My Hero – Fiona Engwirda

Here’s the link to my fellow AEIOU Mum – Fiona Engwirda who completed The Long Walk today.

She is a DYNAMO!!!

You meet people in life who just have sooo much energy and passion for their family that it just boils over…and Fiona is that woman! Not only does she run a household, care for Harrison and the rest of her family, but she’s also finishing her University degree, running “do-re-mi” classes from her spectactular home and organising the Bray Park Mums for fundraising activities and get-togethers. Usually I’m the “take charge” woman, but Fiona just blows me away.

Well done Fiona. I’ll join you next year!!

The next fundraiser for AEIOU is Sing for Kids. If you would like to participate or read a little more about this wonderful programme, I’m putting a permenant link in the side-bar.

Also, last Monday AEIOU’s Bray Park centre was officially opened. It is named after the most delightful man from Norfolk Island, Toni Redstone. If you ever wondered what a humble philanthropist was like, you need to meet this man. Kind, generous, genuine, unaffected. Thanks Toni.

We got some good coverage – ABC TV (the best apparently), the commercial stations and Briz31 (courtesy of the QUT film crew). One of the commercial stations bumped the story because they wanted to feature a koala who gave birth to twins!! Ahhh, love those priorities!!

My good friend Kelly Higgins-Devine (yes, of 612ABC Brisbane fame – from 3-6pm by the way) called me on Monday afternoon wanted to do a piece on how Autism affects families. I have the audio but I’m buggered if I know how to link it to the blog. If anyone knows, drop me a line! This was on the back of a report that Dr James Morton (founder of AEIOU) talked about earlier in the day regarding the cost to community from children with Autism. Most of my friends know the personal, professional and financial cost to our family, but the estimated cost to the community is astounding – between $4.5 and $7 billion – and report states that it’s underestimated because you can’t “cost” underemployment, alternative therapies, informal care and other early intervention strategies!!!

I won’t continue to bombard you with stats – but you get the idea. If you want to read more – click here.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. It’s been an interesting 18 months but now I can truly see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Be strong…..

5 thoughts on “My Hero – Fiona Engwirda

  1. KarenB says:

    My DD has ASD and it would have been great to know about AEIOU when she was younger. She is in Year 2 at a public school and we are very fortunate to have excellent support there, but some days are still really tough. Some excellent reading material there, thanks heaps. (Let me know if you work out the audio thing.)(jazikt)

  2. Charmane says:

    You are such a STRONG person – I wouldn’t know how I would cope!Have you seen the Autism Fundraiser Crop that Alli Paterson is running? There’s a link in the Blogs forum at Bon’s :)Take CareCharmane

  3. Liz says:

    Gigi you are a very brave woman to share your life here with us all. Thanks for being such an inspiration to others and you make me feel very appreciative to have my wonderful life and kids. Keep up the good work, keep sharing and keep educating the rest of us. Good luck with the AEIOU.

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