0

Jamie-Lee Dwyer: An Open Letter To The Prime Minister

Dear Mr Scott Morrison,

I’m writing to you as the 30th Prime Minister of Australia because I want to know how you’re planning on improving the lives of young Australians with high-needs disability.

As a 28-year-old with a rare neuro-degenerative condition, it has been my experience that in our inclusive country living with a progressive disability is not the end of the world. Disability isn’t something anyone chooses, but it’s amazing how adaptive and resilient the human body can be in the right environment.

I have learnt to live with my disability and to cope with it. The greatest obstacle I face every day comes not from my physical limitations but in the form of other people’s ignorance.

I have done and still regularly do a lot of things that surprise most people, because most people don’t expect a whole lot from anyone with a high-needs disability. One of the reasons it’s not so hard to live with a high-needs disability anymore is because of the new technology and equipment available to aide people who need it.

It’s definitely about time perceptions regarding disability started to reflect the times we’re living in.

One of the biggest issues facing young Australians with high-needs disability is age-appropriate housing that meets individual needs. Just because I have a condition that’s beyond my control I don’t think I should have to give up my independence, privacy, or relinquish my dignity.

Offering young Australian’s with high-needs disability a choice in how they want to live their life is what Youngcare offers their residents, and I believe it should be the standard of care for all high-needs disability housing nationwide.

I’ve spent some time in a share-house for high-needs disability which wasn’t run by Youngcare before I was lucky enough to be moved along with my sister into an apartment building run by them. It was without a doubt one of the best things that has ever happened to us.

To be treated like a real adult who isn’t defined by her disability is a feeling hard to describe when you’ve spent the last year being treated like a second-class citizen.

One of the most noticeable differences in Youngcares’ approach to care has been their open endorsement of integration not segregation. This is something that I feel is overlooked by a lot of care facilities. It is why I feel like I’m living in my own home now, whereas when I was at the other residence last year, I felt like I was staying in a workplace.

I was so relieved to be welcomed into Youngcare’s embrace seven months ago, but I cannot ignore the experience I had last year. The people I met who never had the support system like my sister and I did, the ones who never got the chance to be anything other than what society told them they could be.

My sister and I were recently given the opportunity to become Youngcare ambassadors, and we see it as a chance to speak on behalf of young Australians with high-needs disability.

No-one should be forced to live according to someone else’s rules because of their disability. In my experience it’s the little things like choice and privacy that make a real difference to the outlook of a person with a high-needs disability.

Once upon a time I let people tell me what I could or couldn’t achieve because of my condition, I wish I could tell you I never let it stop me from being me, but it did. During my darkest moments it was other people who encouraged me to believe in myself, and who ultimately made me the woman I am today. They are the reason why I know perceptions surrounding disability will change.

As the Prime Minister of Australia I ask you to lead this country to a better understanding of disability, because as a country we’re better than the ignorance I’ve encountered.

Please know that my sister and I are more than willing to talk with you on a national level, we would love to help you tackle improving lives of young Australians with high-needs disability.

Jamie-Lee

SHARE THIS!
News you might like:
30 August 2016 National not-for-profit organisation Youngcare today announced the appointment of new Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ryan. Mr ...
Bernard Fanning is back and he can't wait for the Youngcare Benefit Concert 2015! Below he shares his fond memories of the past and some of his plans ...
7 November 2016 Share a slice of Youngcake this Christmas For a young person with high care needs, the loss of choice and independence is one of ...
We want you to be the first to know! Youngcare is thrilled to announce the return of one of Brisbane’s best nights of Australian music: the ...
This article was originally published in The Australian Hospital and Healthcare Bulletin. 8 January 2016 Young people in aged care – an Australian ...
Dear Mr Scott Morrison, I’m writing to you as the 30th Prime Minister of Australia because I want to know how you’re planning on improving the ...
2 August 2017 Youngcare explores options as NSW project ends Youngcare’s partnership with St. Vincent’s Australia to deliver high care housing ...
5 May 2016 WHAT’S ON!   28 APRIL - 8 MAY Simpson Desert Challenge Support the trekkers by donating and follow the trek with our regular ...
24 July 2017 A message from our partners at Vincents At VINCENTS one of our core values is to actively build a company environment that contributes ...
5 May 2016 CEO message The new season is an exciting time for Youngcare as we start to focus on bringing our latest apartments at Albany Creek, ...
Categories
Archives

Are you a young person seeking help?

What we do

GET INFO

Get Help

GET INFO

Contact Us

GET INFO

A huge thanks to our supporters 

Just Photography
Tatts Group
Servcorp
Coates
MGD Private
Vincents
EY
One Harvest - love beats
Shine Lawyers
Morgans
Wolff Group
ALS
Hopgood Ganim
Channel Nine
Vertica Capital
Network First
CV Services
MMO Interiors
Cutting Edge
Eureka Landscaping
Forte Catering
Vuly
Media Merchants
Bruce Lynton
Thrifty
CUB
Savills
Rivergum Homes
Nova
Motorola Solutions
Story Bride Hotel
Birdsville Roadhouse
MS Queensland
FKG
Queensland Government
Betta Home Living
Batercard
KFC Youth Foundation
QIC
Knight Frank
Sage
Neals
Flight Centre Foundation
National Storage
Vantage Performance
LAS logo
Care Tech
Hand Heart Pocket
Sleepy's
Triffid
Style
Pilot
Birdsville Social Club
DAE
GNK
Audio Visual Elements
Women's Weekly
Select AV
Keystone
Good2give
Spot Productinons
McCabe Curwood
Just Cause Bunch
Collins Food
Taylor Byrne
Braggs Signs
Queensland Rail
HSF
ALS Global
Birdsville Hotel
De Luca Corp
ANZ
Clark Real Estate
Merlo
Tattersalls Club
MTAQ
Bunnamagoo
Aurora Adventures
AWIC - Awesome Women In Construction
Carbone
Brighton Homes