Choice, voice, control, yoga and bushwalking
Council for Intellectual Disability Chair Michael Sullivan interviews Tracy Wright to find out what makes the organisation’s new CEO tick.
Michael: During your 30 years in the disability sector what changes have you seen and how far have these changes come into our society today?
Tracy: There has been some increased understanding in the community about people with disabilities, which is encouraging. But there is still a long way to go, especially for people with intellectual disability. There is still much to do to ensure the attitudes in our community recognise the amazing abilities and strengths of all people. We also need to see much more attention on the need to make information accessible to people with intellectual disability, especially where it directly impacts their lives.
Michael: What would be your greatest achievement, among so many?
Tracy: The projects that we implemented in the Large Residential Centres in NSW. Projects that encouraged people to have voice, choice and control, and supporting people in their decision making so that they have the life they want.
Michael: How will your past experiences help you in your role as our CEO?
Tracy: My past experiences of challenging and understanding the barriers in the system to support people with intellectual disability will help me in my work at CID. I am looking forward to breaking down more of those barriers in this role.
Michael: We all know how important recreation is for people with disabilities. How important is this for you?
Tracy: This is a very important aspect of my life to ensure that I am well and healthy. I love yoga, bushwalking, and camping with my husband Mark and my daughters Jessica, Kate and Emma.
Michael: Through your commitment to people – that is wide and diverse no matter where they live – how important is it to encourage them through their challenges that they face day after day?
Tracy: We all need encouragement and support to push through the challenges we face in our lives. That is why systemic advocacy is so important too, if you are having challenges the chances are that there are other people out there facing the same hurdles. That’s one of the strengths of CID, when our members speak out on important issues they are helping make positive change for all.
Michael: What would you say to people facing challenges?
Tracy: I would say never give up, and make sure you tell me what is important to you and let me know how I can assist.