This edition contains the following articles:
Congregation: The Wrong Answer to the Wrong Question
From the President
2004 Queensland Social Justice Award CRU
Views from Within: A Reflection on institutionalisation
Nigel Webb is a disability activist with many years experience in disability organisations in Queensland. He was a committee member of Queensland Advocacy Inc for nine years and has been appointed as a community representative on a number of Queensland Ministerial Disability Committees. Nigel is also one of three Queensland representatives of the National Disability Advisory Council. Here Nigel contrasts his experiences living in an institution with his current life in community.
Getting off the Big White Bus: reimagining congregation
Cameron Cutts lives in the newly established community of L'Arche Brisbane. L'Arche is an international federation of faith communities of people with and without intellectual disabilities who live, work, pray and celebrate together in freely given mutual relationships. Cameron is also currently studying a Graduate Diploma in Theological Studies.
Petition One – To the Universe
Michael Russell is a young man with Autism who has been institutionalised from an early age and was introduced to facilitated communication at age 18. Ten years later he has had a play broadcast on Radio National and has written his second volume of poetry with an Arts Queensland Grant. His writing captures his experiences of autism and the unhappiness of his current living situation.
Leadership to Counter Congregation
Bob Jackson is Adjunct Associate Professor of Education at Edith Cowan University, Chair of the Foundation of Social Inclusion Inc. and Director of Include Pty Ltd. Bob has worked in institutions in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. Bob ran the largest institution in Western Australia for people with an intellectual disability for ten years. Here Bob details why change and leadership are required in addressing congregation.
Exposing the Disempowering Process in group home
Francis Vicary works at CRU, as a resource consultant and a project worker. She works with individuals and families to assist them to envisage an inclusive life and making this a reality. Francis has a significant disability, and lives alone in her own home. She is interested in social structures that disempower people and that create further marginalisation.
Leaving Home… Letting Go
Dianne Hughes & Andrea Bearham work for Kyabra Community Inc, where they work alongside a number of families who are in the position of making decisions about accommodation for their family members who have a disability. In this article Dianne and Andrea share some of what they have learned from families about what is helpful in the decision-making process. They offer these thoughts humbly and in the spirit of seeking to walk alongside families on this very difficult journey to ensure that both parents' and their sons or daughters' wishes and choices are respected and encouraged.
The Journey from Fear to Love
Ian Boardman became Queensland's first Public Advocate in October 2000 and took up his position in January the following year. The Public Advocate is an independent statutory officer with responsibility for systemic advocacy on behalf of adult Queenslanders who have a decision-making disability. In this article Ian explores some of the values underpinning congregated models and the role of values in seeking change in the lives of vulnerable people.