Katrina Breen

A portrait photo of Katrina Breen
Katrina Breen

I am in my late 30s and have been teaching music for 19 years. I teach violin, piano and baby music. I completed a Diploma of Community Development in 2008. I am hoping to work in mental health. I am really interested in helping people to set goals and achieve them. I recently started volunteer work at an aged care hostel. I am also a yoga devotee and keen cyclist. Another lifelong interest is reading quality fiction.

I view life as a journey, and believe that every person can control their own destiny.

Katrina Breen's articles

Four men sit around a table at a restaurant.
London_meetup_57_D

You can make new friends.

Meetup is an online community where anyone can start a group and post events for people to meet face-to-face. It has hundreds of groups in Victoria, and for all kinds of interests. The site is easy to navigate and you can receive email notifications of events. Groups for people with disabilities in Melbourne include The Treehouse for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families, and the Melbourne Wheelchair, Disability & Friends Social Group. Through Meetup people have found groups to do activities with, made new friends and had positive experiences which may never have otherwise happened.
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Two friends sitting outside a laneway cafe drinking coffee together.
men_sitting_cafe2

They might meet at a venue.

Volunteering can be a fun, sociable and rewarding experience. It also provides important help to other people. Many different kinds of organisations use volunteers. One of my volunteer roles is working as a mentor with people with mental illness. The program is called Connecting Mentors and Mates and is organised by Doutta Galla Community Health. As a mentor, I am paired with participants who want to work on improving their connections in the community. My role is to support this person in working towards a goal of their choice.
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A woman in a scooter beside a woman using crutches.
2 female friends (1 wheelchair 1 crutches) walking through park

Nominations are now open.

Do you know someone who works to improve the lives of people with a disability? Do you know of a business that’s used clever ideas to improve access, or that’s increased community awareness of disability? If you do, then nominate them for the 2014 Victorian Disability Sector awards. Nominations close this Friday and the winners will be announced in June.
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The Apple iPad with a series of icons on the screen and a picture of a lake with mountains in the background. The device has a black border around the screen.
iPad

You can use an iPhone or iPad.

It can sometimes take a lot of planning to find where you can go out when you have a disability. But a new tool will now make this planning easier. It is a free app called Out & About. It can be used on an iPhone or iPad. Out & About finds accessible venues and events in Melbourne for people with a disability. It lists accessible places such as parks, beaches, restaurants and cafes. You can review and rate the accessibility of the places you visit. You can also add accessible venues. The app is by Villa Maria.
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Cartoon image of people dancing on a yellow background
AHE

After Hours Events gives people with an intellectual or learning disability the chance to have fun and socialise

At the After Hours Events held at Oakleigh Bowls Club, participants with intellectual and other learning disabilities at can enjoy partner dancing, singing and learn social and communication skills. Best of all, they can have great conversations and make new friends. Donna Gabriel uses her many talents to run this exciting program. Partner dancing is a favourite activity, which involves spending a short amount of time with everyone, using the brain with physical movement, and getting fit and active.
2 comments - last comment on 23/05/2013
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The outside of a courthouse
justice

People with a disability are twice as likely to experience serious legal problems compared to most of the population

People with disabilities often have legal problems. One of these problems is that people often break the law by not treating us as they should. People with disabilities often find that doctors do not look after us properly, people do not treat us as equals, and landlords, neighbours, government organisations and police may treat us unfairly. A recent survey shows that people with disabilities and single parents are twice as likely as other people to have legal problems. The survey looks at why some people have a lot of legal problems, and what can be done to help those affected.
1 comment - on 07/02/2013
A large number of cycling competitors riding along a road.
competition cycling

We rode along Great Ocean Rd.

I cycled in the Gran Fondo race organised by the Amy Gillett Foundation. Amy Gillett was a cyclist who was hit and killed by a car in 2005. The Foundation was set up to raise awareness of safe cycling, both for cyclists and motorists. The ride is 115 kilometres and there are lots of hills. I was well prepared for it because I cycle a lot. The ride started in Lorne on the Great Ocean Road. We then rode away from the coast and finally made our way back to Lorne. It was a challenging and enjoyable event.
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Three women's hands holding each other.
THREE_BEST_FRIENDS.JPG

It's an opportunity to make friends.

People have always lived in groups, or communities. Being part of a community is important for people. I like being involved in different communities. They are about connecting with each other. I belong to a yoga group and a mental health support group. It is an opportunity to make friends, have interesting discussions and help one another. There are community programs people can join. In the Street by Street program you can volunteer to help people in your neighbourhood. In The Sharehood program you share your time, skills and equipment to people nearby. I would like to start my own neighbourhood community.
1 comment - on 10/09/2012
A wpman riding along a bike path in a park.
bike riding

I can practise bike riding.

Lots of people want to make changes to how they manage their lives or relationships. But they may be unsure about how to make these changes happen. I went to a program that helps you plan to keep well and motivated. You can write a list of things you like and need to do, and how often to do them. You can also write a list of things to do when you are not feeling good. I wrote my own plan to help me get motivated every day. Learning how to stick with this plan is my goal.
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Two men are working together, leaning over a large map. One man is wearing a tie and holding a marker pen.
Working

People with a disability can make great employees, but discrimination still exists

Everyone has the right to a job. People with a disability can make great workers. But people with a disability can have difficulty finding a jobs. It can be hard to decide whether to tell an employer about your disability. Telling them can help make sure you get the support you need to do the job. But some employers might treat people with a disability badly. There is a lot of information and support for people seeking work. There is also help for those are being treated badly.
3 comments - last comment on 20/05/2011
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