A sense of be­long­ing

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page -

JU­LIA Hales is bring­ing her story to the stage to show the world what a woman with Down syn­drome can achieve.

The 37-year-old Su­bi­aco ac­tor is an im­por­tant voice and leader of her com­mu­nity.

She lives in­de­pen­dently and has com­pleted stud­ies at Tafe and WAAPA.

Hales is even in talks with pro­duc­ers of her favourite TV drama, Home and Away, to make an ap­pear­ance on the show and ful­fil a life­long am­bi­tion.

But her proud­est mo­ment is now as she gears up to per­form her first pro­duc­tion for Black Swan State The­atre Com­pany and Perth Fes­ti­val.

Ded­i­cated to her late mother, You Know We Be­long To­gether is an up­lift­ing look at love, re­la­tion­ships, ac­cep­tance and be­long­ing.

“Mum passed away two years ago,” Hales said. “I re­ally loved her and she loved me; she did ev­ery­thing for me.

“It was re­ally nice to have a mother fig­ure but now that she isn’t here, I have to do stuff on my own. I’ve learnt so much from her and that’s why I want to keep that love go­ing and that’s how I got started in this play.

“All Mum ever wanted for me was to make my dreams come true; she pushed me to Tafe and into my apart­ment.”

The play, a col­lab­o­ra­tive work of Black Swan, Perth Fes­ti­val and DADAA, also fo­cuses on the com­plex­ity and his­tory of Down syn­drome and re­veals a com­mu­nity rarely seen on stage.

“About 300 years ago, when they didn’t have any re­search, they thought most of us with Down syn­drome couldn’t han­dle things,” Hales said.

“We used to get locked up back then; luck­ily I was born af­ter that. The whole play is about be­ing to­gether, the feel­ing of love and also be­long­ing. ”

Sara Fitz­patrick

Ju­lia Hales stars in her first pro­duc­tion You Know We Be­long To­gether.

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