Veronica’s Journey: A Story of Resilience and Giving Back

It’s NAIDOC Week and what better time to celebrate our incredible client, Veronica. Veronica is a woman who “keeps the fire burning” with her resilience and drive to give back to her community.

A proud First Nations woman, Veronica’s family come from the Pilbara region, including Carnarvon, Roebourne, Port Hedland and Tom Price. She enjoys learning about her family history and visiting relatives who still live in the area.

Veronica was born in Carnarvon, but moved to Perth as a child so that her family could get medical support for her vision impairment. Born with congenital nystagmus and astigmatism, Veronica underwent three surgeries on her eyes before the age of three.

Veronica has been a client of VisAbility, then the Association of the Blind of WA, almost all her life. While her vision loss hasn’t held her back, it has certainly come with big challenges.

In 2004, Veronica moved from Perth to Geraldton after giving up her license. Several years later, Veronica’s long-term marriage ended, and she was diagnosed with significant health issues. These massive life changes, combined with the ongoing challenges of being legally blind, saw her slide into a deep depression.

But Veronica’s spark was still there, and she reached out for help.

She needed to develop skills that would enable her to live independently as a mother of five, with her two youngest children still living at home.

Veronica says, “One of biggest challenges for me has been cooking safely and looking after the family home.”

VisAbility Occupational Therapist Keearny makes regular visits from Perth to Geraldton and now supports Veronica with strategies to help her live independently at home.

Thanks to Keearny’s advice and support with funding applications, Veronica is now able to access NDIS funding for a range of services and Assistive Technology.

Veronica sits at a table, reading a bill with the help of a digital magnifier.
Veronica reads a bill with the help of a digital magnifier.

“Keearny has been a huge help. She set me up with tactile markers so that I’m able to use the oven and microwave. I do a lot of cooking with the slow cooker because it’s got three settings which keeps things simple.”

“Keearny told me about other assistive technology that can help me with cooking. I’m really excited to try cooking some new meals with the Talking Single Induction Cook Top and the Talking Air Fryer,” explains Veronica.

Veronica says that NDIS funding has “totally changed her life.”

Veronica now has a support worker to help her out a several times a week around the house. She gets help with her shopping, assistance maintaining the garden and a second set of eyes to see what spots she may have missed cleaning.

Veronica’s doctor also suggested volunteering to support her mental wellbeing.

A long-time horse lover and rider in her youth, Veronica reached out to HorsePower (previously known as Riding for the Disabled).

Established in WA in 1972, HorsePower Australia supports children and adults with diverse abilities through various programs. Veronica has now volunteered for over 4 years in the Geraldton branch, helping children with disabilities or illnesses ride horses. Guided by a physiotherapist, the programs improve core strength, muscle control, and balance, enhancing fitness and mobility.

Veronica leads a child riding a horse around a field.
Veronica leads a child riding a horse around a field. The child Liam is reaching off the horse to touch a goal post, improving balance, coordination and core strength.

Working with horses and volunteers fosters responsibility, empathy, self-esteem, communication, leadership, and trust. It creates a strong community and sense of belonging for participants and their families. It gives just as much back to its volunteers.

Veronica says that she has found her place with the team and riders at HorsePower.

“Giving back to kids in need and rediscovering my love of horses, has given me a new purpose in life. I’m making a real difference in the lives of others. I feel valued, I’m learning new skills and I’ve made some great friends in my community.”

Veronica holds the lead while standing beside a horse with a child sitting on it.
Veronica holds the horse lead while Liam rides.

By joining the team at Horsepower and accessing available support through VisAbility and NDIS funding, Veronica’s fire is raging once again. This is why we celebrate her during NAIDOC Week 2024.

“It’s been incredible watch Veronica’s confidence return as she gives back to her community,” says Keearny. “There’s no stopping Veronica now.”

If you’re needing some help dealing with changes in your vision – don’t wait. Reach out to VisAbility today because we’re here to help.

Click here to visit our website, or contact our friendly team by phone: (08) 9311 8202 or email:

The team at HorsePower are always open for more help! If you’re interested in volunteering at a HorsePower location near you, click here to visit their website.

Veronica is smiling broadly at the camera standing in a field leading a large brown horse.
Giving back to the community has given Veronica a new purpose in life.