George – standing up for rights
“My ability to stand up for my own rights and to assist people to stand up for their rights is very important for me.”
This film is part of our Shared Stories film series.
The films celebrate personal choices in living a good life. Featuring people with disability from all walks of life from right across NSW, each film was a truly collaborative effort between film maker and storyteller.
We hope you enjoy watching these films as much as we do.
George: Hi, my name is George Ayoub. I’m pretty outspoken. Sometimes too much outspoken.
My family are everything to me. They keep me sort of…they keep my feet planted. They’re just so supportive, my wife and two older children. I just feel really privileged to be part of them. Bev and I, we’ve been together since 1999. We got married in 2011.
The relationship is about sharing. It’s not about what she does for me, or what I do for her, it’s about what we share together. And our love is something we share together.
There’s stuff I love to do. I love to cook. I love cooking. I love my garden. So, whenever I get a chance, I cook. Beverly loves my cooking, you know? I love flavours. I love the smells. It relaxes me.
Inside the garden, it’s a beautiful area. I just…I’m there and I feel like I’m lost in another world and I can actually laugh and just not worry about the world.
We’ve been given gifts and we need to be able to share them. My ability to stand up for my own rights and to assist people to stand up for their rights is very important to me.
I may have acquired a disability at a young age but it’s become a secondary nature to me. It’s part of something that inhibits me but doesn’t stop me. A simple little thing like a step versus a ramp. A step inhibits people. It disables me. But if you remove that step I’m no longer a person with a disability. I can be a full member of my community that I live in.
Many people don’t realise the strength you can actually exhibit from being in a wheelchair. You develop a reputation, you develop knowledge, you develop contacts, networks. And then to be able to put that back into somebody else, it’s such a rewarding feeling.
[speaking to a group]: Knowledge is a great thing, eh?
Currently, I’m running a peer support group and the whole concept is about people sharing supports so we can become our own sort of professional. The power comes back to the person with the disability.
[speaking to a group]: I also believe truly that the best expert in your life is you.
Change doesn’t have to be big, just a little bit. And that way you can start with a bit of a snowball effect.
George: You know, we set our sights on goals and try and achieve something and I think if you can get there, that’s great. But it’s the journey to get there that’s even greater. Failure is only when you stop. If you keep going, you’ll never reach failure.