We are so excited to congratulate Kathleen and Rodney on their recent Commitment Ceremony.
Originally planned to be held in February 2020, their special event had to be postponed three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, on 28 February 2021, family and friends, including some fellow residents, participants and staff from OCC, gathered at the Old Cheese Factory in Berwick to witness the celebration. Rodney’s father, brother and sister and Kathleen’s brothers, sister-in law, nieces and nephews also attended the celebrations.
The ceremony started around 12.30 pm, with Kathleen and Rodney walking down the aisle together. In a beautiful ceremony, they committed to a lifetime of friendship and exchanged rings with each other and then celebrated to late in the day with food, drinks and gift-giving.
Their event could not have happened without the support of Kathleen’s family including her brother Paul and his wife and Rodney’s father Richard, who all played a big part in organising a wonderful day.
With our supporters’ generosity, the OC Achieve Fund funded many aspects of the ceremony, including the catering, Kathleen’s dress, Rodney’s suit, wedding rings and hairstyling on the day.
The couple topped off their special day with a “honeymoon” at Phillip Island. Taylor Hunter, OC Connections Senior Support Coordinator, worked closely with Kathleen and Rodney to plan their getaway to the last detail. The itinerary included their must-see places such as the Penguin Parade, San Remo Pelican Feeding, a trip to the Maru Koala and Animal Park, a tour of the Chocolate Factory, Nobbies Centre Antarctic Journey, a game of mini-golf, puzzles and games night, Koala Conservation Reserve, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Churchill Island, and of course dinner and cocktails!
It was so much fun to sit down with Kathleen and Rodney to organise their honeymoon. Kathleen wanted to go away for a month!Taylor Hunter, OC Connections Senior Support Coordinator
The pair stayed in accessible accommodation close to Cowes and were delighted that the house manager sent flowers to them on their arrival. Using their NDIS core funding (support worker portion), they were able to have OCC Disability Support Worker, Jo travel with them.
It was such a shame that we had to keep postponing the celebrations, but we got there in the end. It was great that Kathleen and Rodney could choose where and how to spend their time away.
Both Kathleen and Rodney were residents of Allen Street and moved to their new home in 2017. Their home features an apartment with two bedrooms, ensuite and a living area separate from the main living areas. This design has allowed them to live together as a couple, with support from our staff. Read more about the Allen Street redevelopment project here.
Kathleen and Rodney’s commitment ceremony is an important step in their relationship. It is also a perfect example of how with the right support, people with intellectual disability can achieve their personal goals and live the life they choose.