Australian of the Year: Sue Salthouse, disability rights advocate #AOTY2020 #ausoftheyear

Australian of the Year: Sue Salthouse, disability rights advocate #AOTY2020 #ausoftheyear


Many of Australia’s four and a half million people with disabilities were born with disabilities. But for others like me, having a disability is a mere
split second away. I arrived, by surprise, in a
horse riding accident on a forest floor, where
I knew straight away that my life would change. And now I am part of a community in the disability sector
of which I am so proud. People with disabilities
are just a part and part of the rich fabric and diversity of Australian society. But the things that we want and wish for are that
our human rights are not denied and that
barriers to our participation
are removed or at least reduced as far
as possible. And one of our major desires is to have economic security. And that means having
a secure housing arrangement and having a job that
enables us to contribute. Even when we get a good education trying to get into the workforce
is doubly hard. And in fact, our employment rates are at least half of what the non-disabled
community experiences. Because of the disadvantage
that we experience. There are power differentials that unfortunately mean that
many people with disabilities have experienced violence and
exploitation and sometimes neglect. That disadvantage is really
more strongly felt by women with disabilities
than by men. And that’s why I have devoted
a lot of the past quarter century to trying to redress the balance. We need access to education because without economic security we can’t be contributors. So for the people in the
disability sector we continue to strive
to make Australia a better society.
And I say to our leaders when we get this right
we will have reduced the barriers to participation,
and in fact Australia will be a much
better society overall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *