TV cameras joined Justin and Sarah (who have Down syndrome) and Kirk, who has autism, on their first 10 weeks of independence ” from an emotional moving day to their housewarming party, cooking lessons, fights, flirting and everything in between.
The result was The Dreamhouse, an Australian-first ABC series narrated by comedian Adam Hills premiering this Thursday. Producer Artemis International approached the City of Subiaco last year to film the six-part series at the City-owned house leased by Foundation Housing.
Mayor Heather Henderson said she was incredibly proud and excited at the opportunity to show off Subiaco’s diverse and welcoming community.
Justin, who works at Westcare, said it was ‘really weird’ having cameras around at first but soon loved it.
‘I am a public speaker at schools about what it’s like to have Down syndrome, so I’m not really shy,’ he said.
‘Moving out wasn’t my idea, it was my mum’s idea, but then I said to her: ‘I’m not a mummy’s boy anymore and I have to toughen up’.
‘Now I like going out with buddies to Jus Burgers or maybe the movies. When (I first saw myself on the TV) my mum was crying and I was too.
‘It was happy crying because we missed each other.’
Sarah said she had good and bad times in the house.
‘It was tough making my decisions; sometimes I get a bit anxious about things like having parties,’ she said.
When the show premieres this week, Kirk said he and Justin would have friends over for pizza and beers to celebrate.
‘I think this show is going to get Logie awards,’ Sarah said.