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"I'm not shy anymore!"

“When I first moved in I was shy. I wanted to get out and about a bit more, get into the community.”

Pania has lived with three other women in the Huon Valley in Southern Tasmania since 2012.

After identifying these goals in her individual support plan, Pania now engages with her local community in many ways. She has holidayed in New Zealand, joined a theatre group, volunteered in community events and currently takes weekly singing lessons.

“Going to different things helped me to open up.”

She also expressed a desire to improve her literacy and numeracy and has now completed a Certificate 2 in retail. She currently volunteers at a local charity shop one day a week to continue developing her workplace skills while she seeks employment.

“Staff helped me along the way, they got me motivated and encouraged me,” she said.

The Practice Development team connected Pania to Possability’s Consumer Forums and she was subsequently elected as the Southern Consumer Representative to take client concerns to the Oak Possability Board.

“The consumer forums have helped me, I would tell others to do it because it can help them open up a bit more!”

Pania has worked hard to overcome her shyness and achieved a milestone in 2016, addressing year 7 high school students about her experiences of discrimination and diversity. Her presentation was enthusiastically received and this has encouraged her to go on to make further presentations.

“That is not something I would have been able to do a few years ago.

“I feel like I have come a long way, I feel good. I am more open than what I was. I have changed over the last few years, I have got more confidence. I am not shy now!”