A group of young people are spearheading a campaign to make education and employment systems in NSW more inclusive for young people with cerebral palsy and disability. The CPActive Blaze the Trail Campaign is taking its message to policy and decision makers in the run-up to the NSW Election in March 2023.

Speaking at the launch in Sydney, disability advocate and ParaMatildas representative Tahlia Blanshard said: “The work presented today has been the effort of young people from the CPActive community. They have been meeting virtually and face-to-face to talk about issues that matter to us, and how it can create systems that are more inclusive for young people with cerebral palsy,” she said. 

Cerebral Palsy Alliance head of advocacy, Bronya Metherall said the Australian-first initiative, that is being led with the voice of young people with disability, is unprecedented.  “This is a group who have strategised a campaign around their lived experience from school to work, who have achieved incredible individual success but not without challenges and barriers.

“What they would like to do is blaze a trail for the next generation of young people, so they don’t need to kick down the doors if the system is there to support them,” she told Link. “They are bringing their experience to inspire, motivate and mobilise a larger group of young people to get behind this world-first movement.”

Over the next couple of months these advocates will engage in a range of media opportunities and briefings with private and corporate sectors and government, inviting them to assist in co-designing a strategy to improve the school-to-work pathway system that is underpinned by three key objectives. These are: 

  • Clear, consistent and enforceable guidelines for support around assessments at school and university for students living with disability
  • Pathways for people living with disability to enter the teaching workforce
  • A state-wide initiative supporting the development of pathways for students living with disability into large business, government departments and community organisations.

Attending the launch was NSW Shadow Minister for Disability Inclusion Kate Washington and representatives from the State Government.

To join the campaign go to: cpactive.org.au or sign the petition at: cpactive.org.au/nsw-election or share on social media: #CPActive

Photo: Tahlia Blanshard