KARELLE LIFE ENRICHMENT SERVICE
Reverend the Hon. Dr GORDON MOYES
[11.02 p.m.]: As Parliamentary Leader of Family First in New South Wales I speak of an amazing photography program called Life's Journey in Pictures, which is facilitated by the Karelle Life Enrichment Service. Those here might remember a similar adjournment speech on 23
June this year when I spoke of the Karelle Life Enrichment Service. This organisation is located in Mount Druitt and was founded in 2003 for the purpose of developing the potential in people who have an intellectual disability and helping families in crisis. Karelle provides innovative and creative programs for the total life enrichment of a community member with an intellectual disability.
The exhibition, aptly named Life's Journey in Pictures, was displayed at Penrith Panthers on 27 August 2010 and showcased the talents of Karelle clients who had participated in a 12-week study of photography program. Special guests at the exhibition included me as guest host and my close friend Ken Duncan, who accepted my invitation to attend and judge. Ken Duncan, Australia's foremost landscape photographer, interacted with each client, much to their delight, and discussed the inspiration for their work as well as their photographic techniques. He also gave many of them some clues about how to improve their competencies. Ken Duncan has published more than 50 books of Australian landscapes and his large-scale photographs are favourites with corporate headquarters.
The aim of the program was to enable photographers to capture and express elements of their own lives through pictures. The program taught participants the fundamentals of photography. Some participants had never used a camera before. The instructors wanted their students to understand what they saw in a scene that took their interest, to be able to focus on that, so the image showed what was their interest rather than a quick snap of a whole scene with little or no subject for the viewer to focus upon. To this end they included moving in close to a subject and filling the frame. During the course participants used the preset functions in the camera, such as macro, landscape and portrait, to learn ways to manipulate the settings to get the photograph they wanted. I was absolutely amazed by the quality of their work.
Outings were planned that were enjoyable and consolidated the subjects that had been taught in class. Inspiration for this photography was captured during visits to Jenolan Caves, the local community and so on. Each class member learned at his or her own pace and utilised the knowledge in his or her own individual way. The goal of this photographic program for people with intellectual disabilities was to help participants express their feelings about the world and their experiences in a creative approach, allowing them to share with the community the essence of who they are. I have seen severely disabled people who have been able to respond to music in the most incredible way. These people were responding to photographs.
I will list the seven amazing Karelle clients who displayed their work. They are: Xandra Clavan, Douglas Boyter, Elissa Bassett Narelle Roberts, Emma Tasik, Dennis Gale and Karl Martin. I also thank those who sponsored the event, being St Marys Rugby League Club, which makes this program possible each year through funding; Margaret Fagg and Alia Naughton for their generosity of time and talent as instructors; the clients of Karelle who became the artists for the exhibition; the team at Karelle for their commitment to making the lives of those with an intellectual disability one worth living to the max; the generous companies that supported the exhibition through donations of products and financial donations; and Penrith Panthers for allowing Karelle to exhibit in the magnificent large foyer of its club where the work of the disabled people was seen by thousands. I think members would have been delighted with the amazingly expressive work of these talented photographers who strive to showcase their immense strength and perseverance. Karelle highlights their abilities and provides them with opportunities to experience life to its fullest. I conclude with a comment made by the Karelle photographic instructor, who said:
When I agreed to help out at Karelle and run the class, I did not realise how much the students would engage me and the emotional rewards I would have through conducting the class.