28 November 2022
We got Australia’s first official body to raise the disability pride flag.
The Mayor spoke, along with members of the disability community and TV cameras were present. We also had merchandise and stickers. also It was a huge moment where people with disabilities were recognised as a group within the diverse community
Local activist, Jane Scott, spoke about how historic this occasion was for her
I’m excited to see this flag go up because it gives me hope that we are making real progress towards a genuinely disability inclusive society.
When I was a child, the only job I saw a person in a wheelchair do, was sit on Manly Corso, surrounded by plastic pens, waiting for members of the public to feel sorry enough for the cripple to buy the pens.
As a child I felt very fortunate to be learning to walk, because I thought that if I wasn’t able to do that, maybe I’d be the one sitting around as an object of pity waiting for people to buy pens. I knew, even then, that it was only one step removed from begging.
I also remember having my photo taken to promote the Miss Australia quest – a competition that used the stereotypically beautiful to raise money for the poor unfortunate disabled kids, as we smiled sweetly, full of potential. Today I’m thinking of Lesley Hall, a disabled woman who disrupted the Miss Australia quest in protest in 1981 because disabled people deserve better than to be treated as objects of charity.
Disability has always been part of human experience. Like anyone else dealing with a difficult situation Disabled people want respect and support. I hope that the raising of this flag means that’s the direction we are moving in.
We are volunteers with disabilities. Please talk about us and share our message, but don’t use our work without crediting us, and if you are making a profit please compensate us.