Group 3

Meet Katy

Meet Katy who is sharing her lived experience as part of our Co-design team.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Katy, I’m 47, I have MS, I’m married for 2 years in May and I’m passionate about advocacy and doing my bit. I was a kindergarten teacher and I still enjoy working with children. I’m currently teaching Sunday school.

I was living by myself at home and became unwell. I went to hospital for 3 months and due to a deterioration in my MS, I was unable to go home by myself. As there was no other option, I was sent to a nursing home at the age of 36. I was there for 15 months. 

I have lived in shared accommodation in Williamstown for the past 12 years, and I’m happy here.

How long have you been connected with the Summer Foundation, and how did this come about?

Since 2013, through my now husband Jason, who was volunteering for Summer Foundation at the time. YPIRAC is just so wrong – I have to do what I can to get people out. I was there for 15 months and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. Young people in nursing homes is an oxymoron.

Can you tell us about the work that you have been doing with the Summer Foundation Co-design team? 

It started mainly as volunteer advocacy and now I’m doing the Feedback in Supported Accommodation Resource (FISAR) project. I feel honoured to be part of the project. I said at the start “how honest do you want me to be!?” – I’m just loving it and I’m able to say what I want to say.

What do you enjoy most about being involved in the co-design projects? 

I like being heard because the NDIS came across as a big saviour – it is to some extent but we need to iron out kinks. I’ll fight for the people that can’t fight. If I can be the one to help, I’ll do it.

It is such a privilege to have a direct link to people who want to hear our input.

Why are you passionate about the co-design work that you do?

The Summer Foundation has seen what I’ve done in the past and it makes me feel flattered and rewarded that you’ve given me a casual contract.

I just went and bought a beautiful new watch. I’ve earnt this watch because people want to hear what I have to say, people value what I have to say. For the 2 or 3 hours at the workshop I shut my door and I say “I’m working and doing something important” – that makes me feel so good.

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