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weather now - child winds, and

snow over highlands, and southern New South Wales. southern New South Wales. The

high is extending further

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A final check of the midday

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VOICE-OVER: Today at the National Press Club the National Press Club the People with Disabilities and chairwoman of the National

Carers Council Rhonda Galbally.

Spurred by a new study showing discrimination and exclusion,

are entrenched in Australia Dr

Galbally will outline her

council's agenda to make life

easier for people with

disabilities and their carers.

Rhonda Galbally with today's

National Press Club address. (Bell

(Bell rings) Ladies and

National Press Club and today's gentlemen, welcome to the

National Australia Bank

address. It's a great pleasure

to welcome today Dr Rhonda

Galbally, chair as you've just

heard of the National People

with Disabilities and Carers

Council. Dr Galbally is an

exceptional leader and

organiser who's applied those

talents over a span of some 25

create years to help and in many cases

create a wide range of

non-profit community

organisations. She's made a

huge contribution to Australian and international social

development through her work in

building social infrastructure.

Today, she'll discuss the

report SHUT OUT, life for

Australians with a disability

and their families. This

report that was completed

recently by with Disabilities and Carers recently by the National People

Council and it's the first to

provide really a comprehensive

picture of what it's like to

live in contemporary Australia

for people with disabilitys and

their families. It's not a

pretty picture, but I'll leave

it to her to spell out the

details. Please welcome, Rhonda Galbally. APPLAUSE Thank you

Thank you Mr Chairman.

Members of the National Press

Club, friends and you're all

distinguished guests, I want to

begin by acknowledging the

traditional owners of the land

on which we are gathered today

the Ngunnawal people and pay my

respects to their elders, past

and present. What does it mean

to be an Australian with a

disability in 2009? What is

life like in the life like in the luxury

country, in this land of the

fair go, if you're a son or

daughter of this sunburnt

country? One answer we might

expect would be a citizen with

the same rights as everyone

else. But if you have a

physical, sensory, psychiatric

or intellectual disability,

what is life really like? Many

Australians would say Australians would say it's

better, isn't it? The bad old

days are gone, aren't they? The

horror and abuse that went on

in institutions - that's all

gone now, hasn't it? The

poverty, the discrimination,

the exclusion, the fear and hatred, that's all ancient

history, isn't it? Women and

men of the National Press Club,

I would love to be able to I would love to be able to say

"Yes, that is all ancient

history" , but I can't. I'm

here to tell you that despite

this nation enjoying the

longest economic boom in its

history, very little has

changed for most Australians

with a disability. They are

still discriminated against.

They are still abused, they are

living in still isolated, they are still

living in poverty, and they are

still treated with fear and

loathing in their own country.

And if you don't believe me,

let me tell you a story. A

young man with Down Syndrome

goes to a cafe with a group of

his friends. The cafe's in a

public park. The young man

becomes separated from his

group. Lost, he group. Lost, he walks around

the park looking for his

friends and he comes to a

playground and there are some

families in the playground and

as this young man has younger

siblings, he tries to talk to

the children, but one of the

dads screams at him to get away

from the kids and now the young

man is scared and he tries to

ask some of the adults at the

playground for help. So what do these parents do these parents do to help

these young man with an

intellectual disability who is

lost, alone and scared? They

all scream at him, too, and

no-one helps him. He is

shunned, he is driven away.

They want nothing to do with

him. Because he is disabled,

they assume he is a threat, and

they want him out of they want him out of their

park. Women and men, this is a

true story and it's not ancient

history, it happened a few

weeks ago in a suburban park in

Melbourne, and that's my city

where I come from. Melbourne,

a city that's supposed to be

one of the most liveable cities

in the world. But liveable for

study whom? Not that young man. One

study found that people with a

psychiatric or intellectual

disability will have a negative

social experience within 15

minutes of leaving their home.

