Catching up with my mate Jeff

To mark International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), which is held on 3 December, we’ll be featuring a series of articles this week to tell our customers’ stories and celebrate their achievements.

The Sisters of Invention, Australia’s first pop girl group with disability, will celebrate IDPwD with the Yooralla community this year by performing live on Thursday 3 December.

We invite you all to participate in a live stream concert:

Date: Thursday 3rd December 2020 
Time: 11.00am - 11.50 AEDT 
Link to view via YouTube:

Below is the second article in the series, written by customer Timothy Jong.

As the 2019 AFL season was drawing near, I wanted to catch up with my friend Jeff Kinsman.

So we had a look when my team the Brisbane Lions were up against bashful Blues who were on the bottom of the ladder down here in Melbourne. I haven’t seen Jeff since I unexpectedly ran into him and his lovely wife Bridget at Queen Victoria Market, whilst I was on an outing to the market with the Yooralla St Albans Hub.

I have known my cool and calm friend Mr Jeff Kinsman for a long time, and I frequently talk to him on Facebook and sometimes we even use video chat. I met him at Copperfield College, as he was my English teacher in years eight and nine. We used to chat whenever I could track him down at school, mostly I found him having a coffee outside with one of the other teachers.

These days in these uncertain times we live in I seek help from Mr Kinsman to break down any complex news stories worrying me, such as religion and fighting in various countries. After talking about these world-wide problems, I begin to feel better hearing his advice. And Jeff says when he is feeling a bit glum after a hard day, I cheer him up!

I try to not get worried as he tells me to focus on what I do, rather than what I can’t and what’s out of my control. He says we both make the sun shine brighter when we are in dark times in our lives.

For this adventure with Jeff my mum booked my Yooralla one on one support worker, to travel on the train with me to Southern Cross station. Then we went to the Brisbane-Blues match at Marvel Stadium. It looked as if Jeff was waiting for a while  but we said hello and started heading towards the football. Jeff quickly put me in the line to secure our seats, as the match had already started.

When we finally got settled in our seats, the Lions were mauling Carlton, who had just got a new senior coach. In the early stages of the match, it looked like Carlton wouldn’t be able to stop Brisbane’s skilful delivery into their forward line.

The “Must win” Blue boys came back out on to the field after half time looking like a well-oiled machine, and they chipped away at the the Lion’s fierce domination on field.  Jeff was pumped to watch his Carlton football soldiers making a great come back. There was one more quarter in the game. Could the Carlton Football Club pull off a miraculous win?

They could! The then fourth place Brisbane Lions didn’t even score in the final quarter, as the immerging Blues brigade ran all over the young cubs from Brisbane.

As we heard the final siren to signal the end of the match, we started the head to the taxi rank, where Youssef my driver was waiting for us. I spotted four time premiership coach Leigh Matthews there, talking to a group of people.

Leigh wandered off but before he could get too far Jeff talked to the group and they dragged the AFL Legend back to meet me. By that stage I was already loaded in the taxi, and he hopped on board the back of the taxi and I got to have a snap with the star.

Even though the Blues blew Brisbane away, I still had a memorable day with my friend Jeffer.

Article by:

Timothy Jong

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