Opinion | 3 March 2016

Let’s hear them roar!

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Disability advocate Leigh Creighton has made it his life’s mission to speak out for the rights of people with disability. Here’s his story.

My name is Leigh Creighton I am 37 years old and I have Down syndrome.

I am one of four boys and came from a little town of Springwood up in the Blue Mountains of NSW. I then moved to Newcastle. In in my early teens my Dad passed away with a massive heart attack. My life was turned upside down.

A few years after that, I started in an independent program with House With No Steps. That is when I started to shine. What helped me to become a public speaker and presenter was Toastmasters, which started my career as a motivational speaker.

I have been on television, newspapers and presented with famous stars and government ministers. I am also a part of other organisations, such as My Choice Matters, CID ambassadors and champions, Lions club of Charlestown, the Community Disability Alliance Hunter, and now the NSW Disability Council.

Leigh Creighton photo

My role as a council member is attending meetings regularly.

Once a month I advise the Minister for Disability on what people with disabilities are facing – like transport, employment and housing. Being on the Council means that I can share my experience in the disability field and finds ways to resolve issues.

The reason why I am on the Council is to show people what your capabilities are and as a Council member I will hear your voice and let your voices to be heard.

I have a dream to make a difference and make a world that is better for all.

I have been a peer mentor for four years now, with House With No Steps and it’s a great job because I do get around advocating everywhere.

I started an advocacy group in Newcastle and we meet once a month. We talk about problems and we find ways as a group to deal with these issues.

At the same token I made a DVD called Respect. I have recently done another one called A Time of Change. It’s a documentary at the Stockton residential centre, where I interviewed three residents and a powerful advocate.

I am a leading example of what human rights are. I believe everyone has rights and a voice to be heard, no matter what it takes.

As a powerful leader and advocate I can tell you now, from the voices of people with disability and from Katy Perry’s song, let’s hear them Roar!

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