Australia is not a liveable

country for people with a

disability, and I could tell

you so many stories. Like the

ones about children who are not

welcome at child care centres welcome at child care centres

and kindergartens because they

have a disability. Like the

ones of our children expelled

from school because they have a

disability. Or the one about

the young man who lost his

promotion because he was unable

to organise new support

services in another State

within six months of winning a

young people new job. Or the ones about the

young people living in group

homes, forced to go to bed

every night at 5pm because the

staff say so. Unable to help

themselves to food from the

locked fridges, unable to go

out for a walk through the

locked doors. Or the one about

a young man who was assaulted

by a fellow resident in his

group home, but who continued

to live under the same roof to live under the same roof as

his abuser because there was

nowhere for either of them to

go. Or the ones about the

people who'll sleep in their

wheelchairs tonight because

there's no-one around to help

to get them to bed. Or the

ones about the families who

become so desperate they

abandon their children in

respite care or in hospital

because they can no longer care because they can no longer care

for them at home. There are so

many stories to tell and each

with its own heartbreaking

punchline and you will find

them in this report SHUT OUT,

and SHUT OUT is a unique

document. It's unique because

the Rudd Government established

a nationwide consultation asking people asking people with disabilities

and their families two

important questions - what is

your life like now, and what

would you like your life to be

like? And no Australian

Government had ever asked

people with disabilities and

their families those questions

before. And the response was

overwhelming. More than 760

individuals and organisations

made written submissions and

more than 2,500 people attended

public consultations right

across the country. I saw the

submissions, and I chaired the

public consultations around

Australia and I heard from the

people and I'm not new to the

disability sector. I've been

around a while and seen and around a while and seen and

heard a great deal, but nothing

could have prepared me for the

size and the scope of the human

suffering. What I saw and what

I heard was profoundly

shocking, and utterly shameful.

Here we are in one of the

wealthiest countries in the

world, yet I heard that most

Australians with disabilities

and families struggle to access the

the very necessities of life.

I heard that people with

disabilities are denied access

to housing, to employment, to

education, to health care, to

recreation, to sports, to arts,

to the very things most people

in the community take for

granted. I heard that they are denied access

denied access to child care, to

kindergartens, to schools, to

shopping centres, to

participation in community

groups. I heard that their

lives are a constant struggle.

I heard that they are isolated

and alone. I heard that they

are shut out. Thankfully, most

of the large institutions that once housed people once housed people with a

disability are now closed.

That's when we thought that the

awful abuses from

institutionisation would cease.

But where people with

disabilities were once shut in,

now they found themselves shut

out. Socially, culturally and

excluded, ignored, excluded, ignored, invisible

and silent. Like that young

man with Downs Syndrome in the

park, many Australians with a

disability have been driven

from the public domain. When

Bill Shorten the parliamentary

Secretary for Disabilitites

addressed this forum in April

he said "I make no apologies

for seeing disability as an

issue of basic civil rights".

He went on to He went on to say "I believe it

is the last frontier of

practical civil rights in this

country". And he is right, this

is a frontier that has been

completely forgotten.

Forgotten by our own country.

Rather than attempt to cover

the entire frontier in one go,

I want to take this opportunity

to focus your attention on three

three critical areas - early

intervention, education, and

disability services. I could

just as easily talk about

another three areas such as

employment, housing and the

built environment, but for

today I will contain myself to

discuss areas where a new

strategy for disability in Australia would drive

much-needed reform. A much-needed reform. A lot has

been said recently about how

critical the first years of a

child's life are. About how an investment in the early years

can have a massive impact on

the future prospects of a

child, and all the research

points to the same conclusion -

child development starts from

day one, emphasis on the early

years therefore has a huge years therefore has a huge

pay-off, both for the

individual and the community.

Early intervention is,

therefore, absolutely essential

for kids with a disability if

they are ever to reach their

full potential. But during the

public consultations, parents

told us that their attempts to

give their child the best

possible start in life were

being stymied. being stymied. Stymied by long

waiting lists and very limited

availability. Early

intervention is more like

barely intervention, and make

no mistake, this short-sighted

approach is not just hurting

those children, it's hurting

our nation. We're paying for

this false economy through lost

potential, lost productivity

and a lifetime and a lifetime dependence on

Government support. If you

don't believe me, let me tell

you about two brothers. Both

have a diagnosis of autoistic

spectrum disorder and despite

their common diagnosis, these

brothers are now travelling

very different paths. When the

older brother was diagnosed,

his parents struggled to find

early intervention services and support.

support. He received barely

intervention and is now

seriously disabled and attends

a special school. By the time

the younger brother was

diagnosed early on with the

same disability, his parents

knew from experience what had

to be done. They would not

settle for barely intervention.

Instead, they sourced and paid themselves for extensive therapy.

therapy. It came at a high

personal cost, but they were

determined and unlike many

other families, they had the

financial capacity to buy for

their son what should be

available to all children with

disabilities. The younger

brother now attends his local

primary school and is doing

very well. What is the moral

of this story? What can we of this story? What can we learn? What we should learn is

that investing in the early

development of a child with a disability makes an enormous

difference, that early

intervention should not be

considered an optional luxury.

It is absolutely essential.

Essential if children with a

disability are ever to reach

their full potential. And now

we come to school, and there is no

no way we can measure the full

economic and social cost of

failing to provide a child with

an appropriate education. Yet,

that is what is happening every

day in this country to children

with disabilities. Children

with a disability lag behind on

a whole range of indicators, yet little progress has been

made in closing the gap. made in closing the gap.

Education for children with a

disability has no aspirations,

no goals, and no hope. It is

still possible for a child with

a disability in this country to

leave school without being

taught to read or write. So it

is not surprising that despite

the fact that more students

with a disability attend school with a disability attend school

than ever before, students with

a disability are still

significantly less likely to

complete Year 12. In fact,

only half as many people with

disabilities have completed

Year 12 compared to people

without disabilities. And as a

result, they are far less

likely to go onto higher

education or further training.

