Blue-eyed Lee is a charmer
This reporter has a new squeeze.
His name is Lee Nutley. He's a 35-year-old history buff with big blue eyes and a V8 supercar obsession. It's love.
But Lee's mum Pauline sets the record straight.
"If there's a real cute little lady on the train, he'll go 'Beth who?'".
Lee lives in Rockhampton. He spent last weekend with his family in Calliope.
He was due to travel back Wednesday afternoon.
Lee shares a house with five other men, who are all in their 60s.
It's less than ideal.
"There's nothing else," Pauline said.
She'd love for her boy to live closer to home. And so would he.
"Can I stay living with you forever?" he asked his mum, a couple of days before The Observer's interview.
Lee has cerebral palsy and a mild intellectual impairment. He zips around in an electric wheelchair.
And he has a massive heart.
Lee has just signed up to sponsor his second World Vision child. Little Purity, five, lives in Kenya.
Lee's also a huge Ned Kelly fan. "Because he's related to us," he explained.
Pauline added the bushranger was, in fact, a distant relative. The outlaw's inked on Lee's left arm. The charmer flexed his muscle to show off his tattoo and gave a cheeky wink.
IT'S hard to believe, but Pauline Nutley used to be shy. "I wouldn't say boo to an elephant."
But that all changed when her son Lee was born. "He's taught me to be strong," Pauline said.
It's tough being a carer. Even though Lee lives up in Rockhampton, Pauline constantly worries about her boy.
Lee moved away almost three years ago. He had become aggressive and his family desperately needed the respite.
Pauline used to wonder how the "normal" folk lived. But she felt a void when he moved out.
She's been crusading to improve disability services for years.
"We need to put our heads together - what's the best for the majority?"
A better house to live in;
To live in Calliope, close to his family; and
To live with house mates closer in age.
Pauline's suggestion to improve disability services:
Get more creative;
Stop building up walls, rip down the red tape that plagues the system; and
Stop asking the private sector for hand outs. "What's happened to the government?" Pauline asked.