Wendy is the next Picasso

Wendy wins the People's Choice Award in a national amateur art competition for people with disability.

December 18, 2023

The benefits of art are endless. It gives us a way to express ourselves, connect with others and it has been linked to improving health and wellbeing.

For Wendy, who lives at the Aruma home in Sefton, art has always been a part of her life. When she heard about the “Dreams and Debuts” amateur art competition for people with disability, she knew she had to enter.

She submitted her abstract piece titled “Dreaming” and was over the moon to be chosen as the “People’s Choice Award” winner out of 21 finalists.

On the 4th of December, all finalists were invited to attend the opening of the art exhibition at the Susan Wakil Health Building at Sydney University.

Wendy’s family decided to keep the day a surprise and staff helped prepare her for the day without making it too obvious.

“Staff came up with the idea to encourage Wendy to express her emotions about her art (what she feels when she is painting, whether she has names for these paintings, etc) as a practice conversation for the day. Just in case judges or attendees wanted to engage and ask Wendy questions,” said Regional Manager, Yasmin Alameddin.

It was a collaborative effort from the whole team, but a massive shout out goes Nick Nicola, Saima Arshad, and Munawar Hussain for all their help!

On the day of the exhibition, Wendy’s family told her the news and the excitement began.

“The hairdresser dresser arrived at 1pm and Wendy was all dressed up. Staff assisted her with make-up up and jewellery. She just looked stunning! She was so excited for the event,” said Support Worker, Saima Arshad.

Seeing her artwork on display and celebrating with family and her support workers, was a dream come true for Wendy.

“Wendy received a warm welcome and many compliments on her art by the attendee’s. She was asked many questions about her painting techniques as people were so inspired by her art that they wanted to replicate it,” said Support Worker, Nick Nicola.

Wendy’s son, James, and daughter, Simone, attended the event with her and afterwards everyone headed to dinner to keep the celebration going.

“At dinner we toasted to Wendy’s success and being included in the exhibition. Whether she is the winner or not, it is still a great success,” continued Nick.

Regional Manager, Yasmin Alameddin added, “I’m super proud of her work and boy does she have talent.”


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