Aruma helps reunite a family

Siblings Karen and Wayne move interstate to reunite with their family - an enormous feat for Aruma to help make happen!

April 29, 2022

Our customer Karen – originally based at a Supported Independent Living home in Wollongong NSW – had a dream.

That dream was to move to sunny Queensland with her brother Wayne, so they could live closer to their two other sisters. Enter Aruma who helped make it happen – despite a few road blocks along the way…

In May 2021, all bags were packed, goodbyes said and Karen and Wayne were ready to fly out of Wollongong. But COVID struck yet again, cancelling travel plans.

During this disheartening time, Karen’s support workers worked extra hard to keep her motivated, reminding her that the move would take place, once COVID restrictions eased. The support workers also assisted Karen in having regular online catch ups with her soon-to-be new housemates.

Recently we caught up with Karen, who is now in Queensland and happened to be out shopping at the time – living her best life by the sounds!

I love Queensland. Absolutely love it! I feel like I was born here! says Karen.

Everything is so different, the shops, the air. It’s also so hot compared to cold Newcastle!

One of Karen’s first welcome surprises when arriving in Queensland was walking into her SIL home and bedroom.

It’s huge! I have a big room all to myself and a 50-inch TV. I watch Friends a lot, she says.

Here’s Karen and Wayne boarding their plane!

Support Worker Lee says Karen is so lovely to support.

She’s an absolute treasure to work with. And yes she likes watching Friends, and one guy in particular, laughed Lee.

Karen thinks we matched her well in her SIL and is getting along very well with her housemates and her support workers.

I like my housemates. Nicole told me I am a nice lady. We often talk and I sometimes get her her favourite People magazine. We are good friends, she says.

By far the highlight of Karen’s move to Queensland so far is spending time with her family.

I love them. I’m absolutely stoked, she says.

One weekend I went to spend time with my sister Sue and her husband and my nephew. When the weekend ended, Sue asked me if I wanted to spend an extra night. I said YES!

Karen continues to meet with her brother Wayne who is also having a great time in Queensland and has grown in confidence.

I do sometimes think of my support workers in Wollongong. I know they miss me but as a secret, if anyone ever asked me to move back, I’d say nooooo, laughed Karen.

There are just too many things to do here. My next goal to achieve is to attend the Suncorp stadium and watch my favourite team Manly Eagles play. 

Do you know that I live 10 minutes away from Suncorp stadium? How cool is that?

We’re so proud of our Aruma team in Wollongong who moved mountains to get Karen and Wayne to Queensland. It’s a true demonstration of Aruma’s purpose to support people with a disability to live a great life, the life they want, the life they choose. Read more about Home Living and Supports here.