At just 15, Adam Lamb is already an advocate for diversity, working towards positive change in his hometown of Mackay, North Queensland, and beyond.
'I want to make change in the world, and I want to make a difference, Adam says.
Adam has autism and is trans male.
He is supported by his family and the NDIS through NDIS Partner in the Community, Feros Care.
'Having autism, it’s made it a lot harder for me to have friends or understand certain situations, and I got bullied a lot growing up,' Adam says.
'It was hard.
'I didn’t have many friends, I often felt shut down.
'I was always made to feel like a small thing that could never do anything, so now I’m trying to make a change in the world.'
Adam is sharing his story to help increase awareness and promote diversity for a more inclusive world.
Although he’s an award-winning athlete and student, Adam’s proudest moments are not measured in ribbons, medals, or trophies.
'I’ve managed to introduce Pride Week to my school, so we can be more open about LGBT at my school, so it doesn’t seem like a big paradox thing to everyone around,' Adam says.
'I’ve also managed to help get a change in the uniform policy, so you can wear whichever uniform you want.
'Previously it was required girls had to wear skirts and boys had to wear shorts.
'But when I was first transitioning, I realised I didn’t want to wear a skirt.
'I went to the uniform shop and said I wanted to buy the shorts.
'I wore them to events where I was on stage.
'And since then, the school has introduced their new policy of allowing people to wear either.
'It makes feel really good.
'I feel like I’ve managed to do something and get people to understand, and I’ve managed to cause change and help others too.'
Adam’s confidence to speak out for change reflects a significant turning point in his life.
When he joined the NDIS about 2 years ago, Adam was about to transition, and his confidence and self-esteem were low.
But with support from Feros Care, Adam began receiving supports, including psychology therapy and time with support workers who helped build his confidence.
Support worker Kimberley Doyle introduced Adam to competitive sports in power lifting, table tennis and basketball as a positive new pathway in his life.
'It was a relief to join the NDIS and get the supports I needed,' Adam says. 'It made a big difference and really helped me to learn that I could do something, and I could be myself.'
Today, Adam is happier, healthier, and more confident, with a new group of friends.
He has a growing stash of sporting medals and academic awards to his name, including a gold medal at the 2022 Australian Powerlifting Union National Classic Open on the Gold Coast.
Adam also scooped up 3 gold and 3 silver medals at last year’s Special Olympics.
'I found out I do have a natural talent I didn’t know I had, but I’ve also been training really hard,' Adam says.
At school, Adam took home an academic merit award, a citizen award, and the prestigious Long Tan Defence Force award for Team Leadership.
He was also nominated for Mackay’s Australia Day Youth Sports Award and Young Citizen Award.
Adam’s Mum Katie couldn’t be prouder.
'It is beyond pride, it’s astonishment and amazement,' Katie says.
'I’m just astounded by Adam every day.
'This boy has gone from trial to trial, and he’s conquered and conquered, simply because he chose to, and he’s fought for every single one of those wins.
'Because none of that comes naturally.
'Every little bit of support Adam gets, he multiplies his output by 10.
'He’s amazing, he is truly amazing.'
Adam’s new confidence is helping him to achieve his biggest goal - to help others and build a more inclusive world.
'I feel a lot more confident overall, and I feel like I'm not alone,' he says.