Stefanos loves the camera, and it loves him right back. With a wide, dazzling smile, he poses happily with Ned Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Barack Obama, the Queen ... for he and his mum Chrisa are at Madame Tussauds in Sydney's Darling Harbour, one of many NSW venues that accepts the Companion Card, allowing free entry to any carer who's with him.
Stefanos, 19, sustained a frontal lobe brain injury in a road accident aged three, leaving his cognitive function severely impaired, affecting his concentration, memory and understanding. Then, last year, Stefanos suffered whiplash in a car crash, restricting his peripheral vision. He has difficulty following instructions and needs help while he's out with activities such as handling money, reading, writing and crossing the road safely, as well as communicating appropriately with others.
Chrisa says "Stefanos has behavioural issues and he's prone to epilepsy and impulsiveness, especially in a social environment. But just look at him now — he really loves going out. He is also very artistic, he plays guitar and bongo drums, and he loves to dance."
Stefanos' love of life and his delight in new experiences shine out of his eyes. "Being able to use his Companion Card makes a huge difference to us financially," Chrisa says. "We'll be checking out the listing on the Companion Card website soon to see where else we can go with it."