Caring is its own reward, says award winner

Myles Leeson with disability support worker Michael Ardzejewski. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d417044
Myles Leeson with disability support worker Michael Ardzejewski. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d417044

The Huntingdale resident won the Supported Living Award at the recent Disability Support Workers Awards 2014.

Mr Ardzejewski has been a carer at Nulsen, which supports people with disabilities to live in shared accommodation, for seven years but it’s the strong relationship he has built over the past three years with 21-year-old resident Myles Leeson that led to him winning the award.

Mr Leeson has autism and communicates using Key Word Sign, a combination of gestures and verbal expressions, but often descends into his own less understandable version.

‘He’s very lax with it so I’m constantly teaching him and reminding him,’ Mr Ardzejewski said.

‘I’m also trying to teach Myles other languages; he can understand some Polish and Spanish.’

Though Mr Ardzejewski spends a lot of time caring for Mr Leeson, he said the role was lots of fun.

‘I don’t look at it as my job, we’re mates,’ he said.