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Kate Talks // 29 SEPTEMBER 2020

Fine-tuning the good life

Written by Kate Taylor

Usually, Jason Graham has a fairly fast-paced life.

But even though the global pandemic has slowed things down a bit, Jason is pretty sure it will pick up speed again once lockdown is over.

“I live in Mooroolbark. I have a hearing impairment and I live independently in a one-bedroom unit in my parents’ backyard, and I’m currently in stage four lockdown,” Jason explained.

Pre-pandemic, Jason was doing a lot at Melba’s nearby Lilydale site.

“I’d go in early in the morning and spend the whole day there. I was part of ‘Yarra Ranges in a Box’ where we went to a fruit shop and bought fresh produce, then went back to Melba and packed them and delivered them to the community. They pay for whatever it is.”

“We go out to the park for lunch, and we go swimming. We’re always going out and it’s a lot of fun.”

“I also do a computer course once a week, and adult education in Maths and English once a week. At home, I love cooking. I’m flat out and I’m also bored at the moment because there’s nothing to do. It has all just stopped at the moment and usually, I live life to the fullest.”

But Jason’s main hobby, his great love, is cars. “I’ve had four Commodores and I’ve loved them all. I love working on them. I’m good at panel beating and I like doing body work – making it look good, and making it sound good. I love revving it all the time. I also love detailing them, I can’t stand a dirty car.”

“I’m in my 40s, and I just think I should start slowing down but… no, I’m not going to be!”

He loves burn-outs, going through several sets of tyres on his immaculate cars, and he shares the love and the knowledge with his brother.

“I kind of learnt about cars because I’ve got a photographic mind and I can look on YouTube and that kind of stuff and I can say ‘how do you rebuild a motor?’ and then I can go do that. I can actually follow the directions.”

Jason has been heavily involved in Melba’s self-advocates group called ARROW and he also helped out in an advisory capacity with his local council. His involvement there has been all about helping to advise about accessible railway stations.

“You say whatever you want to say in ARROW. It’s really good, it’s something that I can do very well. I’m a very, very good talker. I can talk anybody’s ear off. That’s the way I am!”

“It gives me something to do, it keeps me out of trouble. Mostly.”


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