Spectrum Showcase: Narmi Collins-Widders, 13

G’day fellow humans! In this edition of Grapevine, we’d like to introduce you to a truly awesome young woman; Narmi, who is a budding artist, a navy cadet, a proud member of the indigenous Anaiwan nation, and Autistic.

As you can see for yourself, Narmi has a remarkable talent for painting and drawing.

“My art is what gets me through most days,” she says. “It’s what I love doing, it lets me express myself without any judgment. I can paint what I feel and no one can tell me it’s wrong or do it another way.”

Narmi credits her personal I CAN network, her family, for helping her to overcome challenges and flourish.

“My family has always supported me; my parents fight for me 100%. They have never let me feel as if I need to change to be like everyone else, they make me try new things and support me to achieve my goals. Even before I could talk my mum and dad were making sure I had the same opportunities as everyone else, they don’t take no as an answer. Because of my family I can get through most things, I talk myself through situations and know I can ask my mob for help. I come from a large Aboriginal family so I have lots of people there for me.”

So with so much to be proud of already at the age of 13, what’s next for Narmi?

“For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be a fire fighter,” she tells us. “My mum recently organised, with the help of my Aunty Lisa, a personal tour of the Armidale Brigade. I was able to look around, try on the safety gear they wear, and because it was all organised especially for me Craig knew about my Autism and didn’t expect me to ask lots of questions, so there weren’t any awkward moments. I learnt all about how to become a fire fighter.”

Narmi is yet another shining example of what Autistics CAN do, and it was truly a privilege to get to share her story and insights. We asked her if she had a message for our readers, and she left us with this celestial pearl: “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something; our Autism makes us unique, not disabled. Go after what you want to achieve and anything is possible.”

Max Williams, Editor

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