Josh meets the Prime Minister

10/10/16
L-R: Josh’s mum, Jenny Wood; Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Malcom Turnbull MP; Josh’s dad, Dean Wood; Josh; Josh’s brother, Ben, and Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta MP.L-R: Josh’s mum, Jenny Wood; Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Malcom Turnbull MP; Josh’s dad, Dean Wood; Josh; Josh’s brother, Ben, and Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta MP.

Nine-year-old Josh Wood from Carindale, who lives with a vision impairment, felt ‘over the moon’ when he and his brother, Ben, received an invitation to meet the Prime Minister of Australia.

“Josh received a letter of congratulations from the Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, a couple of years ago after Mr Vasta read an article in the local paper about Josh’s achievements in the 2014 Braille Literacy Challenge,” said Joshua’s mum, Jenny. “The letter of congratulations was written in Braille which was so special.”

Earlier this year Josh asked Mr Vasta if he and his brother, Ben, could meet the Prime Minister and was thrilled when his wish came true.

Josh was also delighted to meet the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and the Hon Tony Smith MP, Member for Casey, Victoria during his visit to Canberra.

“Josh was so excited to meet the Prime Minister – it was such a wonderful experience for him. The best part of his day was having his selfie taken with Mr Turnbull.

“Josh gave the Prime Minister a gift he had made in Braille and this is now displayed in the Prime Minister’s office. Mr Smith also organised special Question Time seats for us which was very exciting and a great experience for the family,” said Jenny.

Josh and his older brother Ben enjoy public speaking and are both interested in politics and parliament.

“Ben received the highest mark in the State for his AMEB Speech and Drama Exams twice and performed at Parliament House in Brisbane.  He has also learned Braille to support Josh and attends the RIDBC Teleschool residential camps with him every year,” said Jenny.

In September, a few days before Josh left for Canberra, Josh came first in the state in Queensland Braille Writing Association’s Braille Literacy Challenge for reading and second in the state for writing.

“We are so incredibly proud of Josh. He is a quiet achiever, but you couldn’t wipe the smile off his face,” said Jenny. “He came straight home after the Challenge and rang his RIDBC Teleschool teacher, Tricia, to tell her the good news.”

“Josh just loves his sessions with Tricia.  She is the most amazing teacher who goes above and beyond for her students. Tricia knows how to get the best out of Josh and she taps into his interest areas.  He always comes home so excited to tell us what she’s been teaching him.” 

Josh’s parents are optimistic for the future.

“My husband and I really want Josh to be able to fulfil all his dreams.  We don’t want his vision loss to stand in his way and want him to have the same opportunities everyone else has. We are confident Josh has a marvellous future ahead of him.”

RIDBC is a charity and Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with vision or hearing loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in people's lives.