At Carabiner we meet people who are truly great, who only focus on what they can do, who aren’t afraid to dream yet 100% committed to what is needed to turn that dream into reality.
Our stories celebrate who they are, their Carabiner experiences and where they are going
My name is Emma and I'm an 18 year old student currently studying English and History at the University of Auckland. I have cerebral palsy and complex regional pain syndrome, and these have brought me some of my biggest opportunities, including Carabiner.
I had a strong desire to become an accomplished singer and songwriter. Carabiner paired me up with a mentor who helped me work on my singing and performing, and also helped me to record some of my songs, one of which won the Play It Strange Peace Song Competition, and gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to spend 6 weeks in Japan sharing my music.
I've performed in many places since joining Carabiner, including the Auckland Town Hall, the Ellerslie Centre, Aotea Square, Sylvia Park, Zeal West and Corban Estate Arts Centre. I've met many other inspirational artists who have very much had a positive influence on my journey.
I've now developed the confidence to even help others with their musical dreams, and I hope to serve as an influence for young people with disabilities who have a passion for the arts.
Carabiner gave me confidence in my own potential, and has shown me that our dreams have no limits, and the connections we make with others can help further these, as well as creating great relationships.
"I would like to thank the team at Carabiner for this ultimate opportunity as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the programme so far. Working with Bill Francis has opened a window of opportunities into the radio / media industry and for the moment it seems the sky's the limit. I hope to get as much information as possible from Bill as his experience and know-how of the industry has helped me understand what it takes to become a radio presenter."
"Being involved in such a programme as Carabiner is totally dependent on the attitude of both parties. Josh has been an exemplary mentoree keeping in touch and participating as fully as possible, while from my point of view Ive enjoyed helping Josh achieve some of the goals he set at the beginning of this exercise. Most of all I have a new friend, someone who Ill be very happy to help well beyond the one year Carabiner mentorship"
"My name is Jared. I have epilepsy - I have complex partial seizures sometimes up to seven or eight times a day. My epilepsy and the tiredness which follows means I can only work two days a week. When I say two days I don’t mean full days, some days I'll only work an hour or two before I have a seizure and then I’m tired so I have to have a sleep on the couch or go home.
I have a National Diploma in Architectural Technology. I graduated with the merit award for my year, but I couldn't find anyone who was willing to give me a go. Carabiner set me up with Pip Cheshire of Cheshire architects, who was my Carabiner mentor. I volunteered with him for a time and then Pip saw how hardworking I was and oered me a job. I do a lot of the pro bono work which comes in to the oice. At the moment my big project is with the Antarctic Heritage Trust.
For me, Carabiner has been a life-changer. I've been with Cheshire Architects for five years now. My work mates are really good, they understand what’s going on. I can arrive when I want to and leave when I need to, I can even sleep in the oice if I need to.
What does having a job mean? It got me out of the house. It gives me the opportunity to go out and socialise - I used to work from home but I missed the contact with people and the chance to socialise. Going into an oice gives me that. It gives me a chance to do something I love."
"My name is Jordon. I am 22. I am a student at AUT and I have Cerebral Palsy.
My dream was to climb the Sky Tower. Carabiner helped by linking me with a mentor. My mentor helped by organising media and other things, and he also helped me train. We trained for eight months. I did most of my training by climbing the stairs to my apartment, which was on the 14th floor.
When I climbed the Sky Tower in April it only took me half an hour to climb 1,029 stairs. It was amazing. Now we are training for a bigger tower in Melbourne which is 1,800 steps high.
Before I was in Carabiner I wasn't very confident, I wouldn't have had the confidence to do something like this. In fact, if you’d called me a year ago I wouldn't have even talked to you.
Carabiner gave me the confidence to climb to the top of the Sky Tower and celebrate disability. Carabiner has been amazing for me."