Again, only half as many people

with a disability have

completed a diploma or higher

qualification compared to

people without a disability.

These statistics are

outrageous, but where is the

outrage? Why is it that we lack

the will to close this gap? I

believe our lack of will

reflects our low expectations. We accept

We accept the differences in

outcomes because somewhere deep

down we don't really believe

kids with disabilities have

potential. We have no

aspirations, no goals and no

hope for those children. There are still special schools in

this country that do not even

offer a secondary curriculum.

That's how low our expectations That's how low our expectations

are. There are still many

schools in this country that

fail to provide students with

communication devices that they

need to successfully complete

their schooling. That's how

low our expectations are . How

self-fulfilling is that? In

SHUT OUT, you will read of a

young woman with a hearing

impairment whose teacher refused

refused to wear a microphone in

class, because she said it

would put holes in her clothes.

That's how low that teacher's

expectations were. The student

failed science that year. The

next year, though, she had a

teacher willing to wear a

microphone and she topped and

class. That's how high our

expectation should be. Then,

there's the story

there's the story of a young

16-year-old woman with an intellectual disability who

wept with frustration and shame

because she could not read or

write. She had the ability to

learn to read and write, but

her school had not taught her

to read or write a word.

That's how low their

expectations were. Our low expectations

expectations also reflect a

lack of understanding of the

benefits of inclusion. I

believe that we don't work hard

enough to keep kids with

disabilities in mainstream

schools, because somewhere deep

down we don't believe it's

worth it. Yet, nothing could

be further from the truth.

There is now strong evidence

from all around the world and

Australia that children with

disabilities do best when they

are educated in mainstream

settings with their

non-disabled peers - that's the

evidence. A more

individualised approach and a

more innovative pedigogy begins

by looking at where kids are at

and what they need in order to

learn and such an approach, of

course, benefits every single

child in the classroom. So

inclusion is good for kids with

disabilities and good for kids

without. So why is it then

that we are so unwilling then

to give it a go? Why is it then

that parents in many States are

still told that special schools

are best? We lack will, but do

we also lack skill? Is the real

truth that many teachers feel

that they are not well equipped

to meet the full range of

situations that confronts them

in the classroom? Frankly, I

believe kids with disabilities

are just the canaries in the

mine. They are alerting us to

the multitude of ways we are

failing to address the learning

needs of all children. But

perhaps the harshest criticism

during the consultations for

SHUT OUT was reserved for the

disability service system. Disability services are

intended to provide people with

the assistance and equipment

they require to participate

fully in daily and community

life, and tragically, more than

half the contributors to SHUT

OUT said services acted as a

barrier rather than an aid to

their full participation in the

community. The service system

was characterised as

irretrievably broken and broke,

chronically underfunded,

struggling against a vast tide

of unmet need. People said

more time was spent rationing

services than delivering them.

The focus is on minimising

costs in the short-term rather

than maximising outcomes in the

long-term, and this

short-sighted approach not only

delivers a miserable poor

quality of life, but

ironically, it costs more,

because it creates a lifetime

of dependence on governments.

And because the system is so highly rationed, the

responsibility for filling the

gaps falls on families and it

is these families who are

struggling with high rates of

physical, emotional and

financial stress. During the

consultations, ageing parents

spoke movingly of earlier on

sharing and supporting their

then young adult's dream to move out of the family home

into a home of their own. But

the dire lack of suitable

accommodation and lack of

adequate support put an end to

that dream. Now both children

and parents are old and stuck

in desperate situations. It is

these aged parents who are in

the tragic position of hoping

that their children die before them.

them. SHUT OUT graphically

demonstrates the ways in which

all systems are failing people

with disability and their

families, and unfortunately,

things are only going to get

worse. For example, just the area of disability services

alone, current spending already

exceeds $6 billion a year, and

the Rudd Government recently

committed to a real increase in

funding for disability services

of 3% per annum, above and

beyond CPI over the next 5

years and after so many years of neglect, the Government is

to be congratulated for this

unprecedented increase in

spending. But it's not enough.

The problem is that growth in

demand is anticipated to exceed

5% per annum and if this growth

continues, the current spend on

disability will need to double

in the next 14 years. This

would mean that funding for schools, kindergartens, roads,

trains, all of it would have to

be redirected to disability

services, and that would be for

a lifetime that keeps people on

a drip feed of misery.

Projections show that over the

next 70 years, the growth in

the group of people with a

severe disability will be

between two and three times the

population growth as a whole,

and at the same time, the

number of unpaid carers is

expected to decline markedly.

So it is no exaggeration to say

that we are at a crossroads.

