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people with disabilities
Defence celebrated International Day of People with Disability
with a series of events across the country on 4 December 2009.
• HMAs Newcastle celebrated the day with
the Hunter Orthopaedic School – the ship’s
nominated charity. The school provides support
for 40 local students with disabilities from
pre-school to Year 12. Through Operation Think
Big, which included a black tie event on board
the ship, HMAS Newcastle raised more than
$53,000 for the school and purchased a 12-seat
Ford Transit school bus, including maintenance
coverage for three years.
• Defence support Liverpool Military Area
(DS-LMA) at Holsworthy Barracks celebrated
with a morning tea attended by more than 40
staff and raising $84 for Vision Australia. Kristy
Quigg, Defence Disability Network member
and host of the morning tea, spoke about what
the day meant. Kristy explained her disability
and that, thanks to support from Defence, she
was able to be a valuable team member at
DS-LMA . Kristy highlighted that disabilities
can be temporary or permanent and range from
physical disabilities to things that may not be
outwardly visible. Kristy is looking forward
to the 2010 event and potentially expanding
the celebrations to the whole of Holsworthy
ABOVe: CDG Celebrates - Chief Capability Development Group
Vice Admiral Matt Tripovich (centre) celebrated International
Day of People with Disability with Defence Disability Network
members Virginia Dixon and Scott Monson.
The day also marked the first anniversary of the
launch of the Defence Disability Action Plan and
provided an opportunity to reflect on achievements
thus far, including the establishment of the
Defence Disability Network and also Defence
participation in the Stepping Into... Program.
The Defence Disability Network is open to APS
and ADF with and without disabilities. Network
members are not required to disclose their
disability status – the only criterion for joining is
that you be committed to progressing disability
issues in Defence.
The Stepping Into... Program provides work
experience to university students with disabilities.
In addition to providing experience for students
with disabilities, it has also benefitted Defence by
developing the supervisory skills of staff.
Placements are Canberra-based and occur during
the mid-year or end of the year university holidays
for a period of four to eight weeks.
Fairness and Resolution (FR) Branch would like
to hear from Defence areas and staff interested
in joining the Defence Disability Network, or
participating in the Stepping Into... Program.
Further information is on the Fairness and
Resolution Branch Intranet site.
can change a life
Capability Development Group (CDG) celebrated
International Day of People with Disabilities with a
group morning tea.
Chief CDG Vice Admiral Matt Tripovich highlighted
the story of Director Capability Support Scott
Monson, whose former supervisors Colonel Neil
Greet and Lieutenant Colonel Bob Gibson supported
him to undertake specialist training to improve his
communication skills to manage a stutter.
Scott addressed the crowd, saying that while he
never saw his stutter as a disability, he certainly
understood what it was like to be treated as
somebody different and to be judged solely on his
inability to speak fluently.
Scott also spoke about dealing with perceptions
and how some people automatically judged his
abilities as a stutterer. Scott emphasised that
his supervisors saw underlying capabilities and,
although the stutter was not caused by Defence,
they supported him undertaking training that could
improve his ability to communicate effectively at
Scott summed up the impact of this support with
the statement “one opportunity can change a life”.
Since undertaking this Defence-supported training,
Scott has become a confident speaker who has
enhanced his contribution at work and developed
personally. He can now confidently present his
ideas and is establishing a program to help teens
VADM Tripovich commended Scott and his former
supervisors for their forward thinking. The rewards
of this foresight have been reaped by Scott and
by Defence in the enhanced contribution Scott is
able to make. VADM Tripovich closed the event by
emphasising the support that Defence provides its
people and their families, saying: “If we don’t look
after each other, who will?”
ABOVe: The ship’s company of HMAS Newcastle presented a new school bus to the Hunter Orthopaedic School.
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