July 20, 2021

It’s interesting to think now and then about the idea that the next generations will grow up to do jobs and have experiences we haven’t even thought of yet.

This edition of ‘Strong Voices’ contains some great examples of young people breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes and cutting their own paths in the world.

Katrina Sneath has Down syndrome and is on her OE in Sydney. She has just completed two years at uni 2 beyond at the University of Sydney and is now working at Australia’s first social enterprise hotel that trains and employs staff with intellectual disabilities.

‘Poppy’ has recently hit New Zealand cinema screens. The film stars Libby Hunsdale, an actor with Down syndrome, and this edition contains reviews from two other young women with Down syndrome who talk about the impact of the film on them.

Tayla Sloot has just published a book, ‘My Life with Cerebral Palsy’, which she wrote and illustrated, and Jeremy Hill-Hayer is getting fit and becoming more independent thanks to a special programme of support being developed by IDEA Services and Choices NZ.

These are fantastic achievements and it’s our pleasure to highlight what tenacious individuals can achieve and to give people the opportunity to tell their stories.

But for most of us, success comes with great support and opportunities – from friends, family and our communities – and it builds on what we’ve learnt as children and young adults at school.

That is why IHC is determined that every child is welcomed at their local school and given the same support and opportunities. This fight is finally heading to the Human Rights Review Tribunal, and parents and carers are helping to update the evidence by talking about their experiences with education in hui around the country.

And let’s face it – a lot of what young people learn outside the classrooms is from friends and online. We’re delighted to have partnered with InGame on the development of an online game app all about managing money and making choices. There’s still some way to go but testing has shown lots of enthusiasm already for ‘Stand Tall’. Have a read and watch this space.


Ngā mihi

Gina Rogers