Now is the time to plan and

act. The situation confronting

us is remarkable similar to

that which confronted Australia

in the 1980s. Then it was projected that the number of people relying on the age

pension threatened to overwhelm

the tax system. Recognition of

that problem led to the

introduction of compulsory superannuation, a safety net

that Australians now take for

granted. The consultations for

SHUT OUT threw up an idea that

has been around the traps for a

little while, the idea of a no-fault National Disability

Insurance Scheme.

Australiawide, people see that

we clearly can't continue the

way we are going. To do so

would be both socially and

financially irresponsible, even

scandalous. We need a safety

net for individuals and we need

a safety net for the country.

A National Disability Insurance

Scheme would be such a safety

net. There are many

misconceptions in the community

about such a scheme, but in

reality the concept is very

simple, a National Disability

Insurance Scheme would provide

funding for early intervention,

essential care, support,

therapy, aids and equipment,

home modifications and

training, and most importantly,

it would provide this early on

in order to maximise potential,

facilitate independence and

ensure planned transitions over

the life course. The scheme

would, in short, provide people

with what they need, when they

need it to ensure that they

reach their full potential, and

the scheme would provide

assistance to all people with a

disability no matter how they

become disabled, and it will

put an end to the current

inequities that see people

receiving different levels of

support depending on how the

disability is acquired. It shouldn't matter whether you

are born with a disability,

acquire one through a car

accident, or develop one

through a serious illness.

Everyone should be able to get

what they need, when they need

it in order to lead as full a life as possible.

life as possible. This is

clearly a socially responsible

idea, but what people don't

understand is that it is also

an economically responsible

idea. The social insurance

model with its focus on the

assessment of the life-long

needs of the individual

provides an incentive to reduce

overall costs. Such a scheme

will have an in-built incentive

to maximise independence. Such

a scheme will have an in-built

incentive to maximise opportunities for participation

and productivity. And because participation and productivity

would be maximised, there would

be savings not only in the

disability service system, but

in health, income security and

other programs. The idea is

uniting the disability sector.

For the first time in this

country, carers Australia, the

Australian Federation of

Disability Organisations and

National Disability Services

have formed an alliance to

campaign for a National

Disability Insurance Scheme.

People are mobilising. The

list of organisations pledging

their support grows every day.

There is a genuine sense of

excitement that after so many

years of struggle we might just

be on the cusp of real life-changing reform. And

support for the scheme goes far

beyond the disability sector.

The ACTU supports the scheme,

the AMA who are here with us

today, have also come out in

support of the scheme, and I'm

delighted to tell you that the

Pharmacy Guild just this

morning has announced its

support. Media across the

country have picked up the

issue. It's the right time

with the Rudd Government

interested in genuine and

lasting social reform. And

credit must go, of course, to

parliamentary secretary Bill

Shorten and minister Jenny

Macklin for raising the profile

of disability issues and for

undertaking the Government

consultation process which led

to SHUT OUT. And now, for

major reform through the

national disability strategy.

The issues raised in SHUT OUT

will not be ignored. The

voices in SHUT OUT will not got

unheard. The national

disability strategy will ensure

the full participation of

people with a disability in the

life of our nation. We need

this strategy to put an end to the daily discrimination

experienced by people with a

disability in jobs, in life.

We need the strategy

We need the strategy to ensure

that public transport,

buildings, public and private

housing, parks, foot paths,

playgrounds, swimming pools,

schools and community

facilities, that they all

become accessible and

inclusive. We need this

strategy to ensure that

education in every State is

reformed so that children with

disabilities have a future. We

need a national disability

strategy to ensure that

disability becomes the

responsibility of every

Government department. For far

too long, disability has been

seen as the domain of welfare.

It is seen as one department's

problem and while it remains

contained in this welfare silo,

very little progress will be

made. Disability is, in fact,

the responsibility of every

minister in every portfolio

across every level of

Government. It's the

responsibility of every

Premier, of every State. It's

the responsibility of every

mayor and every CEO in every

municipality across the

country. Disability must be on

everyone's agenda. I've

focussed today on what

governments could and should

do, but governments can't work

in isolation. Real lasting

change will only be achieved in

partnership with community.

This means the business

community, non-Government

organisations, local grassroots communities and very

importantly, the media. Much

work needs to be done before

Australia is a truly inclusive

nation. An inclusive nation is

one that celebrates and

embraces diversity, and

disability is core to

diversity. And an inclusive

nation ensures that every

citizen has the opportunity to

fully participate in the

social, cultural, civic and

economic life of that country.

And that includes people with a

disability and their families.

So I would like to ask you to

do something for me, to take a

copy of SHUT OUT with you

today, or to download it from

the website and read it, and

get others to read it too. And

when you read this report,

you'll find that many of the

people you were reading about

are not so different from you.

