As well as meeting organisations in Austrialia I am also meeting individuals who are leading and disabled.
Because I acknowledge there can be a difference between leading organisations and leading individuals. In some ways an organisation gives a structure to lead from which can be easier than seeing a gap the needs leadership and filling it.
That being said if you ae leading on an issue you dont necessarily need people to follw you to be considered a leader especially if no one else is doing what you are. Leadership in and by organisations is more challenging as you have to bring other people along with you and form a vision which reasonates.
I’m also meeting with individuals in acknowledgement of the inaccessibility and deterents there are to gettig involved in disability rights work with organisations.
Mathew and Karin
In Brisbane on recomendation of QDN I met individually with Karin Swift and Mathew Townsend
Karin is a member of staff at QDN who leads on consultation work with the organisations members. She is also a board member for WWDA a Disabled women’s organisation working accross Australia.
Karin was awesome to talk to talk to and I learned a lot from her about how leadership development happens within QDN & WWDA.
The biggest message I got from our meeting was the importance of feeling valued and being given support to access opportunities which are slightly out of peoples comfort zones.
Mathew is a young member of QDN who is very politically active and woking part time for Brisbane council supporting community based enviromental work. We had a chat about the barriers to political participation that face disabled people. Mathew told me the work he has been doing making his local green party more accessible and inclusive. For Mathew there was a strong belief that if disabled people are goin o realise tier rights it is importnt to wok with mainstream political movements.
A key thing that supported Mathew`s leadership was having a social network who understood his needs and offered fiendship and support.