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Seek information, inspiration at Disability Action Week Community Festival

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Whether you are seeking information or inspiration, the Toowoomba Region Disability Action Week Community Festival on Saturday, September 14 will cover all bases.

Toowoomba Regional Council Regional Access and Disability Advisory Committee chair Cr Joe Ramia said residents were invited to join activities at Toowoomba’s Civic Square from 11am to 3pm and presentations at The Annex from 10am.

Cr Ramia said the committee proudly organised the day as part of Disability Action Week to promote and foster a more inclusive community.

“Figures show one in five Queenslanders has a disability and the festival highlights the positive contributions people of all abilities make across our region,” Cr Ramia said.

“The committee is working to raise awareness of disability issues and encourage greater respect for the resilience, talents and achievements of people with a disability.

“A range of private and government service providers will be available to outline and discuss their respective areas of expertise at the market stalls at the Civic Square.”

Cr Ramia said the Community Festival would open at 10am with two community panel discussions at The Annex (10.30-11.30am: This is Your Life, then 11.30am-12.30pm: My Life’s Work) followed by a presentation from guest speaker, Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, who is a resident medical officer at the Gold Coast University Hospital. (address from 12.45-1.45pm, see biography below).

“The day keeps expanding and has become a friendly and informative one-stop outing where residents can be informed, inspired or entertained.

“Outside entertainment runs from 11am to 3pm at the Civic Square in front of the Toowoomba City Library with several performers, food stalls (Emerge Cooking is offering a free sausage sizzle from noon to 2pm, with free coffee courtesy of Ben & Co from noon to 1pm) and a petting zoo.

“Disability awareness activities will be hosted from 2-3pm at the multi-purpose room, Level 3, Toowoomba City Library. “

Enquiries can be directed to Council on 131 872 or visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/disabilityactionweekfestival 

Guest speaker biography: Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM.

Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM is the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland and the second person to graduate from medical school with quadriplegia in Australia.

Dr Palipana earned a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) before completing his Doctor of Medicine (MD) at Griffith University. He has completed an Advanced Clerkship in Radiology at the Harvard University.

Halfway through medical school he was involved in a motor vehicle accident that caused a cervical spinal cord injury. He subsequently faced significant challenges securing otherwise guaranteed employment as a graduate doctor.

Because of his injury and experiences, Dr Palipana has been an advocate for inclusivity in medicine and the workplace generally. He is a founding member of Doctors with Disabilities Australia.

He is a resident medical officer at the Gold Coast University Hospital. He is a lecturer at the Griffith University and adjunct research fellow at the Menzies Health Institute of Queensland. He has research interests in spinal cord injury, particularly with novel rehabilitation techniques.

In addition, he is the Gold Coast University Hospital’s representative on the Australian Medical Association Queensland’s Council of Doctors in Training.

He is a member of the scientific advisory committee of the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, Disability Advisory Council at Griffith University and the Ambassador Council at the Hopkins Centre.

He was the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Junior Doctor of the Year in 2018.

Dr Palipana was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2019.

Last Updated: Friday, 06 September 2019 15:40
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