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HD Spotlight on Amy Hale

Here from our Youth Social Worker

Q. Why did you decide to become a social worker?

A. When I was a kid I used to love going to work with my grandma in the holidays. She was a community social worker in Kings Cross. We would drive around the Inner Sydney in the 80’s stopping and speaking to people who were having a hard time – often experiencing homelessness. I used to love watching the way she listened to them and worked with them. She taught me the value in each and every person and showed me how much of a privilege it is to be let into someone’s world with them when they’re struggling.

Q. How did you get involved in the HD world?

A. When the HNSW ACT youth work position was advertised in 2017, the ad just jumped out at me. It was exactly what I was looking for. Not being from an HD family, I became involved in the HD world in a different way. I’ve always been interested in youth work, science, and genetics, and my specific interest in HD started many years ago through trying to understand folk singer, Woody Guthrie’s poems and lyrics. He grew up watching his mum’s HD progress and sometimes wrote about how that felt for him. Listening to him made me want to learn all I could about Huntington’s disease, and I’ve had a fascination with it ever since.

Q. What keeps you enthusiastic about your job?

A. It’s impossible not to stay enthusiastic when I am constantly being inspired by the strength, honesty, and resilience I see in the kids and families I work with. The Huntington’s community really is like no other. Growing up in a family affected by HD can present such extraordinary and unique challenges for a young person. The privilege of walking that path with them while they’re trying to work out and navigate these challenges is really very special.

Q. What is your ideal Sunday?

A. I think my ideal Sunday would just involve a long list of simple pleasures! I live in a rural area in the mountains outside Sydney, so weekends are quiet. I’d definitely start with a coffee outside in the sun watching the magpies – and if I’m really lucky, I’d see some brown doves as well. I’d spend time with my kids and my dogs (who would all be behaving perfectly – for the entire day). We’d listen to records and find creative things to do. Maybe we’d have a swim in the dam in the afternoon and definitely homemade pizza for dinner. As the sun goes down, we might light a little fire in the garden to sit around. That would be a pretty great day for me.

 

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