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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 December 2021) . . Page.. 4033 ..

Every person has the opportunity to live a happy and fulfilling life, so let us all celebrate I-Day tomorrow and reaffirm this by celebrating the rights, talents and experience of Canberrans with disability, and the incredible contributions they make to the diversity and richness of our community.

The pandemic has thrown at us so many challenges, and many of us radically changed our ways of living. As we emerge into a post-COVID world, let us take what we have learned, add a bit of radical love, and ensure that we build back better and more inclusive than before. I commend everyone that is making progress towards a more inclusive world. Let us note: when diversity is welcomed and the voices of people with disability are at the table, as well as involved in our decision-making, kinder, fairer and more robust decisions are made.

On that note, I would particularly like to thank the members of the Disability Reference Group in the ACT, the disability community and disability sector providers who have provided such invaluable leadership in our community during the past two very difficult years. I would also like to thank the Office for Disability, within the Community Services Directorate, for their incredibly hard work and their ongoing commitment to supporting our disability community. Happy I-Day. I present the following paper:

International Day of People with Disability—Ministerial statement, Thursday, 2 December 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.42): As Minister Davidson has indicated, tomorrow, 3 December, is International Day of People with Disability, or I-Day. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability. It is an important day to recognise and to continue the work of making positive changes to improve the lives of Canberrans with disability. The theme for 2021 is “Leadership and participation of people with disability towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world”.

As I outlined in my previous statement, it was a focus during the COVID-19 response, and has been and continues to be a focus, to work with our Canberra community with disability in addressing and managing the challenges faced by people with disability in responding to the pandemic. Minister Davidson has also discussed the work currently underway in the ACT Health Directorate and Canberra Health Services to improve access and inclusion across the health system for people with disability. By ensuring that Canberrans with disability are taking the lead, we are creating a more inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world with the community, and we look forward to continuing this work.

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