Oliver Parnham is the support worker of a 20-year-old man who has Xeroderma Pigmentosum with neurological effects. He provides physical, social and emotional care to his client – a 24/7 job – while also supporting the client’s family.
He not only carries out support work but also manages the NDIS plan and the financial and healthcare side of his client’s needs to reduce the stress on the client’s family.
For his efforts, Oliver has been recognised by the client’s allied health team, as well as their support co-ordinator. He was nominated for the 2021 Tasmanian Young Achiever of the Year Award, and was a finalist in the 2021 TADPAC Print Service to the Disability Sector Award.
Oliver seeks to improve the way disability care is implemented. In particular, he wants to increase the number of young people in disability support. He says many young people with disabilities enjoy the company of other young people, yet very few of them are in the sector.
Oliver has a rare congenital heart defect that has required three open heart surgeries to date. While it often leaves him feeling tired, he never lets this impact how hard he works, always putting the client’s needs above his own.