The Albanese Labor Government is today releasing a set of videos that give International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) Ambassadors a platform to share their personal stories and hopes for a better future.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth announced 11 IDPwD Ambassadors last month as public faces and voices for International Day of People with Disability held on 3 December 2023.
“The videos are part of our commitment to creating and celebrating our inclusive and diverse community in Australia,” Minister Rishworth said.
“This year’s Ambassadors represent a broad range of backgrounds and lived experiences and reflect the intersectionality of disability in this country.”
The Ambassadors are sharing their personal stories to help raise awareness of IDPwD and promote inclusive attitudes in the community.
Model and Ambassador Anja Christoffersen speaks about her experiences of having an invisible disability.
“I really have to explain to people that I’m not well. I might look fine, but I’m not. I still have days where I cannot get out of bed. I still have days where I have to actually drop everything and not do anything more,” Ms Christoffersen said.
Ambassador Ann-Mason Furmage explains how everybody can support the disability community.
“You can treat us like people – like just everyday ordinary people. Because that’s what we are. You can ask before you try to help. People who use wheelchairs do not always have a carer and people [who] use wheelchairs are perfectly able, usually, to make up their own minds,“ Ms Furmage said.
Ambassador and professional athlete Hugo Taheny says that IDPwD is about being part of the community,
“We’re here to celebrate us. We make Australia a good place,” he said.
IDPwD is a United Nations Day and the theme for 2023 is ‘United in action to rescue and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for, with and by persons with disabilities’.
The theme reinforces the importance of placing lived experience at the centre of development and reform to create an inclusive and sustainable future.
Minister Rishworth emphasised this is a key to the implementation of Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-31 which is Increasing opportunities and driving better outcomes for people with disability in all areas of life.
“We are committed to inclusive development across healthcare, education, employment, community services, and beyond,” Minister Rishworth said.
“To make meaningful change, we must continue to draw on the diverse experiences of people with disability to create a more just and equitable world.”
You can watch all 11 IDPwD Ambassador’s videos on the IDPwD website.
For more information about the IDPwD and how to get involved visit www.idpwd.com.au.