Getting the best out of life

Ask Kangaroo Flat resident, Alan Roberts what makes for a happy life and he'll tell you it's good friends, community, doing the things you love and never, ever giving up.

"Blindness frightens so many people but I live a great life fully blind with a rare eye condition," he says.

Two weeks from turning 70, Alan says, "I've lived in lots of places but Kangaroo Flat is the best place of all."

Alan spends his time with much-loved friends, walking with his Seeing Eye Dog, playing music, tinkering with vintage cars and riding his tandem bike.

"I've got an amazing team of four 'front men' who give me great descriptions of every road, plants, trees, houses - anything they are seeing," Alan says.

Alan's mission is to get more people including sighted people out on bikes.

"There's nothing like it," he says

When Alan's not traversing the hills, he's participating in Vision Australia's recreation groups or indulging his great love of music - with friends and the socially inclusive community choir, 'Choice Voice' - run by musician, James Rigby.

Fortunately, I've had amazing support from Vision Australia over the years, including being matched to two incredible Seeing Eye Dogs. My clever new dog Spike for just five weeks.

Vision Australia client Alan Roberts

Alan says he hasn't always enjoyed life with so much passion and vigour...

"I've suffered deep depression, a terrible heart attack and at times been very angry navigating life's ups and downs."

"Fortunately, I've had amazing support from Vision Australia over the years, including being matched to two incredible Seeing Eye Dogs."

"I've had Spike for just five weeks - a very clever Golden Retriever who is a superb judge of character and I'm told, very handsome!"

"My old dog, Nicky is eleven and a half years old and can now properly retire after helping literally thousands of people in the many moments of great connection when we've been out together."

Allan says his advice to people is simple.

"Don't hang on without help - get help as soon as you need it."

"Always offer help to someone you think is struggling."

And in the meantime, he says, "If I can push the cause for people with disabilities in any way - I will."

SHARE