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Launch of Aboriginal Our Way Planning Resource in Townsville

First Peoples Disability Network recognised International Day of People with Disability with the launch of its new national planning resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability – The Our Way Planning Book and Video.

The resource will be used nationally and was launched at the NDIA offices in Townsville on Tuesday 5 December 2017 on the traditional land of the Bindal and Wulgurukaba People. We were honoured to have Aunty Bonita Mabo and Aunty Louisa Uta representing our ELDA council, and Aunty Maureen Logan, representing our Board at the launch alongside other esteemed guests.

About the Resource

The Our Way planning resource was developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living with disability, Elders and community members across NSW, the Northern Territory, Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands.

Uncle Paul Calcott, FPDN said: “The Our Way Planning resource uses the traditional method of art and story-telling to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living with disability to identify areas of their life they need assistance with. The book is designed to recognise the importance of culture, community and Country. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can use the book in their own way to identify what type of support is needed to help keep them keep strong in their relationships, their family, community and culture.”

Why do we use the terms ‘my way’ and ‘our way’?

These resources were developed to start the conversation and support people to identify their individual needs as a person living with a disability.

They are created by Aboriginal people, and the creative process has involved Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all walks of life and people with disability, in particular. This is done to ensure that the resources are effective and both disability and culturally accessible.

This is an integral part of the way FPDN does business and our organisation’s mission. We use the language ‘our way’ and ‘my way’ to reflect  the importance of culturally respectful planning resources and tools and also to reflect the intention of the changes to the disability sector, that is people with disability will have “choice and control” over their own lives, decisions, needs and wants.

Our way planning resources were  developed to identify models of support and engagement that reflect the  cultural practices of our communities. Through our resources we aim to ensure that  Australia’s First People’s living with a disability can live life their way.

In our resources we say ‘My way’ when identifying the individuals and ‘Our way’ (plural) when identifying the community.


Artwork: copyright Paul Calcott (FPDN)