STAR Community Services hosts disability workshop with 2021 Queensland Australian of the Year

A doctor, lawyer and disability advocate spoke to Redlanders hoping to inspire change in the wake of International Day of People with Disability.

INSPIRATION: STAR Community Services CEO Patsy Wilshire, Dr Dinesh Palipana and his mother Chithrani Palipana at the Cleveland Comfort Hotel on December 3.

INSPIRATION: STAR Community Services CEO Patsy Wilshire, Dr Dinesh Palipana and his mother Chithrani Palipana at the Cleveland Comfort Hotel on December 3.

Dr Dinesh Palipana was critically injured in a traffic accident in 2010.

He became the second person with quadriplegia to graduate medical school in Australia, was the 2021 Queensland Australian of the Year and was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2019.

He spoke at the event hosted by Star Community Services at the Comfort Hotel in Cleveland earlier this month.

"I never gave up on my dream to finish medical school. I was lucky enough to have allies who helped me in my journey," he said.

"We don't have to change the whole world, just change one person's world."

Dr Palipana has advocated for a fair go for all people, not just those with disabilities.

"Life is not straight forward for people living with disability. Sometimes it takes us to get behind others and support them," he said.

"Accessible and inclusive communities don't just benefit people with disabilities, they benefit everyone."

STAR Community Services CEO Patsy Wilshire said guests shared ideas and suggestions to build inclusive communities during an interactive workshop.

"A huge thanks to Dr Palipana for participating in this very important conversation in our local community," she said."

"It's been an absolute honour to welcome him to Redlands. He is a true inspiration."