My penultimate day in Australia and I had the absolute joy of a day with Aine and Eddie. We met in the city and got the ferry across to Cockatoo Island.
We scooted and wandered around taking in the old industrial sights, and the more contemporary, it’s currently being used for filming a new series of Australian Ninja Island.
After our island adventures we hopped on another ferry back to the city centre, grabbed an icecream and went to the park to chill, before heading up to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians
to leave some craftivism about the premature mortality of learning disabled people
then up to the library, next door to NSW Parliament to leave some hope
in the form of a Paul Kelly lyric from this track
and finally Sydney Hospital where we left the quote from Aine
Aine got in touch when I was first awarded my fellowship, and got in touch again when I arrived in Sydney despite having moved on from her last role at CID (Council for Intellectual Disability). She is a deeply committed activist, a creative thinker, sparky, considered, thoughtful and most importantly a bloody great laugh. She also believes, as I increasingly do, that the only way we’ll improve things for learning disabled people is through a greater focus on community organising.
I’ve no idea really (yet) what will come out of my fellowship but I had an objective to develop a toolkit (a generic catch all phrase) for bereaved families and carers. Chatting with Aine over the past few weeks has continually reminded me that there is a value in keeping on, keeping on, and that we need to mobilise and organise and turn our anger into action, to improve healthcare for all learning disabled people, and to prevent the number of families that then have to campaign for answers. It’s in our gift, however hopeless things feels at times 👊