Celebrating International Day of People with Disability


“We don’t have to change the whole world, just change one person’s world,” was the key message from Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM - doctor, lawyer and disability advocate, 2021 QLD Australian of the Year, speaking at an event celebrating the International Day of people with Disability.  

Critically injured in a traffic accident while still a medical student more than a decade ago, Dr Dinesh Palipana shared his personal story at an event hosted by local non-profit organisation STAR Community Services, on Friday, 3 December at Comfort Hotel in Cleveland.

“I never gave up on my dream to finish medical school. I was lucky enough to have allies who helped me in my journey.” Dr Palipana OAM has smashed several barriers to become the second person to graduate medical school with quadriplegia in Australia.  “Life is not straight forward for people living with disability. Sometimes it takes us to get behind others and support them.” Dr Palipana urged everyone to advocate for a fair go for all. “Accessible and inclusive communities don’t just benefit people with disabilities, they benefit everyone.”

The workshop was very well attended by people with disabilities, their carers and several other guests including Councillor and Deputy Mayor Julie Talty. 

Redland City Deputy Mayor Cr Julie Talty, who represented Mayor Karen Williams at the event, said, “Redlands has been making great progress in ensuring the community embraces people with disability, but there’s always much more to do.

“The important contribution of STAR and other community organisations in supporting those with disability and their carers, is greatly appreciated.” 

Following Dr Palipana's key note, guests were invited to share ideas and suggestions to build inclusive communities in an interactive workshop.

“It’s been an absolute honour to welcome Dr Palipana to Redlands. He is a true inspiration. A huge thanks to him for participating in this very important conversation in our local community,” said Patsy Wilshire, CEO of STAR Community Services.