STAR Singalong to celebrate International Day of People with Disability

As appeared in Redland City Bulletin, Dec 8, 2020

A WOMAN with a memory condition shared by less than 100 people in the world has told her story at an event celebrating International Day of People with Disability.

Rebecca Sharrock was one of three inspirational speakers at the STAR Community Services event, with locals Arran Hansen and Tamar Flannery also telling of their achievements, passions and personal challenges living with disability.

Ms Sharrock is one of the only 80 people in the world known to have Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory.

The condition means she remembers details from nearly every day of her life, dating back to when she was 12 days old.

She is also a peer mentor and speaker for people with autism.

"I believe that I have a condition, not a disability," she said.

Ms Sharrock also runs a network for people with autism, called Embrace Your Passion.

"Even though the global pandemic posed several challenges, it also brought various opportunities," she said.

"Thanks to technology becoming a primary means of communication, I was able to connect to various international organisations and like minded people in the last few months."

International Day of People with Disability celebrates the achievements and contributions of people with disability.

To mark this significant day STAR Community Services organised a singalong event, supported by a community grant from council.

Adele Tresillian led a Christmas singalong, joined by the guests.

Speaker Tamar Flannery, an NDIS participant and a STAR volunteer, said everyone needed to be recognised for their abilities, not their disabilities.

"Every disability is different and each individual is unique," she said.

"We all have dreams and passions."

Mayor Karen Williams said the pandemic had brought residents closer together, and events like International Day of People with Disability were reminders to embrace diversity and build inclusive communities.