Name: Marlena Katene
Pursuit: I aim to be a unique public speaker and trainer across a wide genre of speaking platforms. I here you say but your non verbal. Yes this is true but i did say unique. I am blessed I live in an age where technology allows me to express myself despite my disability. I will pursue my dreams and goals as well as help others with theirs.
My name is Marlena Katene I am a young person with HUGE dreams. I am a business owner, uni student who is nearly finished my journalism degree, Author, public speaker and many more things.
I do have a disability it is cerebral palsy.
I am non verbal and get around in an electric wheelchair.
It is one part of who i am and i am grateful for technology and people who support me in my ventures.
LIFE IS GOOD….. MY FUTURE IS GOING TO BE EVEN BETTER!!!!!!
When did you start?
My first speaking engagement was in year 10 or 2006. I was fortunate that somebody read an article i wrote (which happened to be my first paid freelance piece as well) and I was asked to put a submission in to be a Keynote speaker of a QLD Government conference. The article basically shared how despite having a disability I to wanted a career and not live my life depending on care. It kicked off an idea which now as my university is about to finish something which i will properly develop into my main career move.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
Speaking in front of 2000 high school kids over 5 days. In 2011 I was asked to develop and run workshops across a number of high schools in Townsville over a 5 day period. Without a doubt this was my highlight and something which will form part of my speaking career.
What is your dream?
My dream is divided into my 3 career plans.
1. To Write - I wish to become a music journalist writing freelance for a number of magazines. This will include a DVD series which I currently am formatting for release, writing a book and maybe even a short film.
2. Public Speaking - across genres such as Motivational Speaking and Public Speaking circuit worldwide. Also i wish to speak in schools and do anti bullying campaign and disability awareness campaigns.
3. Maintain my own business - As I already own 2 small businesses it is my desire to expand this mainly to help others with disability have real options post their formal education.
Who or what have inspired you?
My biggest Inspiration in life is a woman who was non verbal and achieved her university degree in the early 80's. Anne Mcdonald achieved despite many stumbling blocks along the way. Another person I looked up to as a child was Quentin Kenhlin - The young kid who was on the TV and had the cheekiest sense of humour. The reason these people "inspire" me is despite what some may see as barriers they just get on with life and do what they can. They have contributed and made the world a better place and this is all I aim to do with my life.
Who's your hero?
In the Business world Sir Richard Branson, In the music journalist world Molly Meldrum but overall probably the Dalai Lama. All of which i have been fortunate enough to meet.
Any other special talents?
Not sure it is a talent but I am nearing completion of my journalism degree and I love interviewing people. Researching and finding quirky bits of info then having a light hearted interview with them to gain material for a book I am writing as well as my motivational presentations.
I love all kinds of music and would love to become a music journalist. In particular I enjoy RNB and dance music.
The Kings Speech or Breakfast at Tiffany's
The power of one by Bryce Courtney
Favourite TV Show?
Italian - Pasta Pasta Pasta yum
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
The grant will help develop my latest venture which is to enter the motivational and speaking circuit. I will use the money for a wide variety of things such as further development through courses, re design my website and develop a product range of DVD's and books.
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
"Shoot for the moon….. Even if you miss you will land among the stars"