Real Life

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Australia’s awesome foursome

These amazing young Aussies are determined to make their inspiring dreams come true.
Rory O’Chee, Madeline Stuart, Olivia Hargroder, Nathan Basha

In 2015, Australia was lucky enough to meet the incredible Madeline Stuart.

Now, at the age of 17 and just 143cm tall, the model’s best friend – Brisbane-born Olivia Hargroder is taking the world by storm.

Olivia has recently completed a course on child development, and would like to attend full-time drama and acting studies at NIDA. “I quite fancy being the next Toni Collette – and I think I would make a very good Muriel,” she laughs.

In March, without fear or trepidation, Olivia addressed delegates at a United Nations conference in New York to mark World Down Syndrome Day.

“To be on that stage amongst so many important people talking about my disability – I felt very honoured,” Olivia told Woman’s Day magazine.

“The funniest part is they had 
to put a booster seat on my chair – I’m so short, 
I couldn’t reach 
the microphone!”

(L-R) Rory O’Chee, Madeline Stuart, Olivia Hargroder and Nathan Basha are tight-knit group who are wowing the world.

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It was during that speech that Olivia paid tribute to three of her closest friends with Down syndrome –

Nathan Basha, 26 – 
a disability advocate and motivational speaker who works as an office assistant at Sydney’s radio station Nova.

Madeline Stuart, 20 – an international runway model who tells us: “I always say to other kids like us, ‘You have to work a bit harder, that makes it more worthwhile.’”

Rory O’Chee, 17 – a photographer and artist who hopes to one day be featured on the pages of National Geographic.

Olivia believes they represent the new frontier of young people with disabilities achieving greatness in their chosen fields.

Woman’s Day chatted to the incredible group and you can read their inspiring stories in this week’s magazine – on stands now!

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