No handicap for Elisha

Elisha Bramhall, 20, is determined not to let Down’s Syndrome stop her fulfilling her dreams.
Elisha Bramhall, 20, is determined not to let Down’s Syndrome stop her fulfilling her dreams. Chris Ison

"A LITTLE flat and uninspired" was how Vicki Steele described her job.

Until she met Elisha Bramhall - a bright and bubbly 20-year-old who was born with Down's Syndrome.

In many ways Elisha is like every other young woman.

She is addicted to Facebook, loves socialising and has big dreams for her future.

But Elisha is also unique; in fact Vicki, the training co-ordinator for Smart City Vocational College, calls her a "pocket rocket".

The day she walked into Vicki's life and insisted on studying a Certificate II in Retail, Vicki said Elisha opened the eyes and hearts of not only herself and her colleagues, but also her classmates.

Vicki said it wasn't just Elisha's pure determination and strong work ethic that made her so inspirational, but also her wicked sense of humour and desire to contribute to the community.

Elisha's hunger to learn has seen her complete hospitality and information technology certificates at Rockhampton TAFE, her retail certificate with Vicki's help, and she was currently working on a further qualification at Community Solutions.

The young academic also willingly juggles two jobs - at Glenmore's IGA and a fish and chip shop in Wandal, and she has applied for a third job in the hospitality industry.

Despite her hectic schedule, Elisha volunteered at the Wandal Community Garden and was a Girl Guide.

Touched by Elisha's determination to live life to the fullest, Vicki nominated her for The Young Disability Challenge Award, which recognised people aged 12 to 25 who have advanced the rights of people with a disability.

On December 3 Elisha will fly with her mother to the 2011 National Disability Awards in Canberra as the only Queensland finalist in the seven categories offered.

It's an honour Elisha wasn't expecting. But she said she was excited and wanted to encourage others to not let their disabilities stop them from achieving their dreams.



The National Disability Awards will be announced at Parliament House in Canberra on November 22 as part of the Australian Government's celebration of International Day of People with Disability.

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