Buddy bench drive

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

APRIL was autism aware­ness month and the shire did its part to un­der­stand the of­ten mis­un­der­stood di­ag­no­sis.

On April 18 more than 20 peo­ple filled the hall at the Moss­man Bowls Club to lis­ten to Rod­ney Mills.

Mr Mills, who flew in from Bris­bane, is a 36-year-old liv­ing with autism and ob­ses­sive com­pul­sive disor­der.

Mr Mills who was once put in the “too hard bas­ket” now lives in his own home, has a paid job and runs his own busi­ness pre­sent­ing to com­mu­ni­ties around the world.

Stu­dents from Moss­man State High School and other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity lis­tened in­tently as Mr Mills spoke of his story of tri­umph.

At Port Dou­glas State School Autism Aware­ness Day on Thurs­day April 21 meant free dress and colour­ful hair­styles to “cel­e­brate dif­fer­ence”.

Teacher aide Kate Cooper worked tire­lessly for a week to com­plete an equally colour­ful mu­ral on one of the school walls. The stu­dents also made their own mu­rals and the win­ning class got to cel­e­brate with a pizza party.

The money raised from the gold coin do­na­tion will go to­wards a Buddy Bench. The bench will be a place where stu­dents can go if they need a friend.

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