Founding a company is a hard step for many people. Martina Gollner simply dared it. The woman living in Vienna, Austria, does not feel comfortable with being dependent on others and enjoys the freedom of not having to. Why she moved from her home village in Styria to the Austrian capital and why the opportunity to help shape also means responsibility, she tells us at REHACARE.com.
Name: Martina Gollner Age: 36 City: Vienna, Austria Occupation:Social worker; Co-founder and Managing Director of FullAccess Event Services Impairment: highly visually impaired since birth
Martina Gollner: This can have very different reasons: I am a positive, cheerful person by nature who likes to laugh. I can also laugh at my own mistakes. But I'd rather make other people laugh!
What have you always been wanting to do and why have you never done this so far?
Martina Gollner: A few years ago, I would have replied: founding a company. If I really want something, I try to do it, even if I do not dare, so that it does not become something that I regret later.
Which person has influenced you most? And why?
Martina Gollner: I cannot name only one person, because you meet so many great people! I admire it very much when people manage to take life playfully and seize opportunities - like a child would. These people are my role models.
You have the chance to become the Commissioner for the Disabled in your country. What would you do first?
Martina Gollner: To answer this question for Austria: As Commissioner for the Disabled, I would like to see the conditions for access to Personal Assistance or auxiliary means harmonised. It must make no difference in which federal state you live!
On a small scale, as a person of trust for the disabled, I support my colleagues at my second workplace in the community for the blind and visually impaired in Austria.
Martina Gollner (right) with FullAccess co-founder Christina Riedler at the Vienna Danube Island Festival 2017.
What is especially near and dear to you?
Martina Gollner: My most important possession is my personal freedom. By this I mean freedom in every area: being able to decide for myself, to be mobile, and to go wherever I want. That is also the reason why I moved from Styria, from the village in which I grew up, to the capital Vienna. The public transport network offers me the necessary services, there is only a school bus in the village and I can hardly cope with anything worse than feeling dependent on someone.
I would like to be ...
Martina Gollner: ...an inspiration to others.
Which question would you like to get answered?
Martina Gollner: What do we know for sure? What do we think of when we think of nothing? How much is an experience worth if it doesn't bring change?
What else I wanted to say...
Martina Gollner: A great quote from William Blake: "I must create a system or be enslav'd by another man's."
We have the opportunity to help shape our environment, and we should make use of this responsibility.