I say, they’re all in a spin
NEWCASTLE’S Leigh Creighton paused from focusing on his spinning plate to describe himself.
“Well, I have Down syndrome, I have an intellectual disability and I do everything,” he said brightly.
“I love my family and love being part of my community.”
Mr Creighton, 36, was participating in a circus skills session at Geelong’s national Having A Say disability conference at Deakin University’s waterfront campus.
He attended Having A Say for the first time last year and had to come back.
“Because I loved it, it was great and I made good friendships with other people,” he said. “It’s awesome, it’s having that real connection with everyone.”
More than 1000 people from across Australia, New Zealand and for the first time China have flocked to the three-day conference at Deakin University.
The Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability, VALID, stages the Having A Say conference’s annual series of presentations, workshops and performances to empower people and celebrate diversity and achievement.
National Disability Insurance Agency chief executive David Bowen was guest speaker at a dinner and dance at The Pier last night.
Earlier in the day, Federal Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield and Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson had jointly hailed a National Disability Insurance Scheme milestone with more than 10,000 people with disability and their families now on individualised support plans in rollout regions.
Ms Henderson said more than 3300 people were already being aided by the scheme in the Barwon trial region.
“It is extremely exciting to see the lives of Australians with disability and their families in the Barwon region being transformed,” Ms Henderson said. “It is finally giving them the level of support that they need to enjoy full economic and social participation.”
VALID executive officer Kevin Stone hailed the tenth Geelong conference an outstanding winner. “It’s just such an inspirational event,” he said. “Geelong is a fantastic place.”
Mr Creighton said he was making his debut as a plate spinner.
“First time for everything,” he said.