I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, to ask him to give a speech on International Day of People With Disability 2017. He said he was not able to accept my request then so I am going to write to him again.
My first letter is this one.
Canberra, ACT, Australia
Dear Honourable Mr Prime Minister Turnbull
My name is Laura and I live in WA.
I know that politicians can’t do everything everyone wants but I am writing to ask you to do something. It’s really important to me and my family so please think about it.
I have a little brother called Julius. Everyone likes Julius. He goes to primary school with me and he is a model with Down syndrome. He is really funny and cheeky. One day I hope he will be able to do everything that I can do and everything he wants to do. Some things are harder for him to do but sometimes he doesn’t even get the chance to try or he doesn’t get help to try his best. I don’t think that is fair.
I saw that the government is doing a project called Closing the Gap to help indigenous people achieve more through education and lots of other things.
I would like you to do a project just as good for people with disabilities.
You probably don’t know, but I visited Parliament House in March for World Down Syndrome Day. I didn’t see you there but I watched other politicians talk about banning on-line poker, which I think is good but not as important as some other things.
I have also gone with my mum to the United Nations in Geneva and New York and I did a speech about why it was important for my brother to have the same education in the same school as me and everyone else. A girl with Down syndrome told everyone the hardest thing at school was not feeling welcome. In Geneva they announced I was the youngest person to ever be in the Human Rights Council. The security people said I was too young to get in, but they let me because I said I would behave.
Last year on the way to school I heard you on the radio giving a speech about International Women’s Day about women being able to do everything that boys can do in the army.
I want to ask you if this year you can please give a speech on December 3, the International Day for People with Disabilities about giving people with disabilities more opportunities and better education. I could even help write some of it if you think it might help.
Laura Milu Malaquias Panetta 10 August 2017
Here is the Prime Minister’s letter to me.
Thank you for writing to me about your brother, your trip to Geneva and also the International Day for People With Disabilities.
One of the most enjoyable things about being Prime Minister is hearing from young people like you. Our country is fortunate to have so many energetic and hardworking students, passionate about the issues that concern them.
As you will appreciate, every day I receive number request from individuals and organisations across Australia. Unfortunately it is impossible for me to accept all of the requests I receive. I regret that I cannot accept your kind request in this instance.
I really appreciate you taking the time to write to me and I wish you all the best.
International Day of People With Disability
I was a bit disappointed that the Prime Minister did not give a speech on International Day of People With Disability but my mum won a National Disability Award that day and I went to Canberra with her. She gave a speech in Canberra and thanked me for asking the Prime Minister to do it. I was excited that other politicians there heard what my mum had to say and I had some photos with a Minister called Jane Prentice.
My mum’s friend Joe has a brother with Down syndrome and when I couldn’t find the first ever commemorative coin for International Day of People With Disability at the Australian Mint, he sent me one.