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MATES: Mates Assisting To Engage Socially
2016
Sydney
NSW
Kids and Bubs
Her Story
Hi I’m Randa, I’ve always felt a deep desire to help make our world a better place. Initially I was side tracked by the corporate world but then something changed the trajectory of my life. Instead of adopting a victim mentality, I had to dig deep to find the strength and tenacity to raise our son who was diagnosed with Autism. The experience of raising him in a world that wasn't ready to embrace his differences sparked in me a passion to help others understand the needs of children, parents and teachers dealing with autism. This journey has been challenging and if it were not for God's generosity, then I would have faltered. Initially I struggled, so I went on a spiritual pilgrimage in search of a healing for my son. It's funny, but God knows what you need more than you do; my prayers were answered but not in the way I had expected. I was the one who received the healing. When I returned, I saw my son for the true gift that he is. I am so blessed and I want to share my blessings with other mothers. But my blessings did not stop there, the company I travelled with invited me to lead their pilgrimages to some of the holiest sites on earth, in Italy, France, The Holy Land and a dream came true when I accompanied a group to Spain and walked the Camino! Each trip has been life-changing, I feel so privileged to be a conduit for God's work. Other than my love for travel and spiritual development, I have lectured on Marketing Management and Consumer Behaviour and have worked with companies such as Estee Lauder, Lancôme, Ralph Lauren, David Jones and The University of NSW and Harvest Journeys. My business background coupled with my autism experience, allows for a unique perspective. I now share my insights into the world of autism and also that of self-empowerment and motivation. I'm fully committed to creating a more inclusive world and to empowering people with the leadership skills and mindset to believe that they can change our world and make it a better place. My story is one of hope and determination; my goal is to inspire and empower.
Her Wisdom

I am an author, speaker and advocate. My experiences have shaped me to be the person I am today; therefore if I could go back I would embrace each experience no matter how challenging. Life is too short to allow feelings of victimhood, it's to be lived and each experience embraced. I should have had greater faith in my own abilities and inner strength.

I hit rock bottom when my son was around 3-4 years old. I had cocooned myself at home, feeling alone and fearful of what the future had in store for my precious child. I had lost my identity and I piled on the weight, I could hardly recognise myself physically or mentally. When you hit rock bottom, there's only one way left to go and that's up. But I had to make a very deliberate decision that I was going to get things back on track and fight for my son, because I was his best advocate. I had to get myself together because if I gave in to those negative feelings, then I was also giving up on my son. I focused on positivity and prayer. I went on my pilgrimage and returned a different person. I have never looked back.

Firstly to surround yourself with positive and like minded people, this is critical. These people will cheer you on rather than question you and put doubts into your head. Also, realise that you already have what you need; you just have to look within and learn how to tap into your own resources.  I would also suggest to be kinder to yourself, be confident in your own abilities and realise that it is ok to say… ‘no’. It was only when I reached my forties that I actually felt comfortable in my own skin and learnt that it is ok to say no and that I did not have to please absolutely everyone. And lastly, enjoy the journey, every part of it!