In late 2013 CRU was offered a private donation, to be paid annually for five years to contribute to the development of strong, principled leadership amongst people with disability and families throughout Queensland in order to contribute to better lives for people with disability.

This project will be known as the Disability Leadership Project. The intent of this project is to support leadership for change – as well as supporting leadership that aims to sustain and maintain good things under threat.

The purpose of the Disability Leadership Project is to develop a new group of leaders who will become part of a movement for positive change in the lives of people with disability working in a range of identified areas (education; home; challenging segregating attitudes and practices, employment; participating and contributing; networks of relationships; and safeguards).

In the spirit of CRU, this project defines leadership as a set of purposeful activities which enables people to make a contribution and work effectively with others to achieve better lives for people with disability and their families.

The project acknowledges that leadership is not only about leading from a designated role but includes a range of individual and collective efforts towards change, and the interlocking nature of different contributions and talents. The project also recognizes a variety of leadership styles and ways to make a contribution. People will not necessarily call themselves leaders but they will feel called to “make a difference”.

Delivering Leadership Development Investment

The Disability Leadership Project will inspire and encourage what is possible but also be conscious of encouraging leadership which challenges what is not in the interests of people with disability. There will be efforts to ensure that a diverse range of people can access this opportunity.

The investments will be targeted and strategic in addressing identified priorities but also able to respond to emerging needs and ideas. This initiative will allow leaders to take up opportunities which will expose people to thinking and experiences that crystallise leadership.

The project’s selection criteria and processes will give priority to funding opportunities that ensure maximum impact and positive change.

Individuals will have the opportunity to develop knowledge, leadership skills, self-awareness and their understanding of leadership within an environment that allows time to reflect. Encouragement and support will be provided to leaders to take on challenges and obstacles. Leaders will be linked to networks and mentors for ongoing support and development. Leaders might need a catalyst and then repeated opportunities to mature. They may also need practical support in order to take up development opportunities.

A focus of the project will be the recruitment and development of new and younger leaders in recognition of the need to replace retiring leaders.

What will the project do:

The Disability Leadership Project provides opportunities for people with disability and family members engaging in leadership and based in Queensland. The project, however, is not just a grants program nor is it just a leadership development program as such. Instead, it is a five year investment in advancing the leadership contribution of people with disabilities and their families in Queensland.

The project has recently undergone an external evaluation and more information about future priorities and activities will be advised.

The Disability Leadership Project is a project of CRU. It operates under the day to day management of CRU while being guided and supported by a voluntary advisory group.

Advisory Group

A project advisory group has been established to offer advice, guidance and leadership to CRU in the development and implementation of the project. The current members of the Disability Leadership Project Advisory Group are: Matt Stone, Rebecca Murphy, Narissa Wilson, Lesley Chenoweth, Leigh Tabrett, Dave Cohen, Bianca Gamble and Jeremy Ward. They are joined by Margaret Rodgers and Lisa Bridle from CRU.

Members of the advisory group pictured at the launch in July, with Margaret Ward representing the donors.