We can all take a leaf from Rosie Attard's book

The apple of their eyes: Rosie Attard is clearly adored by toddlers at Wauchope's Riverbreeze Preschool and Childcare Centre. She's pictured here with (back) Miller Farrington, Callum Williamson, Billy Nowlan, Angus McKay and (front) Kaiden Ostler, Tyson Wheatley, Zara Smith, Macy Knox and Lacey Gayler.
The apple of their eyes: Rosie Attard is clearly adored by toddlers at Wauchope's Riverbreeze Preschool and Childcare Centre. She's pictured here with (back) Miller Farrington, Callum Williamson, Billy Nowlan, Angus McKay and (front) Kaiden Ostler, Tyson Wheatley, Zara Smith, Macy Knox and Lacey Gayler.

The permanent smile on Rosie Attard's face is the first thing that draws you in.

Her love of life comes a close second.

At just 22, the young Byabarra woman has faced extraordinary challenges in her short life - and overcome each hurdle with her trademark grin and "it'll be ok" approach.

Despite a tragic car accident, which left her quadriplegic on the eve of her HSC exams, she's carved a career as an early childhood educator and wins friends wherever she goes.

"The way I look at it is I'm still me, I'm still the same person as before and life goes on," she explains in a matter of fact way.

"I can still enjoy life, but just have to find my own way of doing things."

In September 2011, Rosie was driving from her Byabarra home to Wauchope High School's final assembly.

Just minutes behind was her father John.

"I swerved to miss an animal, over-corrected and the car rolled a couple of times," she explained.

"I was airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital and then moved to Royal Ryde Rehab about four weeks later.

"I've tried to stay positive from the start, but there was obviously a bit of shock when they told me there was only a three per cent chance of walking again."

Before the accident, Rosie dreamt of being a chef or working with children.

Thanks to the compassion and open-mindedness of Riverbreeze Preschool and Childcare Centre's managers, her dream has come true.

"I remember speaking to Michelle (manager Michelle Smith) to ask if I could do some volunteer work and she said: "if you were my child, I would hope someone would give them a chance".

"Now I've finished my Certificate 3 and work three days, and I love it.

"I've always loved children because they're always happy and so real.

"There are a couple of things I find a bit difficult, but I just swap roles with the other educators," she said.

As for how the children have welcomed her, Rosie says "the kids are unreal".

"They love it (the wheelchair).

"They often ask why I'm in it and I just explain that I had a car accident and my legs have gone to sleep.

"The funny bit is when they ask if they will wake up again," she laughs.

The pocket dynamo attributes her positive attitude to her Dad, who raised her single-handedly from the age of five, supported her head and neck until the ambulance arrived on that fateful day and even quit his job as a concretor to be by her hospital bed.

"It's always been just Dad and I.

"He's been with me the whole time and he's my inspiration," she said.

In the wake of Rosie's accident, a public swell of support raised more than $24,000.

As a result, she was able to purchase a specially-modified van fondly known as 'Melman the Mercedes'.

Her daycare fans have nicknamed it 'Rosie's magic car'.

"The tailgate opens and the lift folds out by remote control, so they think it's magic.

"The boys think it's like a real-life Transformer," she laughs.

With a secure job and a set of wheels, the world is her oyster.

Like any other 21-year-old, Rosie loves "going to the movies and just hanging out".

"I'm making the most of every minute.

"You have to stick to your plans and don't let anything stop you," she says.

We can all take a leaf from Rosie's book.