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Reflections from the 2021 celebration event

13 Dec 2021

On 30 November CPActive hosted our final event of 2021. After a very strange year, it was fitting to look back on everything we’d achieved together.

To relive some of our best moments and biggest achievements, check out the highlight video below!

We also took a look forward to all the exciting opportunities for change in 2022! If you couldn’t make it, here’s a wrap on a few things we discussed.

Teamwork Works: the new campaign from the disability sector

Teamwork Works is a new national campaign from National Disability Services, uniting people living with disability with service providers to oppose funding cuts to the NDIS.

Emma Dawson, Director of think tank Per Capita, joined the CPActive event to present their new report for the campaign False Economy: The economic benefits of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the consequences of government cost-cutting.

“It’s fundamentally about shifting our understanding of investment in this kind of social service to a frame of investment. Of seeing it as an essential social infrastructure, rather than, as is too often the case in the rhetoric coming from our political leaders, a burden or a cost for the community,” Ms Dawson explained.

“Public health measures typically have… a return on investment between about 0.8% and 4%. And we calculated quite a conservative return on investment for the NDIS… of $2.25 returned into the broader economy for every dollar spent, or I prefer the term invested, in that scheme.”

“If we proceed down that very dangerous path of seeing this as a cost to be reined in, rather than as an investment that lifts us all up, then for every dollar cut from the NDIS we see a loss of over 10,000 jobs in our economy, and a drop in economic activity of over $2 billion a year.”

That’s just for every dollar cut from the scheme.”

Reflections from CPActive Champions

It’s been a challenging year for all Australians, but especially for people living with disability and their loved ones. Three of our campaign Champions Jerusha Mather, Johanna Garvin and Lia Sintras shared some of their own struggles and triumphs in 2021.

Lia Sintras

“I’m really passionate about helping people and sharing my story in order to help as many people as I can. So I think the whole idea of CPActive, for me, is an amazing opportunity because we can help each other share stories and really work on these issues that are really complex.”

“A really big highlight for me was just the impact that we were able to make being online. Maybe not accessing everything in a normal way, but being online and adapting to being online, and just making a big impact as a group together, and really tackling these big issues. Because I feel like the more we speak up, the more we’ll be able to really see some change.”

“One negative thing to me would have been the fact that we weren’t able to access our support workers in the normal way, face to face, that we were able to before. But I think… we were able to adapt to being online. Being there for one another and just finding different ways of achieving similar things.”

“But just seeing the impact that we can all make being online has been really amazing, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2022.”

Johanna Garvin

“One highlight for me this year was doing a course at RMIT on digital marketing strategy. That kept me really motivated through lockdown, because I found that last year in our first lockdown I wasn’t feeling very motivated, so I was determined to find different ways to keep me motivated and get out in one piece.”

“A challenge for me this year was trying to secure funding through the NDIS for a manual wheelchair. My first application was rejected, but luckily I’ve had more success in the last couple of weeks in resubmitting, and I’m going to get a new manual wheelchair, hopefully before Christmas. Fingers crossed!”

I think what’s motivating me for the new year’s just hopefully continuing this motivation that I’ve had over the past lockdown thanks to the course, and keep making new goals and achieving them.”

Jerusha Mather

“I really suffered this year because I was uncertain about changing things in the environment in the world that were very challenging for me and others in the community.”

“I would love to see change, and it’s really important that we stand for justice and change the world for positivity.”

“I have learned so much about the world around me and I have done some very deep reflection on what I want to do, and how I want to do it. I think there are really exciting times we’re living in, and I think for next year I would like to see more change in society, driving inclusion and accessibility… to help people with disability achieve their goals.”

I’m so excited for what’s to come, and I hope we can keep supporting the NDIS because it’s just a great solution for many people. It’s supported many lives, and a lot of people have seen a great improvement in their lives.”

Every Australian Counts

Jean Cochin from the Every Australian Counts campaign dropped by at the event to share what’s on the horizon in 2022.

“People in our community… not only fought so hard for the NDIS to be established, but continue to feel a very strong sense of ownership over it. And we all want to see the NDIS working as well as it possibly can,” she said.

“So we’re still here to help facilitate communications between people on the ground who have busy lives and know what’s going on, and the people that make decisions in Canberra and at the NDIA.”

Jean invited everyone in the CPActive community to get involved in campaigning next year.

“Before I was in this sort of behind the scenes role, I always wondered how much actually an individual can make a difference and I know it sounds so cheesy, but it really, really does, so I would strongly encourage everyone to get involved in any way that’s easiest and most accessible,” she said.

“But also, do you own things too. Contact your local MPs, tell them what’s going on in your life. These things all really to help paint a picture for them of what the real world looks like, and you know, they’re elected to represent you!”

“Stay tuned we’ll have more for you to participate in, but you know don’t be afraid to do things on your own and feel confident.”