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By Kate Skinner

Brimbank resident and front-woman of rock band The Hackkets, Victoria Cini, has written a story about her life. Her autobiography, Unique is Me, recounts challenges faced from being born with a disability, to her triumphant 25-year musical career with The Hackkets.

“The book is about my life and how complicated it is, I identify as unique,” she said.

Victoria overcame complex challenges due to her disability.

“My back is fused from my neck to my bum and I could only walk holding someone’s hand, so I had an operation when I was nine years old.

“With training and physio I overcame it because I worked hard and exercised hard,” she said.

Her four nieces and nephews were one of many inspirations for her autobiography.

“I wrote it so they know what Aunty’s been through, but I also wrote it because I wanted to write it for me,” she said.

Victoria has dreamed of publishing her own book since she was six years old.

“I used to pretend I was holding a book launch,

I’d hold up ‘Hungry Hungry Hippo’ and say ‘here’s my latest book!’,” she said.

Victoria’s unwavering passion for music is a key aspect of her life. She is a vocalist and plays keyboard for The Hackkets.

“In The Hackkets we’ve got people with disabilities and non-disabilities,” she said.

Fellow bandmate and friend, Peter Tollhurst, said Victoria’s love for song-writing is what makes The Hackkets’ songs distinctive.

“Victoria writes really punchy and rocky type songs, then you’ve got blues influence from Stuart, and love songs from me,” he said.

Peter said Victoria makes a statement at every gig.

“The boys dress up all boring, but Victoria’s always got something colourful to wear and that contrast is just great.”

Peter is immensely proud of Victoria’s autobiography.

“I do really support her one hundred percent of the way, it’s a great achievement,” he said.

Victoria used her connections at the Footscray Community Arts Centre to collaborate with the Victorian Writers’ Association to assist her in the proof-reading and editing processes. She also gained financial assistance from her NDIS plan to put towards publishing her story.

She is currently focused on the publishing phase of the process and plans to attend a class on successfully becoming a published author at Brimbank Library this month. Victoria said the whole procedure of planning, writing and collaborating to create her book took her by surprise, but she has no regrets.

“I’d do it all again in a heartbeat!” she said.

Victoria aims to publish her story as an e-book in January next year.


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