Why I already have a problem with the new government.

Okay, Prime Minister Turnbull, you’ve been the leader of our great nation for 10 days now.

You’ve achieved a considerable amount in this time, placing five women in powerful positions within the Cabinet and proving a little sharper with your words than Mr Abbott already.

I commend you on those changes. But as a member of the future generation of Australians who’ll have to adapt to the decisions your government makes, I have to point out an issue you’ve overlooked: Disabilities.

My understanding of politics, Mr Turnbull, is that every significant sector within Australian politics has a minister attached to it. A face or a voice that listens to, and speaks for, the people — then reports back to you, so that big decisions or policy changes can be made.

So what does it say about the Government and its dedication to equality that there is no Minister for Disabilities?

australian disability portfolio
Okay, Prime Minister Turnbull, you’ve been the leader of our great nation for 10 days now. So where’s the Minister for Disabilities? (Photo: Getty)

Sure, you’ve kept the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme), but there is no guarantee of success and it’s not suitable for all of us in the first place.

The fact that there is no Minister for Disabilities, Mr Turnbull, suggests that you don’t care whether we have a voice or not. This unintentional silencing of our voices within Parliament and removal of people from positions where they have built understanding and experience has sent a far louder and more ugly message than I’m sure your government intended.


This, coupled with the already damaging actions of the Abbott Government in removing much-needed money from crucial organisations such as Brain Injury Australia, Blind Citizens Australia and Deaf Australia, makes me feel as though I am suddenly on the outside, ostracised and made to feel less as a result of a factor of my birth that was out of my control.

Hannah Diviney
Writer Hannah Diviney. (Photo: supplied)

I am as much a part of this country as anybody else. But because of politics, I have to fight unfair battles just to be equal. I know this is a fight experienced by millions of people for many different reasons, and that I am not alone, but that fact only makes it all the more frustrating.

Five-year-old Molly deserves to live in a world where she is given the best opportunities and not ignored because of her disability (Image courtesy of NDIS Australia)

I’m sorry, Malcolm Turnbull, but I thought since you’d made some amazing progress with the appointment of women to positions of power, that you believed all voices deserved to heard. I thought you wished to right the mistakes of your predecessor. I hope I wasn’t wrong.

All Australians deserve a voice and people with disabilities are no different.

For all our challenges, we still have voices.

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