East Victoria Park support worker wins WA Disability Support Award


East Victoria Park resident Samantha Warne’s friendship with Fletcher Garrett inspired a children’s book.
East Victoria Park resident Samantha Warne’s friendship with Fletcher Garrett inspired a children’s book.

EAST Victoria Park support worker Samantha Warne has been recognised after winning a WA Disability Support Award at a gala dinner at Crown Perth on Saturday.

Ms Warne was nominated for the Excellence in Advocacy and Rights Promotion Award by the family of Fletcher Garrett (11) for her work producing a children’s book, A Friend Like Mine.

The pair met at Directions Disability Support Services in Maddington and Ms Warne wanted to advocate not only for Hammond Park Primary School student Fletcher, who is the main character in the book but for all children who are treated differently because they have a disability.

Samantha Warne, back, with Fletcher Garrett (11) and his parents Kristina and David Garrett.

She said she felt lucky to have met Fletcher.

“He is an absolute inspiration to me and this wouldn’t have been possible without him or the unyielding support of the Garrett family,” she said.

The former music teacher plans to take the book into classroom and conduct workshops with students and teachers, using it as a tool to open a dialogue about disability, inclusivity, compassion, acceptance, respect and individuality.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the WA Disability Support Awards, hosted by National Disability Services WA in partnership with the Department of Communities, have been recognising and celebrating the achievements of disability support workers since 2009.

MORE: Police charge children after crash in stolen car in Como

MORE: Police seek public help following Maida Vale crash

MORE: Kelmscott murder: family releases statement as police charge man