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Laura's Story

From a very young age I knew I wanted to be an active member in society not only in the community but also in paid meaningful employment. My parents had the same expectations of me as my able-bodied brothers so I’ve always fought for what I believed to me my rights, particularly in relation to inclusion; be that at leadership level or grassroots level.

I’ve always taken on big workloads. When at school and university I’d do up to 6 hours of study per night. I’ve never been afraid of hard work. I have a Bachelor of Commerce, a Bachelor of Business and a Graduate Certificate in Business.

I’m a member of local community sports club. They’ve been very supportive of me so I’ve given back. I was the treasurer there for a 5 year stint, had a few years off and then I did another 12 months. I am also co-chair of the local Australia Day Committee. I was appointed to the Minister’s Disability Advisory Council in October last year. I am a member of the South West Regional Disability Advisory Council and I’ve been nominated as the deputy chair for the next 12 months.

I am very keen to look at opportunities for people with disability and to focus on the positive benefits that people with disability can bring. I would like everyone to be more open towards disability. It’s about educating yourself about what a disability is; recognising that 20% of the population has some form of disability. As a business, chances are your clients and customers will have a disability. You may not know it or be able to see it because not all disabilities are obvious.

We need to recognise differences within our society and celebrae them rather being afraid of them.

Once we increase employment expectations for people with disability; once we increase education standards for people with disability, we will see more people with disability stand up and say I am capable of being a leader. Now all I need is the support of the community to make that happen.