This edition of CRUcial Times focuses on the theme of “How Raising Expectations creates more Opportunities for People with Disability to Live Better Lives”.
All contributors in this edition are from around Queensland; from the Gold Coast to north of Cairns and many places inbetween.
This edition contains the following articles:
From the president
Expect the Impossible
Marlena Katene is a young woman who lives at the Gold Coast. While her physical disability is a part of who she is, she has dreams, goals and ambitions which have led to her becoming a business owner and budding journalist. She is nearing the end of her journalism degree and when not studying she enjoys travel, business development conferences and generally just hanging out with friends.
In this article she explores the importance of expectations, their importance to her and how they continue to motivate her as she looks to the future.
Autonomy, employment and the transition to independence
Selina Maffey lives in far north Queensland and is the mother of Angelica who is 26 years old. Angelica grew up in a rural community, went to the local school and then the high school in the nearest town twenty seven kilometres away. Since finishing school eight years ago Angelica has been working at a local resort in Port Douglas.
In this article Selina reflects on the important role employment has played in her daughter’s life and how it has led to a full life of independence and opportunity beyond everyone’s expectations.
Expectation: an Invitation or condemnation
John Buckley is a creative writer who has experienced the good and bad aspects of expectation. It is his wish for others to recognise their role in the limiting and expanding of expectation for all.
Expectations: The highs and lows - how far have we come?
Bridget Wickert currently works in Queensland as part of a large organization. Bridget has worked in special educational settings and several services across Queensland and New South Wales. Bridget’s interest and deep desire to work differently comes from a strong sense of justice, inclusive practice and a belief in seeing difference as uniqueness.
Stronger and smarter
Chris Sarra is a Queensland educator who is probably best known as the Principal of the State School at Cherbourg, a former Aboriginal Mission north of Brisbane, from August 1998 to February 2005. When he started the school was not functioning effectively, as shown by the poor results, low rates of attendance and a very high turnover rate of teachers. By engaging with the local community and applying his framework of “Stronger, Smarter”, Sarra led a dramatic change in the culture and environment of the school which in turn lead to greatly improved outcomes for its students and their community.
This series of excerpts from the autobiography of Chris Sarra highlight how a systemic culture of low expectations leads to people expecting less of themselves.