They have the same hopes, they

have the same needs, they have

the same rights. They live in

your cities, in your suburbs

and in your towns. But they

are shut out of the life that

you take for granted. Read

about your fellow Australians

and ask yourself, how would you

feel if the person who was shut

out was you? APPLAUSE

Thank you very much, Dr

Galbally. As usual, we have a

period of questions from our

media members today. I have a

couple of questions for you regarding working for people

with disabilities. The report

highlights just some of the

difficulties that people with

disabilities face getting into

the workforce and I understand

that in some countries like

Germany they have schemes in

place where employers are

required to have a certain

percentage of their workforce

with disabilities. I'm

wondering is that a scheme

you'd like to see in Australia,

and could this be extended into

the classrooms into mainstream schooling

schooling perhaps? Look, I

think the question of targets

is a really good one and I'm

personally very interested in

them, because I think it does

set a benchmark. One of the

arguments against targets is

that many people with

disabilities in workplaces

don't want to be identified as

having a disability, and that's

OK. If they don't want to be

identified, then so be it. But

still to have a target is a

good idea and you know, I'd

love to start with government,

with State and Federal public

service. I mean, I have to

give a bouquet to South

Australia, because they've done

very well in State public

service in recruiting and

retaining people with

disabilities, and they have a

particular way of doing that

and if they can do it, so can

every State and so can the

Commonwealth to set an example.

But then, I do think targets

are worth thinking about.

Another idea would be for

procurement. You know, there's

massive contracts going out to

businesses for procurement for

Government services and

buildings and capital works.

It would be great to have this

in procurement documents, too,

as targets. That would be very

valuable. I'd like to add, the

non-Government sector too,

because I know many are here

today, that I actually don't

think there's enough employment

in non-Government organisations

of people with disabilities

either and I think that's a

real pity. My second question

was to do with rising unemployment and the global

financial crisis. I'm just

wondering if you've heard

anecdotally on the road how

this has affected workers with

disabilities. Have they been

the first to lose their

jobs? Yes, we have heard on the

road that it's been much

tougher and, you know, this is

despite all the, again, the

research and the evidence that

people with disabilities are

wonderful workers, loyal,

hard-working, extremely

productive. So again, it's

about mythology and

discrimination and I think

that's part of the story that

that has to be tackled too.

Can you tell me how much do

you estimate a national scheme

would cost and are you hopeful

that the Government will make

the promise of such a scheme

part of their election pledge

for the next election? There's

a high-level committee that has

been set up by the Government

called the Disability

Investment Group and they're

about to report I've heard, and

they've crunched some numbers

about cost that will be

released I would imagine before

the end of the year. But we

really do need a feasibility

study for such a major

initiative. There wouldn't be

anything. I mean, Medicare and national superannuation would

be the two parallel where they

had major feasibility studies

before they were launched. But

the answer to your question

really overall is I don't

believe we can afford not to do

something, because the numbers

really are disastrous and the

beauty of an insurance model is

that you load up the early end,

you load up the end that really

gets people back into life. So

you load up early intervention,

you load up equipment, home modification, education,

retraining. Everything you

need to do to get people to

live a life, and that's why

it's such a great model, and in

the longer run, is the

economically sensible way to

go, but there will have to be a

feasibility study and so that

would be great if that was as a

pre-election initiative. That

would be great, and I'm hoping

that will be under way

pre-election. I think there's

an appetite. I think it's the

right time. I think all the

stars are aligning. We've got

a Government really interested

in genuine social reform.

We've got an incredibly

activist parliamentary

secretary, an extremely good

minister, good cabinet, and I

think it's the right time, really.

really. Dr Galbally, some

things physically for the

disabled have improved over the

years. We have more ramps and

what have you and even the

National Press Club has been

dragged kicking and screaming

into the later part of the 20th

century and installed a lift.

Many things that we need, that

disabled people need are very,

very expensive as we both know. Whereas you can go to the public hospital for a

life-saving operation or to get

a limb splintered or something

like that. If you want a

wheelchair or a device you pay

commercial rates, even in a

public hospital sometimes

regardless of a person's

income, you and I might be able

to afford it but many people

can't and it affects their

quality of life. Do you see

this as an anomaly in our

system, and are you bringing

this to the attention of the

parliamentary secretary to the minister? I think it's a really important question and it's

interesting that you raise the

issue of the life-saving

operation, which would cost

hundreds of thousands often and

you compare that with a

wheelchair where there are

children in Australia who by

the time they get their

wheelchair they've outgrown

them because the waiting list

for aids and appliances is so

long. And I mean, this just

doesn't make sense, because the

equipment... you know, from a

wheelchair to communication

devices when people can't

speak, or especially children

when they're learning, that you

just need and so if you don't

have the equipment you can't

get an education or you can't

get to work, or if your

wheelchair - what did I hear on

the road? I heard that one

young woman whose wheelchair

breaks down, it's so old, once

a fortnight and she has to take

a day off from work waiting for

someone to come and fix it.

