Speech to Parliament. 2 November 2016 – Centacare and HAND

With Pam and Lincoln at the Centacare HAND Awards

2 November 2016 –

I rise to speak on the great work Centacare and HAND are doing in the Stafford community through their work in support of locals living with a disability. HAND is a non-for-profit organisation based in Wilston which is focused on supporting people with disability by enhancing their leisure and lifestyle opportunities. HAND aims to support people with a disability to lead a personally fulfilling and valued lifestyle with the same choices and options that are available to others. Their programs range from leisure activities and life skills to drama classes. These programs support adults 18 years and over who have a mild to moderate disability.

I recently attended the Centacare HAND Awards with my wife, Pam where I met a young man with Down syndrome named Lincoln Inger – remember that name. During the awards, Lincoln spoke quite eloquently to the audience about what HAND meant to him and the opportunities the drama program he is taking part in provided to him. Later when I was chatting with Lincoln, he shared his ambition to be an actor. Lincoln’s uncle starred in the much-loved BBC TV sitcom Dad’s Army. Before his uncle died, he said it was his wish that Lincoln should follow in his footsteps. Lincoln’s story is a great example of someone who is not letting their disability hold them back in life. I have no doubt that Lincoln is going to have great success in realising his ambition.

With the support of organisations such as HAND and Centacare, Lincoln’s focus is like any other young man: to achieve his dreams. I want to put a call out to the media, to the film industry, and the movie production studios that we are so proud of here in Queensland, to give Lincoln a go. Look on my Facebook page, call me or my office and we will happily put anyone in touch with Lincoln. He is a very talented young man.

The Palaszczuk government is committed to ensuring that every Queenslander has the opportunity to achieve their best. This is why reforms such as the introduction of the NDIS are something this side of politics is very proud of. I know that my colleague the Minister for Disability Services has continued to work tirelessly to roll out this program across the state.

We should always focus on people’s abilities and never seek to limit someone’s dreams and opportunities based on their disabilities. With the good people of Queensland’s help, I look forward to seeing Lincoln in Hollywood.