Launceston-based disability advocate Kristen Desmond will be taking on a new role in the new year, with hopes to represent Tasmania nationally.
A mother of three children on the Autism spectrum, Ms Desmond has been a tireless advocate for inclusive education for the last decade and was recently announced as director of the Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA).
In 2012, Ms Desmond formed the Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby and fought until needs based funding was introduced in schools, before stepping away from the group last year.
"It grew much bigger than I thought it would and was an essential service to parents," Ms Desmond said at the time.
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"I feel like I am letting people down but we have achieved the two things we set out to - a review of the system and to change it."
CYDA is the national peak body representing young people and children with a disability, and after being on the board in 2014, Ms Desmond said she was excited to be back at the table.
"Tasmania's back at the board table, I was elected to the board back in the early days of my advocacy in 2014, but I stepped away so that I could concentrate on the work I was doing here," she said.
"I think I'm in a good space now and I've learnt a lot through the work that I've done. It's a good opportunity to be at the table again," she said.
"I think it's a really exciting time to be hooked back in on the national national stage and making sure that Tasmanians experiences are helping shape the work that they do."
I think it's a really exciting time to be hooked back in on the national national stage and making sure that Tasmanians experiences are helping shape the work that they do.- Kristen Desmond
Ms Desmond said CYDA's work with the Disability Royal Commission was testament to the group's commitment to platforming the voices of children and young people with disability.
"They're ensuring that children and young people with disabilities voices are being heard at the government tables were the discussions about them are occurring," she said.
Ms Desmond said inclusive education would continue to be a key area for her, but said her shared values with CYDA was what she was most excited about.
As the peak national body for children and young people with disability, CYDA is committed to engaging with young people about issues that impact them.
"I think that's the really exciting thing, CYDA is about giving young people a voice at the table and ensuring that they're being listened to," Ms Desmond said.
"What I what to able to do is ensure young people with a disability are heard, and not through me, through themselves."
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