This is lieu nasy, this is just

madness. It's nobody --

lunacy. It's nobody being bad,

it's a system rationed where

it's short-term and that's why

to get a whole reverse of the

system that you do get in

social insurance models, where

you want everybody back to

school and to work and retraining, because then

they'll get work, or then

they'll get out into the

community and live productive

and full lives. And then, of

course, their health and

well-being's better. There's a

lot of evidence that if you're

in the community participating

your health and well-being is

much better. So there are

savings everywhere. Let me ask

you a couple of questions. The

first one is from what you've

said today, obviously there's a

major lack of appreciation of

the scale of this issue in the

community. Some of the stories you were telling would probably

shock people, but if they

thought about it, probably not

surprise them all that much,

because they've lived with it

for so long. To get effective political action you've surely

got to change that. How would

you go about a program of

cultural change to get a greater realistic awareness of

the implications of

disability? I think that's a

big question and the easy

solution that in much of my

work in health promotion and

other areas shows doesn't work

in a lasting way, would be

quite expensive advertising

campaigns. But the thing that

does work is people being out

there, being school mates, you

know, being in kinders, being

in child care centres where

parents are together, being in

jobs. So being out there is

number one and, you know, I

hear, I heard all around

Australia, but I hear every day

about junior sporting groups -

this is groups of little kids

having fun, having a bit of a

play of a game - refusing to allow children with

disabilities to play because

they might not win the game.

Well, I mean that's got to stop and there can be mechanisms to

not allow the funding to go to

parent bodies if there's any

junior sporting group

excludeing children with

disabilities. In fact, you

could have a requirement that

they include them. Community

houses and neighbourhood houses

running segregated courses

because you have a disability.

I mean, all that has to stop,

because all that stops

attitudes changing. But I hate

to end my answer to that

question on a very sad note,

but what happens if we don't

change attitudes, it's really

tragic, and there was a case

just this year in Frankston in

Melbourne of a young man with

psychiatric illness where young

men tried to set him alight, and he was living

independently, living a good

life, you know, independently

in the community. And now he's

living in a nursing home.

Like, he'll never live in the

community again, he was very

severely burned. And these

young men - that's what

community attitudes are about,

and that's why we've got to do

things that are more profound

than ad campaigns. The other

thing that struck me forcibly

about your speech is the

breadth of the issue and the

lack of recognition of the

scale of it. How do you think

in public policy terms this

issue should be placed? I mean,

Bill Shorten is doing a good

job but we've got ageing linked

with health, we've got

disability linked with families

and community services. Do we

have enough people with the

breadth of knowledge of the

scale of the whole thing to establish a separate

stand-alone policy

department? Well, to me, the

issue isn't whether you set up

a separate stand-alone policy

area. I know some people in

the community think that's very

important, but I'm much more interested in getting things

done and I personally think

that having it in a department

that's got a large budget is

very important. I think having

it in a department where we've

got a parliamentary secretary

who for the first time probably

since Don Grimes who some of

you who are as old as me will

remember Senator Grimes, but

remember Senator Grimes, but certainly Bill Shorten's out

there telling it how it is in a

way that I personally found

incredibly encouraging, to have

someone really prepared to

stand up and say right across

Australia "It's not - it's bad,

it's got to stop, something's

got to happen" , and then with

the minister Jenny Macklin with

a national disability strategy

that will, I'm hoping, be a

very sophisticated strategy.

With the States and not just in Family and Community Services

ministries, but I'm hoping for

a council on Australian

Government process in

education, in health, in every

area that relates to

disability. That's what I

believe will happen. And so

this is very exciting. I mean,

I know this sounds a little bit

like jargon talking about COAG

and Australian Government with

the States, but that's when

things really get done and I

think that's what's going to

happen, and that's what

matters. And I'm afraid to say

we have seen stand-alone units

and even quite, with proud

names that really haven't

achieved much. So they can be

symbolically great, but I'm not

interested in symbolism, I'm

interested in outcomes. We've

got to get change. So really,

what you're saying out there is stand-alone become competitive

with others, it's better to

integrate it into other

portfolios? Unless the

stand-alone one has massive

influence. Dr Galbally, one of

the directors of the National

Press Club, thank you very much

for your address. I'll

certainly read SHUT OUT and

will urge upon others that they

do so, but to my question, John

mill ard has a bit of a habit

in this forum of stealing

questions which I was about to

ask, but with the deftness and

the agility that only directors

of the National Press Club can

manage, I'll hasten forward and

go to the issue of access,

disabled access. The National

Press Club isn't the only

institution in the country

which in recent times has

improved its capacity and its

offering in that area. It

seems to me that across all

levels of Government in

Australia over the last couple

of decades in particular, local

government, State and Territory

Government, national

Government, there's been an

improved mandating of the

provision of services for

disabled access. But clearly, it isn't anywhere near enough

yet. I haven't yet read SHUT

OUT, but what are the specifics

that you here now can recommend

that Government should look to

first for further great

improvement in physical access

for people with disabilities?

