Meet Shannon, a hard-working advocate for disability rights
Shannon Lalor is an advocate for people with disability, especially in his home town of Wollongong, south of Sydney. In this interview, our Inclusion Officer Sophie Cormack finds out more about what makes Shannon tick.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m 35 and I live in Wollongong. I have experienced mental illness.
I’ve learnt to stand up for myself and I know my rights. I won’t take things lying down.
I go to local politicians’ offices. I complain about trains, buses, public housing. I have no problem doing it!
What are some things you have enjoyed doing with CID?
I have handed out postcards for the Don’t Silence Us campaign. I’ve spread the word about CID in Wollongong.
I’ve done the Wollongong Peer Group with CID. I also go to a local advocacy group in Wollongong every week.
Tell me about some of the big issues in mental health
Mental illness is a big problem. It affects people at any age.
Sometimes [people with intellectual disability] don’t know how to get help. If people don’t know services exist they won’t use them. It’s a real issue.
Transport is key. If you have mental illness and can’t get out of the house and get around you’ll go downhill. This is a big problem in regional areas like Wollongong where there is bad public transport.
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
To be invisible. Just to be able to take yourself away. And to get in and out of buildings without people seeing!
Shannon joined our Peer Group in Wollongong late last year after hearing about it from his service provider.
He is now an active CID member, especially in our advocacy group. Shannon also gives feedback on mental health resources for 3DN and Black Dog Institute.
We are delighted that Shannon was happy to share his story. Watching his enthusiasm for CID grow while speaking up for himself and others is why we love the work we do.