Rad Girls – Interview With Kookie Magazine (8 December 2018)
I did an interview with Kookie Magazine about why inclusive education is important. They asked me questions about some of my experiences advocating for inclusive education and the right of kids with disability to learn together in the same schools as their siblings and in the same classrooms as their friends who don’t have a disability. The section in the magazine is called “Rad Girls” and is about how girls can change the world by their activism. I think it is a great magazine and they recently won an award in the United Kingdom for being a great magazine for young people.
You can find out more about Kookie Magazine here: kookiemagazine.com
Fun time modelling with my brother and sister for Target Australia (5 December 2018)
Early in November Target Australia invited my little sister Drea and me to join Julius for photo shoot for the Christmas toy catalogue. Julius has been modelling for years, since he was 3 years old. My family and I think it’s really important for people with disability to be seen in advertising, on TV, in films etc. More inclusion in media and advertising, or inclusive advertising, helps change the attitude of people to disability. It helps show that disability is just part of life. We are all different and that’s good!
The photo shoot was lots of fun and we even got to keep the sloths and the unicorn!
School Strike 4 Climate Action (30 November 2018)
I went with my school friends to the Western Australian Parliament and joined all the other school students protesting for politicians to do more to stop global warming.
We all made signs. My sign said “Make the Earth Cool Again”. Here is a picture of my sign which was on Channel 9 News!
We sat on the steps of the Parliament and wrote letters to the Australian Prime Minister asking him to do more to save the environment and our future.
The Prime Minister made lots of us angry because he said we were wasting our time protesting and should be in school learning. Another Minister said that we wouldn’t grow up to have jobs and that we should be learning about building mines instead!
I think we can teach politicians more by going to the protest and showing them how much we have learnt in school about climate change and how little they are doing to protect the Earth and our future.
My trip to Bolzano in Italy to Speak to Education Academics and Researchers! (5 September 2018)
I went to Bolzano, Italy to speak with my mum at a big conference of education academics and researchers from all around the world. It was held in Bolzano, Italy, which is high up in the Italian Alps. We stayed on top of a mountain and caught a 15 minute cable-car ride down to Bolzano each day and back again at night. Bolzano is so fantastic and beautiful. It looks like it is straight out of “the Sound of Music” – which is one of my brother Julius’ favourite movies. It had castles, churches and even a 5000 year old frozen man called Otzi in a really interesting museum.
My mum gave a speech about inclusive education as a human right and explained why researchers should try to do more research that helps people see understand why inclusive education is important for people with disability and how we can all make it work in every school. I spoke about why inclusive education is important for people like my brother and presented a video called ‘Lea Goes to School’ which was made by CoorDown Italy, with help from my mum and other people, for World Down Syndrome Day 2018. You can watch it here.
Message from Lea-Victoria in Germany (10 June 2018)
Thanks to everyone who has signed my letter! I have received so many encouraging messages.
One that I would like to share is a message from Lea-Victoria Weber, who used to live in Australia but now lives in Bavaria in Germany. Lea-Victoria has Down syndrome like my brother Julius but she is 20 years old. She is an amazing artist and she told me about how inclusion was important for her. This is what she wrote.
Hi, I was so lucky to have an inclusive and thus happy and successful education in Australia at a private school in Mullumbimby. They fostered my talent for art and my love for reading and writing.Even I was slower as I have down-syndrome, I soaked up the love to work, achieve and try to be brilliant in everything I do.My talent for painting and dancing I owe to this amazing school, its teachers and the whole community.I would not be the same person without the experience of having being included in such a open hearted and loving school.In Germany/Bavaria I was forced from age 11 y. to go to a school for the ‘disabled’ where I was not even allowed to speak English (my first language) and learned NOTHING from then on.I was scared every morning to go to a school where my potential was not seen and I was treated in a very strange way, like I was a ‘weird’ human being. The ‘teachers’ thought we, the ‘dis-abled,’ were not able to learn and be productive like everyone else.Everyday for 7 years in Germany was a wasted day for me and the society that I was not allowed to be included in a normal school (public or private) and LEARN!
All schools should be inclusive and it will be a WIN-WIN situation for everyone.
AUSTRALIA YOU CAN DO IT !
Much love from Lea-Victoria