They say love has no gender, disability, age, religion, race, or sexuality, and at House with No Steps we wholeheartedly agree. Colin and Julie’s story is just one example of a wonderful and loving relationship between two people with a disability.
When Colin met Julie over 20 years ago while working at House with No Steps, the first thing he noticed about his future wife was her long hair.
“When I got a job at House with No Steps I was 17 and didn’t know what work was like or anything. When I got through the door I saw Julie with her long hair, I thought wow, yeah I’ll go for that one!” Colin says.
Julie, who had been working in the packaging business for a year when she met Colin says, “I didn’t know this boy, or who this kid was. I said to my friends, ‘who’s this cute boy’. I thought he was well mannered, polite, and very courteous.”
After Colin and Julie’s first date at Luna Park they began to spend more and more time together, and soon decided to introduce each other to their families.
“I had told my parents that I had a girlfriend and they said ‘that’s pretty good, what’s her name?’ And I said ‘Julie’, and they replied ‘oh a new one!’” Colin says.
Julie also remembers meeting Colin’s family, “When I first met Colin’s parents I was a bit nervous, but girls are usually nervous when they meet a boy’s parents.”
“What Colin’s parents wanted me to do was bring this boy into line! That was what they liked about me. I made him more responsible for himself, made sure he did what was best for his own good!”
One thing that Julie helped Colin with was his weight. Colin explains, “My family said to me that I had got a giant beer gut, and I thought what am I supposed to do about that! So I had to go across the road and do weights. I lost pounds and pounds and kilos and kilos.”
Julie also introduced Colin to his future father in law, “Colin came to meet my father a few times and the two just clicked. He’s a very bright boy, he’s very brainy in the head. That’s what my father liked about him.” Julie says.
Colin was very close with his family and his brothers and he started to think about where his relationship with Julie was heading, “My mum and dad had been married for a long time, and then my two brothers got married, and I thought what should I do? And I thought I better get married!”
“So I said to Julie’s dad, ‘can I have permission to marry your daughter’. He said yes because I was so polite, and good to Julie, and we were good together.“
So with the blessing from Julie’s father, Colin decided to pop the question, Julie remembers, “He got on his hands and knees like a good kid, he had bought an engagement ring, and he said ‘Julie would you like to marry me?’ and I said ‘yes’.”
Colin and Julie’s wedding soon followed at a church in Manly. Colin says, “At the alter I was waiting with my brothers, Julie was 15min late! When the wedding song came on, Julie and her dad came in, but she was pretty shaky! I had to whisper to her ‘Julie, stop shaking!”
Since their wedding, Colin and Julie are still working together at House with No Steps and are inseparable. Colin says, “For me it’s going pretty well. For me it is something else, because when I was in high school I was just lonely and out of touch. I did things wrong and all of that stuff, so I had to get back on my feet again. I remember when Julie pulled me into line. It was hard at first for me, but that’s what I did.”
Julie continues, “Colin has been good, he is well behaved, we have our moments, but he loves me very much, if anything happens to me, I don’t know what he would do without me. And the other way round as well.”
For others looking to find a partner this Valentine’s Day, Julie has some sound advice, “Pick the right boy or the right girl, and make sure it works before you get too serious!”