Brave Carolyn pleads with councillors

A BRAVE resident with a disability gave a heartfelt speech to the City of Ryde Council recently where she urged councillors to do something about proposed funding cuts to local disability advocacy services.

Carolyn Campbell-Mclean told councillors that advocacy services will be cut as significant funding for people with a disability moves from the state government to the National Disability Insurance Scheme next year.

“People with a disability have a right to have a say because we are treated as a problem, not as a person,” she said.

“We are talking about cuts to services that get me on a bus to get here tonight.”

With a professional background in social work, Carolyn has advised the NSW Ombudsman on disability issues and is a Living Life My Way Champion as well as Senior Facilitator at My Choice Matters’ leadership program alongside her position as a Client Services Coordinator at Muscular Dystrophy NSW.

She spoke at the council meeting on behalf of the Physical Disability Council of New South Wales. Her powerful speech
moved councillors to call on Ryde MP Victor Dominello to fully fund all of Ryde’s disability advocacy services.

Councillor Penny Pedersen said the benefit of funding these services outweighed the cost.

“Funding our 50 local services will cost only a few million dollars a year,” she said.

“The Stroke Recovery Association, for example, will not be funded for advocacy and there is no way state-based services
can access Federal funding unless they are part of an existing plan.”