The NSW Premier received an unexpected early Christmas present last week.
Griffith poet Mary Catanzariti, who launched her first book ‘Mary’s Voice in Poetry’ in September, met with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday 30 November and presented her with a copy of her work.
Ms Catanzariti met the Ms Berejiklian while the Premier was in Albury at a community morning tea prior to community cabinet meeting – which are being held in regional towns across the state.
“Meeting the Premier was a great honour and I’m pleased to have been able to share my work and experiences with her. You never know what is possible,” Mary said.
Intereach Ability Links worked with Mary to publish her book, which contains more than 30 poems.
The Ability Links NSW program is a way of connecting people with disability, their families and carers in the community. Linkers work closely with people with disability, their families and carers to support them to fulfil their goals, hopes and dreams.
Ability Links Coordinators, known as ‘Linkers,’ work to help people achieve their goals.
Born with cerebral palsy, Mary is now working towards becoming a motivational speaker, using her own experiences to give others insight into the experiences of a person who lives with disability.
Intereach Linker Simone Murphy, who has supported Mary to publish her poems, said she was delighted to see Mary grow in confidence: “Mary’s experience, enthusiasm and energy is hugely inspiring and I am so proud to have been able to support her.”
“Once I start writing I find it very enjoyable putting words together… I write poetry about myself, my past and hopefully my future,” Mary said.
“I write about different things, about love, about nature,” Mary said.
Ability Links NSW has been awarded a 2017 Premier’s Award for improving government services. Intereach, delivers Ability Links NSW across the Murrumbidgee region as part of the North West Alliance with Social Futures the lead agency.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been a frequent visitor to the Riverina over the past few months. She has made three recent visits to Griffith, including a community cabinet meeting in August.