“Living in Adelaide, South Australia” by Faisal Rusdi
My name is Faisal Rusdi, and my life story appears in the ‘My Disabilities’ book project under the leadership of John Duthie and TM. I have Cerebral Palsy causing motor dysfunction, which mainly affects my hands and legs. One of my passions in life is painting, and I am a member of the ‘Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists’. It has been nine years happy years since I married Cucu Saidah. She commenced studying at Flinders University in South Australia, and eight months later I left Indonesia to join her.
It was a big surprise when John asked me to join the project. At that time, I did not accept his offer as I was busy preparing for a painting exhibition. At the same time, Cucu and I had a tight schedule as we were preparing to go back to our home in Indonesia. I did not feel confident in my English, however, John convinced me to write my Adelaide story. Now I feel honoured to participate in this project.
It is a good chance to write the story of my life in Australia as Cucu’s supporter. As we both use wheelchairs, and non-Australia residents, I believe my account will be different from other writers. I lived around 16 months in Adelaide.
The biggest challenge I faced is that English is my third language and I had no experience writing a story in my new language. Thankfully, Cucu helped translate Indonesian into English, Marie Doerner and John helped with grammar, spelling and structure, and I had the support of joint project manager, TM. I am pleased to write about the happy and sad times, and the challenges Cucu and I faced in Australia. My third language has improved too.
This book will benefit people in Indonesia, such as the government, individuals, people with disabilities and organisations that help these people. I hope the book sells in Indonesia because the stories in this book will contain essential knowledge for my country. E.g. universal design in public facilities, disability rights, advocacy, and accessible & inclusive services for people with disabilities in Indonesia. The book may encourage other people with disabilities to write their own book. There may be an encouragement for other people with disabilities to join our next book project.
Thank you to all supporters who made my story in Australia colourful.