After four years of sausage sizzles, raffles and community events, Zia and Cyanne Westerman finally have their new van.
The roughly $100,000 Hiace Bus purchased from Whyalla Toyota will be the ideal transport for the twins, who suffer from Muscular Dystrophy.
The vehicle features more room for the girls and their wheelchairs and extra seats which will enable the girls’ baby brother, Jayden, to ride along with them.
Some of the fundraising events held in the community by the twins included a Masquerade Talent Night, a Jurassic World movie night, a Van Jam, bake sales, quiz nights, and barbecues.
In total they raised approximately $48,000 while the state government committed $49,000 towards the project during the Country Cabinet event under Labor in 2016.
Zia said the bus would be a ‘massive help’ for the sisters, who are very active in the community as part of the Whyalla Youth Advisory Council, with Zia herself being an elected member on the Whyalla City Council.
“Me and Cyanne can actually see out of the windows now, we don’t have to duck,” she said.
“Cyanne doesn’t have to lower her head every time she gets in and out of the van. It also has an extra car seat for our brother Jayden.”
The modern vehicle also features electronic lifts which allow the twins to easily get into the van in their wheelchairs.
Zia thanked the Whyalla community for their ‘massive’ support in helping the twins reach their goal of funding a new van.
Member for Giles Eddie Hughes said the fundraising for the van was a great example of the community and the state government working together to deliver a positive result.
Mr Hughes said the demonstration of support by the community for the van project made it an easy decision for the government to support the campaign.
“It’s an incredibly important tool that enables the twins to be more fully apart of our community,” he said.
“As part of Country Cabinet you look at what you can do to make a bit of a difference in the community.”