Nicola Irvine previously known as Nicola Clark was born in New Zealand and lived over 22 years in Asia. She worked as a chartered accountant working for Ernst & Young, Broken Hill Proprietary and HSBC. This respectable and financially rewarding career was completely turned upside down by unforeseen circumstances and through this, she discovered her true vocational passion.
A passion that began out of a situation of sheer agony when in 1998 living in Hong Kong, she learned that her beautiful, perfect 9 and half month old son contracted meningitis, leaving him with bilateral deafness, epilepsy and global delay, to list only a few of his many challenges. It was then that Nicola's life took on a whole new role, that of being a mother to a boy with disabilities.
Despite a dim prognosis and doctors who saw little hope for improvement in his condition, Nicola had no intention of giving up on her son. She began a marathon of therapies, traditional as well as alternative ways to achieve any amount of improvement and shared these methods, hopes and dreams with like-minded groups, several, which she herself initiated, all in the hopes of sharing and assisting others in similar circumstances.
The enormous impact of what happened to her son Thomas took on a surprising life of its own one which was rich in opportunities she could never have thought possible. She could now at long last see her situation as a valuable and priceless gift to make a difference in the way young people with disabilities are perceived and treated in society. In 2006 Nicola co-founded 'The White Rose Family Foundation’ (WRFF), a registered Hong Kong charity that worked effortlessly to integrate children with mental and physical challenges into the community. For 7 years WRFF successfully funded various developmental courses and after school activities through raised charitable donations.
See below White Rose Family Foundation video.
Whilst in Hong Kong, Nicola served for 3 years as a Community Member on the West Island School council. Also served 3 years on the English Schools Foundation Board of Governors.
Nicola trained as a Journey Practitioner. 'The Journey' is a process that assists individuals to unblock emotional issues, which may be stunting their full potential. Nicola's own past Journey work assisted her greatly to be far more open and truthful. In turn, reaching out to others with an open heart has acted to amplify her levels of compassion and love for all those seeking a way to experience joy even through adversity.
Whilst in New Zealand with Thomas, Nicola worked part-time as an Information Advisor for Disability Connect. There, she advised people with disabilities and their families about the disability sector in New Zealand. Thomas has excelled all expectations and now resides with 3 other young men with disabilities.
Nicola is now writing about her experiences, self-publishing her first book “Trust Life’s Journey” and soon her second book "Communication His Way". Her third book will cover the sensitive topic of sex and intimacy of a young person with disability.
Nicola is accustomed to giving back, she volunteers for Citizen Advocacy Auckland on behalf of a couple, she finds the role enriching and rewarding.