Australia set to see Josh's winning ways

Australia set to see Josh's winning ways

When it comes to reaching goals - or even just living a normal life - I have to try much harder than other kids. I was born with cerebral palsy. And I do, I really try hard.

Josh Callaway in his ABC Heywire story

While Bowraville Central School Year 11 student Josh Callaway sometimes has trouble with balance, and communicating clearly, one thing he has never had a problem with is saying 'yes'.

"That's one of his most endearing traits," Josh's agricultural teacher Lori Wilson said.

"If you say to Josh, 'let's do this', he says 'yep'. And the effort he puts in is always 120 per cent."

That was certainly the case when Lori asked Josh if she could nominate him for the Keep Australia Beautiful Young Legends Environment Award in 2019, which he won.

It's been the case each time he steps out into the ring to show cattle.

"I won Judge's Choice Encouragement Award and 'First in Class' at my first show ever. I was a bit shocked," Josh told the ABC.

And it was the case again last year when Lori came to Josh with another special proposition.

Josh agreed to enter the ABC's Heywire project - an initiative for regional Australian youths that begins with a storytelling competition and finishes in a national summit in which representatives from each region pitch ideas to improve the lives of young people in our regions.

The judges were so moved by Josh's candid submission that he was selected as a winner, and a representative for our region.

"I was just shocked and thankful," he said. "It's an Australia-wide competition so I didn't think I would have a chance."

While the thought of now having to speak publicly at a national online summit terrifies Josh, he's not about to let it stop him.

And he was surprised to find the experience of recording his story which was broadcast on ABC radio an exhilarating one.

"Some people let their disability define them - I don't do that. One thing I've learned is that if you want something, you gotta go get it," he said.

I'm not scared of falling, just of not getting back up one day.

And he's certainly not afraid of hard work. From a young age Josh has known he's wanted to work on the land.

"When I was younger I thought I wanted to be a bucking bull rider," he said. "But I've known I want to do something agricultural for some time.

"I'm just obsessed with it for some reason - I think it's the hardworking lifestyle."

Josh doesn't see what everyone else sees; he certainly doesn't see himself as 'inspirational'.

"I'm just all about getting up and doing whatever it takes, and not letting excuses stand in my way."

But it's exactly this can-do attitude that makes him such a compelling person.

We look forward to seeing what heights Josh scales next.

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