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MCC Student Awarded Community Advocate of the Year

MCC Student Awarded Community Advocate of the Year

Above: Natalie (left) with Jessica, one of her Auslan interpreters

Over the past year the trainers and staff at Macquarie Community College (MCC) have had the pleasure of teaching Natalie, who is profoundly deaf, but has not let that stop her from achieving her goals and inspiring others.

Natalie is a mother of 3 adult hearing children and is married to a deaf husband. She thrived in her role as a housewife for 22 years, supporting her family and now continues to thrive after graduating from a CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support specialising in Ageing and Disability at MCC.

Natalie has been working as a support worker with deaf participants in the Blacktown area for the last 2 years, encouraging them to reach their life goals, checking in on their mental health as well as ensuring they have access to specific support for the deaf. Her studies at MCC, with a specialty in Disability Support, have meant that she can better assist her clients.

Learning in a Supportive Training Environment

During her classes, Natalie had 2 interpreters assisting her as well as support from her family and the staff at MCC. “My favourite thing about studying at MCC was the access they provided to help me take the course with Auslan interpreters and learning new things throughout the course.” says Natalie.

“The hardest part of the course was during lockdown. It impacted me over zoom meetings with classes. I couldn’t catch up and I was lost due to so many people talking and trying to lip-read is hard. My MCC Trainer Bernadette supported me and my Auslan interpreters helped me to understand what I had missed. The wealth of knowledge that I gained helped me support my deaf clients the best way I could and that they are entitled to.” says Natalie.

Although it was challenging at times for her, it has encouraged Natalie to set a goal of seeing more deaf participants make a real change to the quality of their lives through further education.

Jessica, one of her interpreters commented, "It was great to be a part of the interpreting team for Natalie during her time studying at Macquarie Community College. I wish her all the best in her future using her qualification to work with the deaf community."

Natalie’s passion to keep persevering is inspiring to her clients. She remembers a moment when she had a breakthrough with a deaf participant who was a hoarder. The participant finally was able to let go and throw items away, thanking Natalie as the happiness and relief washed over her. Natalie loves inspiring deaf participants to realise that they have great abilities like everyone else.

Community Advocate of the Year

Earlier this month, Natalie was also recognised at the Blacktown City Council’s International Day of People with Disability Awards and won the Community Advocate of the Year Award.

Congratulations Natalie for winning the award and we wish and your clients all the best in the future!