Congratulations to Blake Mason on winning the Campaspe Shire’s Youth Creative Writing Competition. The theme for the competition was “What’s different about you?, the competition had categories for young people aged 12-25 years who live, work or go to school in the Shire.   Youth were encouraged to enter a photo, short story, or both based on this theme and showing that local youth have a diverse range of interests, backgrounds, families and experiences.  Blake won the 12-14 years age bracket and will recieve $100 for his efforts.  Please enjoy Blake’s entry; 

“What’s Different About Me”

I believe I’m unique because of my relationship with my little brother who has autism. I’m always happy, I love to help him and I love to create new games that I can play with him. I also focus on educating others about his differences and I teach him things I have learnt. I love the special relationship I share with my little brother.

Firstly, I’m unique because I’m extremely optimistic. I crack jokes, laugh all the time and I’m very friendly. I strongly believe that because of how happy I am; it creates a powerful bond between my brother and I. Even when one of us is down, which is extraordinarily rare, I can easily cheer him up and he can often do the same. Because of this, my little brother and I are closer than most other brothers.

Secondly, I’m unique because I help my little brother out all the time. Due to his autism he can struggle with every day things. I help him to understand situations better. If my little brother needs someone to read to, he can always count on me and I also give him feedback. Helping my little brother out is one of my biggest priorities.

Thirdly, I’m unique because I make up new games for us to play together. My little brother loved it when I created a new cops and robbers game. Our unbreakable bond is made even stronger because we are often playing together. My little brother and I love each other dearly; I’m a devoted older brother and my little brother knows he can always rely on me.

Furthermore, there are times people don’t realise he is different. I will always defend him and educate people. I realise how important it is to understand that everybody has different needs. I will always fight to make sure he is treated with respect.

Last but not least, I’m unique because I take things I have learnt and teach him. For example, I show him how to be patient and avoid angry outbursts. He can at times struggle with his emotions and project them on other people. I always make sure I’m there to help him avoid conflict.

In conclusion, despite the challenges my little brother faces, I ensure he has a positive role model and someone to look out for him. My little brother and I have the ultimate love that brothers can have for each other. I’m able to look past his differences and see the person he is inside, as he does for me. I firmly believe I am unique because I don’t let our differences effect our relationship.

By Blake Mason