Inclusion is a lot more than just acceptance. It is a universal human right.
While inclusion is about the removal of discrimination, it’s also based upon embracing everyone as a whole and providing equal access to anything and everything.
This can always be improved, but in saying that, we do it well in Launceston.
Back on December 13, 1937 The Examiner called a public meeting.
The meeting was in response to the polio epidemic. Hundreds of children in our community had died and those that didn’t die required a lot of support to recover.
Launceston doctors presented to the public meeting and said something had to be done and it had to be done now.
From there disability organisation StGiles was created.
Eighty-one years later it is still relevant today and is breaking barriers in our community and offering vital support to families and individuals.
Launceston also boasts the New Horizons Club. The organisation was created 32 years ago and provides a link between people with disabilities and activities that most other people take for granted.
The club offers a range of sports and recreational activities for Northern Tasmanians living with a disability.
This year Launceston hosted the 2018 National Inclusion Carnival for Australian Rules.
The Brisbane Street mall development has been designed to be disability friendly.
On Wednesday it was announced Launceston had successfully won the right to host not only the Special Olympics Australia Junior National Games in 2020, but also the National Games in 2022.
These two events will have a positive impact on both our local economy and tourism.
But most of all it will be an opportunity to demonstrate Launceston and Northern Tasmania’s attitude to inclusiveness.
This event is just as important as any Hawthorn match or Big Bash game.
Congratulations to all involved in securing the bid and championing not only our region, but also our community’s values.