Confidence grows with the right support

Posted December 21, 2021

Samarack ‘Sam’ Nicholson experienced snow for the first time, this year. Using his NDIS respite package, Sam went to Cradle Mountain for two nights with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who helps him with social support. This was the third trip the pair have taken this year. ‘We did a walk but the snow started and our feet got wet, so we headed back,’ says Sam. ‘It was cold but so beautiful.’

Sam’s life has changed a lot since meeting Ryan. When they first met, two-and-a-half years ago, Sam was into computer games and school work but didn’t have much interest in getting out to meet friends or trying new things. Thanks to the support Sam receives through the NDIS, his social calendar is full and trips around Tassie are something he and Ryan both look forward to.

Ryan says, ‘It’s awesome to see Sam’s personality shine through as his confidence has grown throughout our friendship. Sam is interested in trying new things, meeting people, and is even volunteering at Party in the Apocalypse, a two day music festival in Launceston this summer.’

Sam’s confidence has also helped him take the first steps towards a career in teaching. He will start his university studies next year with the goal of becoming a drama teacher. ‘My drama teacher was really inspiring. I want to be that for someone else,’ Sam says.

So, what new adventures have the pair planned? Providing Sam’s respite package is renewed for another year, Sam would love to visit Stanley in Tassie’s northwest, and maybe even take a trip to the Gold Coast, which will be Sam’s first time on a plane.

The NDIS gives people with disability like Sam the right to build a support team around them, so they can live their best lives. But now the NDIS is cutting access and support levels. If the government cuts the NDIS, the team stops working.