Friday 14th September, 2018: 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Colleen Furlanetto, Disability Commissioner, Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria & Chair of Victorian Disability Advisory CouncilColleen Furlanetto has significant experience in the health and local government sectors. As Disability Commissioner for Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria, Colleen’s focus is on accessibility matters. Photo of Colleen Furlanetto, Disability Commissioner, Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria & Chair of Victorian Disability Advisory Council
Cate Dunn, Youth Advocate
Cate is from regional Victoria. Growing up Deaf she’s become an avid advocate for equity and social justice. Cate recently attended the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington DC and has participated in the Victorian Youth Parliament in 2017 and 2018 with the first ever Deaf team to be involved – Deafhood.Photo of Cate Dunn, Youth Advocate
Caroline Bowditch, Executive Director, Arts Access Victoria
After 16 years living and working in the U.K. Caroline Bowditch has recently returned to Australia to take up the role as Executive Director at Arts Access Victoria.
She is best known as a performer, maker, teacher, speaker and mosquito buzzing in the ears of the arts industry in the UK and further afield.
John is an Aboriginal man, born with a disability, in the small Victorian country town of Robinvale. John says, “My identity is the core of who I am as a human being, so not growing up with family and culture severed any links to my cultural roots, roles and responsibilities”. His life journey then is reconnection, “I continue to learn, yarn with my mob about our culture, history, protocols, the past and the future”.Photo of John Baxter,
Jason McCurry, Sports Officer, RMIT University
Jason was diagnosed with a neurological/psychosocial disability, Tourette’s Syndrome, when he was in primary school, however, he has never let this control his life or affect his high ambitions within life. He is passionate about advocating for and ensuring everyone in life can achieve their full potential, despite their disability.Photo of Jason McCurry, Sports Officer, RMIT University
The importance of developing your own identity, particularly of a person with a “difference”- be it disability, LGBTIQ, gender- can’t be underestimated. There is something about being with people just like you that removes a massive weight off your shoulders, and allows you to concentrate on being YOU, rather than concentrating way too hard on trying to fit in and not to have the ‘difference” interfere in your interactions and relationships with people. Even if you put as many supports in place to make you and your ‘difference’ fit into society, there will still be that ‘otherness’ that will forever be the elephant in the room. Supports are very necessary for people with disabilities to get the same quality of education, access to the same jobs, and access to the community in general, but identity development cannot be ‘purchased’.
We will hear arguments for and against this statement by two debate teams!