Rebecca lives with acronyms.

“I’ve got ADHD, ADD and ODD,” she says. “Dyslexia, too.

“You have to deal with what you’ve got. When I was a kid, I wasn’t against getting help, but I was more like, leave me alone, and I will do it myself.

But I had a lot of help one-on-one at school, and I would say by about Year Nine I had control over my ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). I have learned to deal with them, but of course, the Dyslexia is something you have to put up with.”

Rebecca lives in a stunning slice of Australia, midway between Newcastle and Taree. She says she is happy to share her story because “everyone around here knows all about me, anyway”.

With the assistance of our services for the ParentsNext program, she has recently gone back to work at a local cafe on Smiths Lake.

“It is the best place to work because the views are so amazing. My boss is fantastic; she knows all my stuff. Because of my Dyslexia, in a restaurant environment, I have to be triply on the job to make sure I get orders right. My boss is very understanding, and customers are fine with it because I’m a happy, chatty person.”

Her Bamara Case Manager, Mervyn helped Rebecca achieve her goal of employment in assisting her with interview practice questions and supporting her to gain barista certification.

“My Case Manager Merv has been epically awesome. I can’t even explain how good he is! Because I’ve worked multiple jobs over the years, I’ve been with a lot of providers, but no-one has ever been as helpful or patient as he has.

“If you want the help, he will go out of his way to make sure he gets what you need. During COVID he was like a friend, ringing up to have a chat and make sure you were doing OK.”

In the fifteen years since she left school, Rebecca has had a wide variety of jobs, from professional fishing to contract cleaning. Two-and-a-half years ago, her daughter was born.

“Being a single mum is hard work, but I’m used to working hard. I always wanted to have a child, but it complicates things because I was used to doing multiple jobs at once. It is so good now that I am working and she can go to daycare.”

2020 was a challenging year for everyone, but Rebecca is used to facing challenges head-on. She has lived with acronyms for a long time, but with a little bit of support and her indomitable spirit, Rebecca and her daughter are doing OK.