening to others, being open to other people’s points of view and help you to understand why we have different perspectives to each other.
  • support to help you manage a busy lifestyle and help you gain good organisational skills.
  • ​ways that parents/carers of young children can include support for their child in their daily family activities and support their desire to have them included in mainstream environments.

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​Joseph

Hello, my name’s Joseph. ​I’m currently in my second year of university studying a Bachelor of Commerce/Laws degree. I love the law and politics, especially when trying to persuade other people to understand your viewpoint.

I truly feel that people with a disability can, and do, actively and positively contribute to the community. I have a good understanding of the challenges that individuals who live with a disability face but like everyone else, not all people with a disability are the same.

I would be very interested mentoring people in:

  •  building confidence in speaking up for yourself.
  •  getting through high school and university life, especially on how to navigate the system as well as making the most of studying.

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Leigh

Hi, I’m Leigh. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of Mentoring, (mostly) people on the autism spectrum , since first qualifying as a Community Mentor over twelve years ago. This experience , together with  post graduate qualifications in ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder), and being an ASDian Elder in the ASDian Community, has given me a rather unique insight into the ASD lifespan situation.
As a Peer Mentor,  I can offer the following:

  • I "get"  many people who may identify to some extent as an "outsider" , or  as "different" in some way  ( as perceived by self or others , whether actual or not )
  • I understand the causes and effects of "alienation", the disorientation and distress in not understanding  what’s going on  for various reasons, or of being serially mis-understood ( because of "difference")
  • I can offer a working insight , new  deeper perspective ,and analytical problem solving, in relation to the "bind" of a person wanting to be comfortable in their own skin / true to their identity, but who also desires the human experiences of  belonging, contribution and purpose.

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​Tricia

Hello my name is Tricia. I was born with four coexisting conditions that meant I would always have low vision. At present I am being challenged to embrace technology, aids and assistance to manage daily tasks. I have been a mentor for my colleagues and individuals who have wanted to develop skills and abilities I have demonstrated experience and expertise in.  I have been privileged to have shared these times with some most remarkable and inspirational people. The disability community is diverse and has a wealth of skills and abilities that would enhance any community.

Through peer mentoring I would like to offer YOU an opportunity to develop:

  • skills to set goals
  • strategies to achieve the goals you set
  • sound decision making skills
  • activities and experiences to widen life experiences
  • new ideas in a safe supportive environment
  • strategies and a plan that works toward you having YOUR BEST LIFE

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Sandra

Hi, my name is Sandra. I have one daughter, who lives in a unit by herself close to where I live. Together, we self manage her NDIS plan, so that she can live the life she wants to, just like any other young lady in her twenties.

As a mentor I would like to work together with a peer to help you to:

  • recognise your personal strengths and skills
  • look for opportunities to try new things
  • try to find different ways of doing things.

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Lynda

Hello, my name is Lynda. My parents had 6 children and four of us are deaf! Being deaf had a big impact on our education, employment and goals. As a young adult, I met other deaf people and learnt Auslan. So I am a part of two worlds – Deaf and hearing. I learnt to communicate and live in both worlds. ​In my work, I have supported children, young adults and adults in school, at home and in the community.

The skills I can offer are:

  • working out goals
  • creating a time table and strategies to achieve them
  • building up your confidence in yourself, in your learning and your skills.

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Belinda

Hi, my name is Belinda. I like to get the most out of every day and I live life to the full. I am passionate about people with intellectual disability getting a fair go. I also am passionate about swimming. I swim competitively and I also teach young children water confidence and to learn to swim.

As a peer mentor, I can offer support in how to:

  • move out of home and live independently
  • set up and keep a budget
  • ​set goals for yourself and persist with those goals until you get there!

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​Andrew

Hello, my name is Andrew. I am blind, but enjoy reading eBooks. I’m passionate about peer mentoring because I believe strongly in contributing to community; wish to acquire new skills in communicating; and open myself to understanding how others see the world.

