Gladstone Community Linking Agency
I have been invited to be a guest speaker at several events for Gladstone Community Linking Agency and feel very honoured to be part of the GCLA community and all they represent.
Sharing a common passion for making a difference in our communities and particularly in the lives of those with disabilities, GCLA’ s purpose and beliefs’ have always been a great fit with mine. Together we are working towards creating inclusive communities that value each individual and the contribution they bring, while also raising awareness, that we all have a social responsibility and role to play to ensure every person regardless of abilities, feels, valued, part of and connected to the community in which they live.
A few words from the Gladstone Community Linking Agency team:
Tracey Alexander – CEO
“I have never met such an inspirational person!”
Laurie Ellis – Operations Manager
Personally, I have only known you Pete for a little less than a year but it feels like you have been part of my life for far longer. I am always awe struck by the way you can capture and hold people’s attention – mine included – in moments. You are an inspiration in the way that you cut stereotypes off at the ankle. Best of all though is your sense of humour, fun and wonderment of life. I never stop smiling when you are around.
Professionally, well all the above is true but the lasting impact you have on people is without value – truly priceless. To show people what is possible, what one can achieve when people work together regardless of ability, creates a buzz within our workforce that does not quieten. With the NDIS about to explode in Gladstone, you are the embodiment of what is achievable when you dare to dream. You are the definition of BEYOND Ordinary and I know that this relationship will last for years to come.
‘The Hub-Anything is Possible’
In January 2017 I was invited to give a presentation around the theme ‘Anything is Possible’ for a free community event hosted by Gladstone Community Linking Agency.
This event created a wonderful opportunity for me to share my story in the hope that others would see that Disability is not a barrier to achievement. This was my first presentation for GCLA and I was overwhelmed by the warm response I received from the Gladstone community. During this event other individuals with disabilities, family members and support workers shared there stories around their own personal challenges and achievements. This was incredibly special to me and highlighted the importance of focusing on what we have in common. We all have challenges to overcome we all have goals and dreams. When we support each other to share our stories, we also support each other to overcome challenges and achieve our goals hopes and dreams. We all deserve to live a good life so lets get connected and work towards this happening.
On the 23rd of June I was honoured to be the keynote speaker for GCLA’s Corporate Breakfast. This event was far more than a networking breakfast. This was an opportunity to discuss the importance of Social responsibility, what this looks, feels and sounds like and how we can all play a part in making a difference in our communities.
Gladstone Community Linking Agency created this event to launch ‘The Incredible Edibles’ a catering social enterprise they are all incredibly proud of. The event was held at the CQ University with local businesses, representatives of big corporations based in Gladstone and local government officials being invited to raise awareness about the work that GCLA are doing and create more corporate partnerships within the community.
I was asked to speak about the differences we can all make. I discussed a belief shared with GCLA, that disability is not a barrier to achievement, when communities and individuals view and embrace inclusion and diversity as a social responsibility.I spoke about what social responsibility is, and how each and every one of us regardless of abilities, has a role to play.
I ended this presentation with the following words:
I ask everyone in this room today, are you ready to be part of something powerful. Will you listen to the voice that calls upon your social responsibity. The voice that asks you to be part of community connections that create and sustain opportunities. Opportunities that add value to both the individual and the community
‘Staff Recognition Evening’
On the 6th of October the staff of Gladstone Community Linking Agency celebrated the individual and team achievements for the year. Being invited to be part of GCLA’s Staff Recognition evening was an honour and pleasure.
Being a guest speaker sharing the common message that disability is not a barrier to achievement was incredibly special. During this presentation I commended the work of these individuals who work tirelessly to ensure that people within there communities have lives that are “Beyond Ordinary’.
I would like each and every one of you to continue doing what you are. Do not change who you are, for it is who you are that is making a difference in so many lives. Together we can all make a difference, together we can change social perceptions about how it looks, feels and sounds to live with a disability.
I was also commissioned to create four individual pieces of art to be given as awards to those who embraced the values of GCLA. Together with my art tutor Cheryl we worked on bringing the values to life on canvas. This process was quite fun and due to having a great awareness and respect for the work that GCLA do, we were mindful that the art reflected this.
We started with one large canvas working long sweeping strokes of colour, each colour the same as the value it represented. Next the large canvas was cut into four smaller pieces. This was very purposely done with the large original canvas capturing Gladstone Community Linking Agency as whole, the values, beliefs and purpose behind everything they do. In turn this ensured that each individual piece was still in fact part of the big picture that being GCLA.