The second question which John

mill ard hasn't yet stolen

- Let's do them one at a time,

Peter. I think the question of physical access is really

important. I'd like to throw

in, though, the issue of

deafness access, of audio loops

and all the things that are

needed that should just be

built in and to say that I'm -

the building code and building standards improvements are very

welcome, but not enough. I

won't go into the technical

details of those. And that's

great to think that this

Government got started with

that immediately they came in.

Because they'd been sitting around with the previous

government for about five

years, which was really

hopeless, absolutely hopeless.

So that's good. In Victoria,

we're hoping that there'll be a

new regulation passed that

makes private housing

downstairs and apartments

accessible and this makes

sense, of course, for an ageing

population. I mean, in

countries around the Western

world it's just taken for

granted. In Sweden and

Scandinavia it's been in since

1975. In the UK, for 10 years.

But in Australia, still

struggling, so we're going to

have a real problem with the

housing of the ageing

population. And then I come to

the local level and this is

where I really appeal, please

mayors and CEOs of local

government, do something. You

know, because you can't get

into playgrounds. There are

playgrounds being built as I

speak where if you have a

disability as a parent, or you

have a child with a disability,

you just can't get in to play.

So not only are they excludeing

people such as the down

syndrome man I spoke about, that's emotional exclusion

that's very cruel. They're not

allowing people in, so that's

disastrous and there's swimming

pools, there's footpaths,

there's recreation facilities.

Local government is responsible

for an enormous amount and it's

extremely patchy, really

patchy. You get some that are

great and for everything I've

said today by the way you get

some schools that are great,

you get some local governments

that are great. But the vast

majority are just disastrous.

The second question was, one

has an impression that there is

a wider spread and a greater

number of disabilities across

the total population. There's

an increase going on as we

speak. Is it that we are confronting the ageing

population phenomenon, or is it

more widespread than that?

Could you offer us a comment on

that impression? Certainly the

ageing population's very much a

part of it. I think this is a

really crucial question,

because sometimes I get asked

this question and I get asked

it at ethics conferences,

should people with disabilities

not be born? And I'm a woman

that's always supported right

to choose, so I want to say

that up front, but I'm strongly

of the view that people with

disabilities add an enormous

value to the Australian

society. I think it is

diversity. Like, we hear about

diversity being all sorts of

people, but people with

disabilities are about

emotional diversity and they

add value, they make people

really be a humane,

compassionate and warm society

and empathic and what's the

important of having an

Australia if it's not like

that. I could go through lots

of reproductive technology and

all sorts of issues to do with

why numbers are increasing, but

really, I think the more

important point is this is

valuable. If we want a society

that's sort of somewhat about

eugencis I don't want to be

here, I'm going to go somewhere

else to live. I'm pleased you

are here and you've made your

address today. My question, in

your travels on the

consultation around all of

Australia, I just wondered

whether you had any sort of

significant comment or

complaints about the different

levels of governments and the

different levels of services

and how they differ between

States? You haven't really

mentioned it in your report and

I just thought you could make

some comment whether the

coordination between

governments is a very difficult

task as it often is between the

Federal and the State level.

And I noticed you gave South Australia a bouquet, which is

very rare at this forum, I

might add. About jobs. I

wonder do any of the State

governments deserve a brick bat today? I think this is a

question about how not to win

friends and influence people

and I'm going to try to side

step it a bit. To answer the question about coordination

with Federal and State, I think

it's going very well around the

service area. I think it's

better than ever before and I

think a lot of credit has to go

to the Federal Government and

the State governments for that

highly co-operative approach.

I think it's going well. Local

governments are complete - like

I don't want to speak too

strongly, but it's a real

basket case. How do you get

local government in there to do

anything? I was very interested

in the mayors gathering in

Canberra, where I don't believe

the word access for people with

disabilities was mentioned and

with the money that went out

for the recovery money where I

don't believe that this issue

for retro fitting - all of the

things you could have done with

that money. Boy, would I have

loved to have spent it at local

government level. And it's

because it's just not on the

agenda. So I think local

government is a real problem,

and if anyone's got any ideas

about how to make it work

better, I'd love to hear from

them. You know, in a

coordinated way, not where you

have to go to all 800 or 790 of

them one after another to get

this issue really on agendas.

When I talk about the relationships between

Commonwealth and State working

well in the disability service

area, education, it has to work

well there with the topic of

disability on that agenda.

Disability has to be on the

COAG discussions in the

education area and it has to be

strongly on that agenda. It's

not just about league tables

and which schools are best in

reading and writing, it's which

schools are best in educating

children with disabilities.

That should be what's counted. That should be what's counted.

That's very important. Are you

in the mood to deliver brick

bats today? I'm trying to avoid

it. I think all States are...