From my own experience I can offer my mentee:

  • personal insight;
  • appreciation of the difference between Dependence and Inter-dependence;
  • insight into how to connect with mainstream organisations.

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Billie

Hi, my name is Billie.  I’m self-employed.  I have my own disability, which is being hearing impaired.  I’m studying AOD – Alcohol and Other Drugs. I enjoy meeting new people and I love to travel. I also love to learn and to achieve new things.

I will help my mentee:

  • to start to be more independent
  • to take a step forward in your life and become more confident
  • to be able to achieve anything you love.


In my spare time, I do modelling in photo shoots and runway fashion, in life drawing and body painting and hair and makeup modelling.

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Julie

My name is Julie and I am legally blind. Due to a severe reaction to a medication, I became visually impaired. The experience of losing my sight overnight has been extremely traumatic. However, over the past four years, I have learnt many skills.
I have learnt through the Apple Store how to use VoiceOver and Siri on the iPhone. I have received instruction in the use of the white blind cane and I am about to undertake computer studies for people who are blind. I have gained these skills and experiences from the funding of the NDIS.
I can offer you:

  • empathy, understanding and supportive listening,
  • motivation and assistance in obtaining important skills and knowledge.
  • guidance and support  for your planning with the NDIS.

I look forward to meeting you and sincerely hope that I can provide you with the help you need. ​

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Erika

Hi, my name is Erika. Over 25 years of interactions with public mental health services, I have become skilled at negotiating the system to try to find better outcomes and to challenge injustices.

As a mentor, I can offer skills to:

  • help you find a voice in any area that you are struggling in,
  • listen to you and help you explore ways to work towards your goals,
  • find your creative self and support your creative journey.

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Jono

G’day, I’m Jono. Growing up with a brother with disability since his battle with cancer has helped me to become very capable at juggling a lot of the stress of study, jobs and social life with it.

As a mentor I am extremely flexible and understanding. Specifically, I believe that my best support would come in areas such as:

  • Organising a weekly routine and strategies to keep a balanced lifestyle
  • Building resilience and confidence in public speaking
  • Planning and joining community sporting and cultural events and groups
  • Assisting in setting goals and how to accomplish them without being overwhelmed.

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Josh

Hello, I’m Josh. I have a disability myself and do not let it get in the way of what I want to achieve. I have obtained my Driver’s License and can drive. I have Cerebral Palsy, therefore movement and mobility are an issue but I push my boundaries all the time and set myself short and long term goals to achieve.
I have experience in many different things. I have worked as a receptionist, cleaner, stock take assistant and I have volunteered for a local disability service provider for some work experience.
I can offer:

  • To support you to pursue further study such as a TAFE course.
  • I can help you with ideas and strategies to make it easier for you to navigate your way around public transport.
  • To help you gain confidence in using technology such as Facebook to make connections with others.

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Caroline

Hi, my name is Caroline.  I have two daughters who are in high school – one has a passion for the Paralympic sport of boccia; the other is passionate about acting. I have supported people with disability and their families for a long time and know there is always more than one pathway to reach a goal.

In my mentoring I can offer skills to:

  • support people through the mentoring process.
  • help break down a goal into smaller chunks.
  • build people’s confidence in the skills that they are learning or already have.

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Cath

Hi, I'm Cath. I self-manage my NDIS package and I am committed to people with disability taking up options like this which give us greater choice and control. I am blind and believe in sharing my experiences as a person with disability in order to show that what we have in common is much greater than our differences.

I would be interested mentoring people in:

  • writing skills,
  • public speaking,
  • ​confident use of technology (particularly for those who are blind or have low vision) in order to assist you to carry out a project or take a next step in your life.

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A video about the NDIS and the importance of peer support. Made by people with intellectual disability for people with intellectual disability.

OUR CHOICE OUR VOICE: Talking About The NDIS

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