The Good Life: Dj Cooper
For me, a good life is all about doing what you love. It’s having people around you that you can trust and who are genuine. Being mentally and physically well.
I have Cerebral Palsy. Most days now, I walk around, but for big distances or big crowds, I use a Powerchair. It’s not a miracle when I stand up out of my chair, I’m still me. You don’t need to be shocked. Disability looks different on us all!
I’ve always loved music. DJing came along when my teacher, Mr Jack, got me to play during PE class. Can you believe a teacher could be this cool? He’s always had my back, and if he wasn’t in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am with my DJ goals.
Mr Jack reached out to Dylan Alcott, who gifted me some gear to start my career. Dylan is just a person like you and me. I love how much he’s helped me. We get along well because we treat each other like normal people.
Fast forward to today, and I’ve finished year 11 at school, and I’m following my dreams and studying music production at TAFE. I have a DJ Mentor, Callum, who teaches me heaps about music. I play gigs, and I just played my first festival.
My motto in life is ‘You only live once’. Because if you waste your life you will regret it, and what’s the point of that?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world with my family. I’ve been to 33 countries. And the thing I love most about travel is how much it teaches you about yourself.
Growing up, when I looked at magazines or the TV, I never saw anyone with a disability like me who used a walker and a wheelchair. It is really important for disability to be represented as it normalises it. I want to be that person that little kids see being amazing and having a disability.
I want people to know that I am a normal person. I can feel love, I can have a job, I can have a girlfriend, one day I can be a Dad. I can do anything you can do, and probably better!
My advice to parents is to not wrap your kids in cotton wool. Let them explore who they are.
I hope my future is filled with private jets, music tours, family, friends, a successful career.
Cooper Smith is an 18-year-old DJ, who is studying music production. You can follow more of his good life @djcoopersmith
In our social media series #StoriesOfTheGoodLife we explore what a good life means for people with disability. People from all walks of life, living rich, full and meaningful lives on their own terms.
Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.