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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Corrigan

Reflecting on five years at CPSN



For the past five years, I have used my lived experience as someone with a disability to help shape and mold The Cerebral Palsy Support Network. In addition, I’ve been allowed to use this position to blog my thoughts, and hopefully highlight different topics that matter to CPSN members.  

 

I wanted to use my final monthly blog as a reflection of all the things I’ve learned at CPSN. 

 

When I first joined CPSN, the landscape was vastly different. We worked out of a modest office in Coburg, Victoria, COVID was not a word in our vocabulary, and I was only one of two staff members with cerebral palsy. 

 

Since that time, over a quarter of our office staff consists of people with CP, we’ve been able to work remotely on a full-time basis, and my role has taken on many evolutions. I’ve learned a lot about myself as an employee within the sector, but also as a person with a disability. 

 

The disability sector is a vital lifeline for disabled folk, not only with the crucial services it provides – but the doors it opens for employment. When I first joined CPSN, I was painfully aware of the gaps people with disabilities can routinely experience – particularly when it comes to areas such as mental health, economics, housing, and the aforementioned employment.  

 

I’ve seen the general public pay greater attention to some of the struggles disabled folk experience. The Disability Royal Commission played a pivotal role in this change. Of course, progress is always a slow path – but this is nevertheless a positive trend. 

 

CP Diaries, the monthly series I was given the opportunity to produce was a fantastic outlet to connect with disabled people and promote meaningful services and programs designed to make life better for NDIS participants and their families. I encourage our readers to check it out.


In addition, I encourage readers to consider working in the disability sector. While it’s definitely important for the disabled community to have better employment opportunities, I think my role within the world of disability was a pivotal stabiliser in my life. 

 

I spent a lot of my twenties navigating the workforce, and having employers struggle to factor in my disability. Being at CPSN allowed me to eliminate this stressor. I improved my independence, found a new home, and created some much-needed stability. 

 

In addition, the skills I have learned, and the experience I have acquired have opened up new opportunities I may not have otherwise had. It's been an incredibly positive experience working alongside other people with disabilities and comparing experiences – I think it probably made me more comfortable in my skin. 

 

Working within the sector allows you to learn about yourself, connect with people who get your experience, and can be a powerful stepping-stone in your career.  


I’m very excited for the future – but it’s going to be strange leaving CPSN, I’ll miss the team and I want to thank everyone for the opportunity to work alongside them. 

 

I also would like to say, thank you reader – for tagging along the last five years. 

 

Sincerely … 

Natalie x 

 

 

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