Man About Town
Written by Kate Taylor
Ant is a man who knows what he wants – and he’s working to make the things he wants actually happen.
One of Ant’s greatest strengths is that he is a fantastic listener. So when it comes to his advocacy work, Ant listens intently to what everyone is saying and then either agrees or disagrees with a definite ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ it suits Ant perfectly, because using the words ‘yes’ and ‘no’ is the main way he communicates.
Does that make Ant great at keeping secrets? “Yes,” Ant replies, quite definitely.
He is a member of ARROW, Melba’s self-advocates group, where true to form, he listens and gives his opinion on the ideas being put forward.
Also, Ant is on the State Government’s Railway Crossing Removal Liaison Committee. It’s pretty high level, and he’s providing valuable advice about disability access for new railway stations.
One of the things that Ant is advocating for is elongated car-parking spaces for people who use wheelchairs. Ant himself accesses vehicles using his wheelchair through the rear door and so he has plenty of lived experience with the difficulties faced when the parking space backs onto either road traffic, or footpath traffic.
Advocacy isn’t the only thing Ant loves to do, though. There’s actually a pretty long list.
During ‘normal’ times, Ant loves to go to the day program at the Ringwood Centre. When asked if he likes each activity, one-by-one, Ant gave a ‘yes’ to swimming, going to the pub for lunch, going to shopping centres, going on trips to Roseanna and to Warburton, doing music classes, as well as painting and drawing and, most of all, seeing his friends. When it comes to lockdown, Ant gave a ‘yes’ to going for walks, watering the new rhubarb and strawberry plants in his garden and getting drive-thru take-away for lunch. KFC is his top choice.
He lives in Lilydale, in Supported Independent Living with a few housemates. Still, Ant is missing his family at the moment, in particular his dad. But even though face-to-face visits are rare at the moment, Ant chats to his mum and dad as well as his brother and sister on his iPad all the time.
Second only to getting cuddles from his family, Ant is most looking forward to getting out and about again as restrictions ease.
”Are you looking forward to going out for coffee after lockdown is over?” Ant was asked.
A stupid question, really. “Yes!”