It’s a shearers life for Ben Keenan

Busy Ben: Ben Keenan (centre) enjoying shearing with wool handler Amanda Davis and shearing trainer Kevin Gellatly. Photo: Supplied
Busy Ben: Ben Keenan (centre) enjoying shearing with wool handler Amanda Davis and shearing trainer Kevin Gellatly. Photo: Supplied

A 32-year-old former Bridgetown resident has proved that his disability will not stop him from learning new skills, such as how to shear sheep.

As a person living with Down Syndrome, Ben Keenan has shown his perseverance when it comes to overcoming obstacles or achieving goals.

Although he has had to learn to do what most people take for granted in everyday life, he takes it in his stride and gives 100 per cent when he is interested in doing something.

Ben and his family came to Bridgetown when he was 12, enjoying the support and networking in the district.

Proud mum Laurel says the close-nit community has ensured Ben is a positive and social young man, who has amazing talents despite his disabilities.

When Ben met with Laurel’s cousin, shearer Kevin Gellatly, he immediately fell in love with the shearing life and enjoys working in the shed at every opportunity.

“It is amazing how quickly Ben learnt the tricks of the trade in the shearing shed and he absolutely loves going with Kevin whenever he can to help out,” Laurel said.

Ben now lives in supported accommodation in Busselton, but returns to Bridgetown to help out Kevin whenever he can.

“Ben continually amazes me and he is living proof that being Down Syndrome doesn’t mean you cannot learn, you just need people to believe in you and allow plenty of time to learn, because once he learns something new you will never have to reteach that skill to him.”