I met Melanie Macilwain from Geelong online recently. Mel and Willo were supporting #artforbales and #buyabale and through a series of circumstances … connected.
Mels beautiful art and her passion for doing good for those that need help was hard to resist, and not that we tried! As a teacher she has the enviable position, amongst many things, of nurturing the young children in our communities to learn and to aspire to being themselves and accepting those that are different to them in the schooling and community environments. So, it was appropriate that this is where our first meeting should take place. With her children, and Willo, talking ability, diversity, acceptance and love for all that is different.
The children embraced Will, and his story became a guide as to how we could be more compassionate young towards each other. That being different, is not something to fear or condemn.
Mel was amazing with Will and a friendship has been created. A friendship based on one persons ability to see the other person for who they are and not what they live with. I know that those who have diversity or difference in their lives simply want to feel accepted and included. To be judged or isolated because you do life differently, and for no other reason that you are born with challenges, is a travesty.
Prior to coming to Victoria we arranged a meeting with Leisure Options. A service provider in Geelong supporting people living with diversity. We hoped that they were going to be the best choice for Willo to take care of his legacy. To say we were overwhelmed would be an understatement. If every provider had their sense of care and commitment the word disability would become obsolete and unique would be the word used to describe our children.
We can only hope that through the work we are doing with the Willo Exhibitions around Australia that more people will start truly connecting with our children and realise the way they do life is not because they have a disability it is simply they way they see it. From my understanding and experience it is a way of life we should all aspire towards.
It is very hard sometimes to describe the words that truly express our gratitude to those who see Will, accept him and include him. To communities such as the Bellarine, Warooka, Perth, Kiama, Bowral and Melbourne thank you. To every service provider and artist that has believed in our cause and direction .. thank you.