Peer Support and Finding Your Voice
Our Voice SA member, Gavin Burner, interviews Our Voice SA Chairman, Ian Cummins about the power of peer support, fair employment and finding your voice.
Our Voice SA is a peer network for people living with intellectual disability.
[Gavin] Hello my name is Gavin. I’m doing a podcast of Our Voice for the peer group. And on my left is Ian. He is the chairman of the Our Voice SA. And he is here to talk about why you would like to join Our Voice SA.
So welcome here Ian.
[Ian] Welcome. How are you?
[Gavin] Not too bad. Thank you very much for let us to be at your house doing this podcast. Okay, I guess the first thing, what is a peer group?
[Ian] Bunch of people [with] intellectual disabilities right, meet around the place, talk about their issues and all that, their life stories.
You can ask the professionals, but they don’t live it on a daily basis. They can turn off, but we can’t turn off.
[Gavin] Yeah that is a very good point Ian. When you’ve got a disability, you can’t turn off. And, uh, you... But we try to expand as best as we can, but we always need support behind it. I always thought that the peer group has for me, has support me, being part of a peer group, because I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing now.
[Ian] Yeah I’ve known you since Bedford days. We always talked, but you wouldn’t have the confidence to do what you do now. Through Our Voice you come out of your shell.
[Gavin] Yeah and that’s a very good point Ian, that we did know in the 1990s, when we both used to work at a sheltered workshop, or Bedford Industries. And yeah I was a bit shy then.
Ian what changes would you like to see for the country people and the city people for the next generation?
[Ian] They won’t have the same kind of problems we got- what we are facing at the moment.
[Gavin] So it would be like um health, be one thing, be a big thing. And public transport in the country, and is there anything else you can think- Oh jobs.
[Ian] A lot of people with disabilities, a lot are smart and go to uni. They can do the same kind of job, they should get paid the same kind of money.
I used to get 25 cents an hour when I used to work for the sheltered workshop. I used to catch buses. Half me money goes on travelling.
[Gavin] Yes and I guess that’s what for you are joining a peer group because you want to change things for the better for the next generation.
[Ian] Yeah of course. What I’ve got out of being in a peer group, you know why? See the joy in people starting to speak up.
[Gavin] I’m just looking at your t-shirt here. Our Voice, and you got a cat or something. Can you just tell me what the symbol is?
[Ian] A lion, you know why, cause that’s our logo. People always say it looks like me in a way cause I roar too much. I say what I believe and all that.
[Gavin] I love you Ian. You are so funny.
And what’s the other thing? Participation and rights. So you got rights to... And you got power.
[Ian] Yeah you got power, you got rights. We don’t answer to nobody.
[Gavin] It is rewarding the job you do. And I have, since I got to know you, you have brought me out to open up. I wouldn’t have done that without your support. So thank you very much.
And yes so, it’s a cool day today, so I might head, finish off for today, so… Oh by the way, my name is Gavin Burner. I’m doing a podcast for Our Voice SA. And Ian is on my left,
so we will finish it for today. Thank you very much. Bye bye.
[Narration] To become a member, or find out more about Our Voice SA, head to our website: www.ourvoicesa.org.au, our facebook page: Our Voice