I think there's a lot of

talking going on and a lot of

changing. I'm hoping a lot of

improvement. There are some

States that are better than

others obviously, and the sad

thing is that I have to say

that when people can afford it,

some people will even move from

one State to the other, and

that's really tragic. And when

people can afford it, some

people will move from one

region to another when States

are highly regionised and

people certainly move from one

local government authority to

another, and that's really

terrible to have to move to get

what you should be getting, but

I have avoided that question.

I'm a diplomat in my old

age. Let's go back to Mark

Metherell. The horrifying

stories that you told that came

up in the SHUT OUT report about

the antagonism shown towards

Australians with disability, is

this something if not peculiar

to Australia, how do we compare

to other nations? Do we have a

problem here in terms of

accepting and embracing people

with disability or less? Look,

I think that every country has

a problem with accepting and

embracing people with a

disability, because disability

reminds people of the fact that

they're flawed, that every

human being is flawed. And I

think there's some myth around

of perfection. You know, that

we hope for a perfect child, a

perfect society, we hope that

nobody gets old. Like, we hate

ageing, we hate illness, we

hate dying, and these are all

the things that people with

disabilities remind people of

just in being out and about.

But other societies have

systematically decided that

this is wrong and they've done

things, they've transformed

their education systems.

They've made their societies

completely accessible. They've

made - people aren't shut out,

they're welcomed in, they're

welcomed in and once people are

welcomed in, then the whole

society gains, because people's

fear declines, and I really

think people are far more

comfortable in their own bodies

when they know they don't have

to be thisifyingment of the

imagination, the perfect

person. I think it makes

everybody much more relaxed.

But not when it hasn't been

fixed, you know. So we act as

a country as though we do hate

disability, because we haven't

done nearly enough about fixing

it. Thank you, a finally

question today. Dr Galbally,

you've mentioned horrific

stories like the kids with

Downs Syndrome and the way he

was treated in society.

Perhaps in some ways though the

treatment of people with

disabilities has improved. To

the other extreme you can get

people who go out of their way

to be compensating to the point

of patronisation. How do you

think you strike that balance

between disrespect,

patronisation and more

importantly, how do you educate

the public as to the

appropriate attitude to take

towards people with

disabilities? I think little

children in child and

kindergarten and school... when

you go to a school that's a

terrific mainstream school that

isn't failing children, because

I should have added, of course,

that mainstream schools do fail

children with disabilities.

But when you go to a school

that isn't, where there are

children with disabilities and children without and they're

all just sitting together and

learning together and playing

together and in the schoolyard

together, then things change

profoundly. Like, that's what

changes things profoundly. And

people go on to grow up and

they become friends and lovers

and partners. It's just

ordinary, it's just ordinary

life. So that's the way to

change attitudes. I really,

really do think that really

transforming the early years

and, of course, not forgetting

about the later years, it

absolutely transforms

society. Thank you very much. APPLAUSE

Dr Galbally on behalf of this

very large audience here today, exceptionally large audience

here, thank you very much for

the past hour. I hope that

your report achieves

significant results and with

your club membership, which you

get today, you might be able to

come back and talk to us about it. Thank you very much. Closed Captions by CSI

Welcome to Talking Heads. What happens when you take raw talent, devotion and oodles of luck? Tetsuya Wakuda's Sydney restaurant is consistently rated among the top ten in the world, which is a long way for Tetsuya to come, from his first job in this country as a fish-boner.

It's not bad for a Japanese kid who came to Australia as part of his quest to see the world. Tets, welcome to Talking Heads. Peter, nice meeting you. Thank you. To come to your restaurant, it's - people don't come for hunger do they? They don't think, "I'm hungry, I'll go to Tetsuya's."

No. I think it's - a restaurant today, it's an escape in a sense and a treat - I mean, just also, like a celebration. In this restaurant, there are four rooms... Yes. four kitchens... It sounds crazy, um and not...

It is crazy! It is. It sounds crazy and it is crazy. But actually, on the actual business part of it serving guests - only using one main kitchen. Three is my hobby. One way of seeing you is that your whole career has been about getting a better and better and better kitchen. Never enough - never enough. More, more, more - latest convections all sorts of equipment - I enjoy it. I just end up actually - you know, business grow, people grow -

naturally, grow means... When people working as apprentice and normally when you finish apprenticeship, they leave, but I normally keep them, unless the guys want to leave. For me, this is my family, that's how I treat, that way. Tets, I want you to take us to dinner here and talk about some of your food. For example, you would serve us perhaps, grilled scampi wrapped in pancetta, scampi in seawater and lemon-scented olive oil, marinated scampi with white miso and passionfruit. How do you put all those together? Our cooking - people often say, so, what - French/Japanese? Japanese/French? Basically, our cooking is highest - possibly can get it - quality ingredients and also freshest.

and other herbs, spices to enhance the flavour of the actual ingredients. So, people don't look at a menu, by and large they're presented with a series of dishes? Yes, so when they co