Emily dreams of drama
EMILY Ardley has had a unique vision for 15 years to start a drama club in South Gippsland that she could be a part of.
She is no ordinary visionary; she has, unlike many, succeeded in her dream while overcoming the difficulties she faces with her intellectual disability.
“This has been Emily’s 15 year long pipe-dream,” carer Stavroula O’Reilly said.
Ms Ardley has worked tirelessly with the help of her family, friends, and carers to achieve her dream and said she has had nothing but support and openness from all levels of government in her search for equal opportunities for the disabled.
“People with disabilities have passion and drive,” Ms Ardley said, and it is with her own sheer determination that the It’s no (drama) project to create a drama club for people with disabilities can finally get off the ground.
McMillan MP Russell Broadbent has announced $5975 for Ms Ardley’s project in Leongatha.
“This Community Grant will help develop workshops and public performances with an ensemble of performers with a disability,” Mr Broadbent said, presenting a cheque to Ms Ardley last week, who was supported in her application by South Gippsland Shire Council.
“It’s allowing more people to enter into the arts space and giving them a new way of expressing themselves. I love it.”
Ms Ardley had “had enough” of having to drive down to Melbourne every Sunday morning just for the opportunity to be a part of the drama activities she loves.
Having been involved in two disability-friendly drama groups with the Weave Movement Theatre and Rawcus Company, Ms Ardley is using her vast experience to encourage rural people with disabilities to pursue drama as a new avenue for enjoyment.
Initially having been giving state funding for two theatre workshops to be held, Ms Ardley said funding dried up and she had to abandon the steering committee she had organised.
The new funding will allow the organisation to become a more permanent fixture of the community, with Ms Ardley excited and keen for the future.
Mr Broadbent agreed, saying “this is about a long term vision for performers”.
“With the establishment of a steering committee and strategy to help those people who are passionate about performance, like Emily, to build something that will continue to grow into the future,” he said.
Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=20291