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Art and music inspire Audrey’s zest for life

Audrey Warbie has a smile that would light up a room.

While the 53-year-old has an intellectual disability and uses few spoken words, her body language and facial expressions clearly show her joy for life and people.

Audrey lives at a Nulsen Disability Services home in Perth. The home’s Site Manager Tracey Mather said Audrey loved being around people and had a very busy social life.

“Audrey is one of those people who loves to try all things,” Tracey said.

“She loves to be among people and be part of the world.”

Apart from her sunny disposition, Audrey expresses herself as an artist and a choir member, and enjoys being outdoors.

“Audrey attends a program called Artists by the River as well as an on-site art program run by an artist,” Tracey said.

Her artwork featured in a Disability Services Commission staff calendar in 2015 and  she is planning to next year enter the annual As We Are Art Award which is a state-wide art award and exhibition open to all Western Australian artists who have an intellectual disability

Audrey was born in Derby, in WA’s Kimberley, to parents who lived on Nookanbah Station, near Fitzroy Crossing.

She came to Perth in 1963 because of a severe case of measles. Since then she has been in supported accommodation and at Nulsen since May 2015.

Tracey said that Audrey uses a wheelchair and directs staff where she wants to go with body language, facial expressions and vocal sounds.

Audrey is proud of her Aboriginal culture and stays connected with her family, via telephone every Sunday, and soon she will use Skype to communicate with her family.

Tracey said that despite her disability, Audrey is a strong woman who knows what she likes and advocates strongly achieving the best for her life, which includes selling many pieces of her own artwork