Living with autism won't stop Josephine
JOSEPHINE Perret is living with autism but she is determined not to let her disability get in the way of living life.
Ms Perret, 23, was honoured with the Young Community Spirit Award in 2016 for her work with Crime Stoppers, SES and Wide Bay's International Women's Day where she shared her story of living with Asperger's syndrome.
Ms Perret also attends Brisbane-based anti-discrimination seminars, is a volunteer advocate for autism and is working towards volunteering with the Queensland Police Force.
April is Autism Awareness month and Ms Perret is set share her inspirational life journey at a Go Blue for Autism event at the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre on Thursday, April 27, where as a guest speaker she hopes to spread a positive message.
"It is important for people to become aware of the challenges that people living with autism face," Ms Perret said.
"No two people living with ASD are the same and everyone is different.
"I would like to see mums, carers and even some health workers come along."
Marj Speedy, from the Wide Bay Women's Health Centre, has worked closely with Ms Perret since first meeting her in 2011 and said her progress had been extraordinary.
"To see how she has grown over time is absolutely amazing," Mrs Speedy said. Mrs Speedy has an eight-year-old grandson living with Asperger's and said learning from someone living with ASD was invaluable, which is why she encourages anyone living with ASD, their families, friends or carers to come along to this event.
"For me personally as well as professionally, what I have learnt from Josephine has just been so helpful.
"It has really helped me understand a lot more about what could be happening with my grandson."
There will be guest speakers from 10am to noon, including Ms Perret's personal story, psychologist Karina Wegner and counsellor Virgnia Roesner.
Showcasing Success sessions will be held from 12.30pm to 2pm, which includes story beads with Lenore Kempnich.
A pop-up Community Services Expo will highlight a variety of community serives available in the local area and the programs they provide for people living with autism.
There will also be performances by the Buckateers and hiphop dancers.
A light lunch will be available for a gold coin donation.
Guests are encouraged to wear blue on the day. The centre is located at 22 Charles St, Pialba.
Bookings can be made by phoning 4194 3000.