Nate’s a champ

NATE Quinell from Old Bar has been named Quota International’s Community Champion for 2012.

Each year Quota International choose a champion from the nominations received from District 28 clubs which includes Port Macquarie, Camden Haven, Forster Tuncurry, Gloucester and Taree. 

Taree Quota Club is proud to announce Nate as this year’s champion, describing him as a special person who has displayed courage, fortitude and determination, and has been an inspiration and example in the community.

At the age of three Nate was diagnosed as an insulin dependent diabetic and when he was eight,  his school teacher picked up a hearing problem. 

He had hearing aids and at 18 received his first cochlear implant in his right ear. Then in 2008, Nate had another cochlear implant in his left ear. 

At 16 his eyesight started to deteriorate. 

Today, Nate can see large objects one to two metres in front of him, but a much less distance with smaller objects.

Taree Quota has had a long association with Nate.

When he was in Year 10 the club provided him with a Teletext television and the use of a Teletext video recorder.

He left school early in Year 11 to take up his cooking apprenticeship with the Manning Base Hospital cafeteria. 

He always wanted to have his own restaurant and believed the secret of success is good cooking, dedication and hard work.

After receiving distinctions for his work he was awarded the Youth Achievement Award in 2005 through TAFE.

He studied hard, received great support from his teachers and was excited to finally receive his certificates and become a qualified chef.

Early on Nate went for a lot of interviews but because of his hearing and vision impairment no one would give him a go. At this time, he decided to open his own restaurant, Nate’s on Old Bar. 

His disabilities do make it hard at times and it can be a little discouraging, but he refuses to give up.

Nate uses different senses that are equally as important in the kitchen – smell and taste are the two best guides for any chef. 

Some of his presentation is not amazing, but the kitchen hands pull him up on that!

Nate’s advice to everyone, “If you have a dream, don’t give up, go for it”.

An inspiration: Quota district governor Jan Irvine presents Nate Quinell with his award.

An inspiration: Quota district governor Jan Irvine presents Nate Quinell with his award.