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The Roebourne foetal alcohol disorder sufferer turning disability into opportunity for local mob

Jarred Cross -

For 43-year-old Ieramagadu (Roebourne) woman Rachel Sampson, her diagnosis of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder opened the door to work and putting smiles on the faces of mob in the Pilbara.

After accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme via Mawarnkarra Health Service, Ms Sampson took on the role of an NDIS community connector.

FASD can cause a range of complications to those exposed to alcohol in the womb.

For Ms Sampson, difficulties concentrating and being easily distracted have been a factor in life.

Now difficulties once endured to find work have shifted to a new confidence in her knack for brightening others' days, travelling around Ieramagadu, Wickham and Karratha to assist people living with disabilities with their everyday needs and tasks.

"I feel very proud of it," Ms Sampson said.

"I really feel that I've found my purpose to help others.

"It was nerve-wracking when I first started, but with love and support, with these guys I found my confidence.

"I can do this job, I can stand on my own two feet, and I can do this on my own."

Ms Sampson likened her work and professional team to coming into a new family.

It's a similar sense of the familiarity and local relationships she knows within her community.

While some receiving her assistance prefer to do things on their own, it's the little things making it worth it.

Ms Sampson said just being there and seeing the impact she has stands as the best part of her day.

"I get to help people every day," she said.

"My favourite part of the job is making people smile.

"I like working with the mob."

The job has led to a dramatic change to her Ms Sampson's in a range of ways.

In addition to her work, NDIS funding has helped Ms Samson enrol in an art course at TAFE, access a disability pension for herself and new stability for her children.

"I feel proud I have a job and I can be a good role model for my kids," she said.

"My older son also now has a job and it gives him a sense of responsibility."


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