our aboriginal people, asylum seekers, the homeless, disadvantaged, the marginalised, the vulnerable, the down-trodden of humanity.
Raising social justice issues, equality and inclusion for everyone is a priority. Having experienced just a minuscule proportion of the fear, the loss of freedom and control, the unfairness of what some people live through each day, I feel an intense compassion for those who suffer these indignities.
One of the multitude of reasons I feel this heightened concern is a direct consequence of my accident – it exposed the fragility of human life, it literally opened my eyes to the cruelty with which some people treat each other, their “I don’t care” attitudes. Most Australians used to have a sense of fairness, but some have now become completely blasé to the plight of the less fortunate; they are unwilling to show kindness and especially compassion, to welcome strangers or those who are different.
I was incredibly lucky, I survived the accident with lifelong health problems, but I was humbled and buoyed by the love of my family, friends and workmates with unlimited generosity and encouragement. Many people do not share that fortune. My situation improved but their lives remain in disarray, spiralling loneliness and mental health, unsupported and scorned by society.
My experience of an interrupted life has given me greater appreciation and willingness to campaign for integrity, impartiality and equal opportunity for those who are unable do so for themselves. It is amongst the profound gifts from my accident. Blessings do come from tragedy. I have come full circle. I am able to return to society what I was given in abundance, love and particularly hope. Everyone deserves these, whatever their life’s circumstances.