Caption: Self Advocacy member, Liam and Self Advocacy Assistant, Yari
Liam Barry is making headway on becoming a leader and passionate advocate for people with disability after being selected for Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) Emerging Leaders Program in February.
Liam has an intellectual disability and has been a customer at Multicap since he can remember, now leading the Self Advocacy program at Multicap’s Pine Rivers Hub. He was selected along with 19 others throughout Queensland to complete the ten-month leadership program.
QDN’s Emerging Leaders Program provides an opportunity for Queenslanders with disability to build and grow individual, peer and community leadership.
Liam is excited to learn new skills, and to advocate and influence changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) that make it easier for people living with disability.
“My goals and hopes for Queenslanders with a disability is to try and make all people with disability to not feel left out or neglected by people without a disability,” Liam said.
Multicap’s Self Advocacy Assistant, Yari Silva-Cabezas encouraged Liam to submit an application for the Emerging Leaders Program after witnessing significant growth in Liam since participating in the Self Advocacy program.
“He demonstrates capacity to put group needs over his own which is a testament to his efforts in the Self Advocacy program,” Yari said. “Liam is laid-back and has a soft influence whereby other members listen to him, which makes him a successful natural leader.
“He is now able to voice his feelings, call others to action and is already an influential leader in the community, for example when he lodged forms to request better accessibility for wheelchairs at schools,” she said.
Liam spends three days at Multicap’s Pine Rivers Hub and accesses support on weekends and is passionate about the benefits of self advocacy.
“I like that self advocacy is helping me with my goals to increase independence, learn leadership skills and participate in seminars – most important is that it helps fight for what I want and need,” Liam said.
Liam has his sights firmly set on some impressive goals he wants to achieve in the next five years.
“I want to learn how to drive, move out of my parents’ home into my own apartment in Brisbane city, become a DJ, and study a Certificate II in Animal Studies as I really want to help save animals,” Liam said. “I want to improve my independence. To live on my own, I need to learn skills such as cooking and cleaning and be able to go out by myself without relying on others, but I need a change in my current NDIS plan to achieve this,” he said.
Once he completes the QDN Emerging Leaders program in November, Liam is looking forward to using some of his new leadership skills.
“I hope to use new skills to change the community for people with disability. I’m passionate about disability policy and mental health, so I want to promote RUOK Day and raise awareness of illnesses that aren’t necessarily seen by others,” said Liam.
The QDN Emerging Leaders Program includes monthly training sessions to develop critical thinking, explore leadership theory, practice techniques, have inquiring conversations, build relationships, and connect with established leaders.