Women With Disability Take The Lead

Thu, 5 August 2021

WWDA Youth Logo1 received 3 Aug 21

In 1981, the International Year of the Disabled Person, Australia funded male delegates to attend the first Disabled People’s International World Assembly in Singapore, but expected women to pay their own way. Subsequently the female delegates passed a motion resolving to develop their own organisation, and in 1994 WWDA was established. Now a flourishing network, WWDA decided to launch this podcast series with 2RPH because its members still find it difficult to find platforms where their stories can be heard. 


In this introductory episode hosted by Jade Taylor (above left), who grew up in a family of 6 in Bundaberg QLD and now lives in Brisbane with her husband James, she chats with Heidi La Paglia (above right), the WWDA Director of Policy and Programs. They discuss the history of the organisation and how difficult it is to navigate the NDIS. Jade also opens up about living with Spina Bifida and her decision to detox off all her pain tablets during lockdown. 

"Living with a chronic disability is very, very painful," she says. Her meds were "something I leaned on. I didn’t realise the effects that they were having on me.... Sure, I still have pain, but I’m getting through it now. I was in a wheelchair for twelve months, but I’ve worked really hard at that, and now I'm currently walking."

Both Heidi and Jade agree that telling stories is great medicine. "I think there are plenty of women out there who haven’t got to tell their side of what happened, maybe when they were younger... it’s all lost history if it doesn’t get told. And then there’s the young people out there who just want their voices heard, who want to feel like they can help the world."

We Can All Be Leaders is a monthly podcast hosted by Jade Taylor. Listen to Episode 1 below, or click here to find it on your favourite podcast app.