I was delighted to read a speech by Caitlin Woolley, a 19-year-old student from Hobart, as part of the Youth Voice in Parliament campaign. Caitlin works as the Tasmanian health ambassador for Down Syndrome Australia.
Caitlin writes: “It matters that people with a disability be included in their community, their employment and in health. This is the future I want for Australia. Everyone should be included to build stronger communities together. I want to be included and respected, not left out because of my disability. Don’t assume what I can do. Help me belong. I am thankful for my job. I want to use my strengths and contribute in the workplace. I have learned new skills and confidence. I have made friends and like helping others with my work. We need more support and training for people with disabilities and more employers offering jobs. People with disabilities need equal health care. I teach healthcare workers inclusive communication to better care for people with a disability. The new National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability needs to be implemented as well. We need to keep caring for the health of all people with disabilities. Please make Australia committed to including people with disabilities in their communities, in the workplace and in health. Let’s be stronger and happier by working together.”
That concludes the speech. I just want to say that I agree with Caitlin and I hope all in this place do too.