Hello, our name's are Alan & Sylvia Williams and we are members of ATSIDNQ, we currently live in Cairns.
Alan and Sylvia Williams are a couple who both rely entirely on their mobility scooters and are often seen cruising about Cairns together shopping or just getting out of the house for a while to take in the North Qld scenery.
Alan is a Noongar man from W.A and Sylvia is from South Brisbane and they've been together since 2009 after meeting on the internet in Ipswich, when they were both independently mobile.
They got married in 2010 when Sylvia has an accident in London when her right leg began to give way without warning following knee surgery.
Alan had worked for the ADF completing 2 tours of duty in Vietnam and served with the Police during the 1970's.
It was when Alan was working as a truck driver in 1974 and was involved in head-on collision near Yass NSW where he sustained numerous injuries. The rescue effort took 5 hours to get Alan out of the mangled mess.
Prior to the accident Alan was 6ft.2 now he is 5ft.11 despite losing 3 inches in height - Alan defied doctors to walk again.
Sylvia worked at Coles and held other service related jobs and as a factory worker, and then for a pharmaceutical company as the 2 children from a previous marriage grew older.
In 2004 Sylvia had also struggled with her health after being diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer having her pancreas, spleen, one kidney removed as result. Sylvia was not expected to survive beyond 12 months. Sylvia credits natural therapies and an indeigenous therapy Gumbi-Gumbi for her contrinued wellbeing.
It was also in 2014 that Sylvia's granddaughter Aurora Rose was born which encouraged Sylvia to take better care of her health so she could see Aurora grow up.
Alan and Sylvia bought a van and were travelling around Australia and decided to settle in Cairns where they have been for the past 5 years.
Alan and Sylvia are also active self-advocates as they have initiated actions with:
- local council on disability access issues to new public buildings in the Cairn's region
- Sun Bus for wheelchair access on the bus services, and the
- Earlville shopping centre on issues that directly impact on access
ADA Australia recently worked with both Alan and Sylvia to change to a new Approved Provider as part of the National Aged Care Reforms.
Alan and Sylvia have no plans to slow down they have purchased another van and have plans to visit family and Kakadu in the Northern Territory. Their next big adventure ahead - is their anniversary holiday for 2 weeks on a Pacific Island cruise to New Zealand.