Kate Giles

A portrait photo of Kate Giles
Kate Giles

My background is nursing and disability support. When I began losing my sight to retinitis pigmentosa, I decided to study journalism and creative writing. Travel and peoples' experience with disabilities is my main focus. I have been published in mainstream as well as the disability sectors. Reading, writing, going to the movies, dining out and travelling are my main interests.

I strive to live life to the fullest. I have many interests and love to travel. Writing about my experiences is also a passion. I especially want to encourage other people to be active by sharing my experiences.

Kate Giles's articles

John with his arms up in triumph on the Kokoda Trail.
John Saunders taking on Kokoda

John taking on Kokoda.

The Kokoda Track is a route over the Owen Stanley Ranges in Papua New Guinea. It crosses some of the most rugged territory imaginable. There is a memorial with the words “courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice.” These words embrace the spirit of the Australian soldiers of World War II. The walk is now a pilgrimage for others. John Saunders is 70 years old and is legally blind. He chose to walk the Kokoda Track with his son.
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An illustrated early Christmas card.
The First Christmas Card

An early Christmas card.

Sending greetings at Christmas has been around for a long time. It’s an opportunity to keep in touch and it’s a tradition I love. The first message at Christmas was noted over 400 years ago. Then some 130 years later the first Christmas card was developed. In the late 1800s the first line of American Christmas cards were produced. Today there are millions of Christmas cards sent each year. Traditional methods of sending greetings are also now going digital. But I still prefer the old ways of sending cards.
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Dave Jacka raises his arms in the air. He is in a wheelchair on the tarmac next to his light plane.
Dave Jacka raises his arms in the air. He is in a wheelchair on the tarmac next to his light plane.

"If there's a maybe, there's a possibility."

This year Dave Jacka became the first person with quadriplegia to fly solo around Australia. The journey had good and bad moments. Dave dreamed of flying a plane when he was a boy. But when he was 20 years old he had a motorbike accident. After the accident he had only six per cent body function. He still wanted to learn how to fly and it was hard to find somebody to teach him. But years later he learned how to fly. He has a light aircraft with special equipment. Dave has won a Pride of Australia medal for his solo flight around Australia.
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A close-up photo of a person's eye.
eye

Helping people to see.

Dianne has a vision impairment. She is helping to test the bionic eye. A bionic eye is used to help people who are blind to have some vision. A person wears special glasses that have a camera. The camera sends information to a computer chip that has been placed in the brain. Each week Dianne meets scientists to test the bionic eye. She is excited because she can see flashes of light. She also sees the outline of things. She is happy and proud to be involved in these tests. Scientists think the bionic eye will continue to be improved.
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Two deck chairs under an umbrella on a beach on a sunny day
Two deck chairs under an umbrella on a beach on a sunny day

Many people are fast becoming their own travel agent

With the availability of the internet and online booking sites, many people are fast becoming their own travel agents. Kelly has a 'do it yourself' attitude. After a bad experience, she decided to book her own holidays. She became her own travel agent. Her first time was a wonderful adventure. There are lots of available websites to help you make good choices when making your own bookings. And it is all quite exciting when your travel plans come together.
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A girl and her father bike riding team
Alex-and-Warrick-Grime

Alex and Warrick Grime - A father and daughter team.

The annual CyclePower tour is on again. The ride provides funds for sport and recreation for those with disabilities. It is a daring challenge. Some people use hand-cycles. Peter Hyden says he knows it's not going to be a skip around the park. But he is looking forward to learning from others. Alex Grime is also participating for the first time. She is looking forward to the physical challenge. There are many benefits to be gained. The CyclePower tour showcases what can be achieved despite disability.
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Painting of a human profile on a blue background
torn-brain
Many years ago people with disabilities only had their basic needs looked after. Today things are different. Scientists are now realising the importance of rehabilitation in stimulating the brain. The significance is made clear in the book, The Mind's Eye. Now days, people with disabilities are given every opportunity to adapt and adjust.
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A tuk-tuk (3 wheeled passenger motorcycle) in Cambodia
tuk-tuk

Tuk-tuks a great way to get around and see all there is to see

I've always been into unusual ways of travel. I've flown on a Gooney Bird to King Island, clattered and clopped on a horse and cart in Bali, and bustled and bounced along in the local buses in many countries. But on a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam, we got around in tuk-tuks, cyclos and rickshaws.
1 comment - on 26/04/2013
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Dave Jacka sitting in a wheelchair under the wing of his aircraft
dave_jacka

Dave Jacka is aiming to be the first person with quadriplegia to fly solo around Australia

Dave Jacka always wanted to fly. But after a motorbike accident he went from being a 100% able bodied person to being left with only 6% of his physical function. Dave wanted to be more independent. He practiced doing things for himself. With his give it a go attitude, Dave became the first person with quadriplegia to fly solo in a powered hand glider. His goal is to showcase what people with disabilities can achieve. Dave's aim is now to be the first person with quadriplegia to fly solo around Australia. This is his story.
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Hanging decorations on a Christmas tree
xmasdecorations

Decorating your Christmas tree can be a very personal experience

I've had a variety of Christmas trees. This year I'm using a tree saved from my friend's garbage collection. I have spent years collecting decorations. A beautiful angel on top of the tree is the symbol of peace, love, joy and hope. Other decorations signify the birth of my children and my grandchildren. Coloured birds and butterflies remind me of those who are no longer with us. The twinkling lights are smiles and the gifts are my way of saying thank you. My tree is a symbol of my life and those in it.
1 comment - on 24/12/2012

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