In this week’s episode, Josh is talking to Jerusha Mather who was a Winner in the 2021 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards for Victoria.
Jerusha Mather is a PhD student at Victoria University investigating strength training and non – invasive brain stimulation. Her research was funded by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. She is a recipient of the Bridge Create Change Award and the prestigious L’Oréal -UNESCO Women in Science mentee program. She was also an outstanding finalist in the Women’s Agenda Leadership Award (in the health category) and is a profound motivational speaker and poet who recently published her poetry collection ‘Burnt Bones and Beautiful Butterflies”. She is also a leading disability activist particularly for medical students with a disability, inclusive immigration, and accessible packaging and fashion.
The Australian Academy of Sciences acknowledged her as one of the STEM change maker. Her portrait is hung on Questacon (the National Science Centre) as one of the outstanding female role models in medicine. Her petition on change.com regarding increasing accessible packaging received over 13,000 signatures. In her spare time, she enjoys music and travelling.
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Welcome to the inspirational Australians podcast, where we chat to people making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. And here is your host for today, Josh,an
Thank you Annette. Well, I am feeling pretty energized at the moment because just yesterday I was able to be part of the seven years young achiever awards, judging for Victoria to look at all of the semifinalists that we’ve had in this 2021 22 program. And whilst I wasn’t a voting member of the judging panel, I was simply helping to facilitate the judging day. It was incredibly inspirational and would love for everyone to take a moment head to Facebook, Instagram or our website, and check out the seven years young, achieve awards Australia page, and check out all the finalists. They had just so many amazing people, inspirational Australians, and speaking of that, I’m really happy to be with our guest, jerusha, for this week’s dose of inspiration. Now Trisha is a strong advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. As a young woman with cerebral palsy. She’s actively campaigned for the rights of people with disabilities to pursue courses and careers, despite barriers. So jerusha, I could go on and on about about you, but why not just welcome you on and say hello, how are you doing today? Trisha?
[00:01:35] Speaker 3
Lovely to meet
you and thank you for having me. And I am Lovely,
And lovely day in melbourne with
excited about this and Yeah,
yeah, that’s great, Jerusha. Thanks for coming on.
I am having a good day. Yeah.
Glad to hear it. So jerusha, as I mentioned, you know, he had the young achiever awards judging to, you know, selects the finalists for the 2022 and, and the winners. Last year you were a winner in the seven year young achiever. What’s a Victoria winning the bridge? Create change award? Can you tell us what it felt like, you know before you were the winner, what it was like when you found out you were a finalist?
[00:02:28] Speaker 4
really like, I never
thought it would be me. And there were many, many great
time in my category. And I was like, so just I couldn’t believe
it was me because I never imagined like you give me an award
that big. And so
though it was
best from that league, one of the most memorable and
life changing moment in my life. And I really, really am thankful for it for you guys, or for this award and For following my in the
for supporting me
in my journey
sometimes It can be easy to, you know, just being like, not fully I would say
what you do, you know, and when you get the award,
it really seems like a fun
You’re contributing to
society and it may to lack full confidence and more. I feel like
you want to do more
for the community and I wrote her book because I
imagined weactually when there were some good companies
in time list and I was thinking that some would be done again. But
then finally, you know, it’s a big honor.
Oh yeah. Yeah.
No, that’s great. And Jerusha I found it So interesting that you said, you know, not only was it great to be acknowledged for your work and for you to feel that your work was being celebrated, but also that it inspired you to keep going. Yeah,
[00:05:07] Speaker 4
I’ve been there some time where
I feel a little bit
tired and very weak and in my little work and there’s a lot of positive things I wished. But really fellow members who are really,really at The weekly level and
I’ve been getting
some sort of lack of magnetism really we could do more
just so I’ve been I’ve been making
fun of a room
full of people
sharing one of
most of it well, I don’t think
public really saw him
do it and some people supported it. As some people were telling us I thought that was wonderful because I
sometimes think I done the work and
sometimes the words in your head can be quite negative.
[00:06:52] Speaker 4
you, you do need support from the community and from the friends and family to keep going. And but I think the most important thing is who is willing To Try and come to this and so and
in their work
Getting this award was a huge honor. I know
that you were with meso
well, you mentioned getting, getting that support is really important. And you know, you also said that sometimes the voices in our heads can be quite negative. But unfortunately you haven’t always had that support. Well, you have had support from, you know, certain groups, but you’ve kind of faced a lot of opposition from some people and I can understand why the voices in, in your head would be having those negative thoughts because you know, you had been discriminated against on the basis of your disability, can you tell us, you know, can you tell us what it was that this award in particular was recognizing in you know, it’s the create change award and tell us a bit about what that, that story I guess of you facing that opposition in your studies
[00:08:36] Speaker 4
Well, I am, I am
currently facing so many barriers Into getting into
felt the value locked up in people’s minds and I think to put disability. And
I don’t know if you’ve seen
the TV show,
the good doctor
or the good doctor. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:09:21] Speaker 4
It’s a little bit like that a little bit with, you know, if you have to instability it can be a little bit, you know,
looked down upon are not fully
you as I was here. And I, I think a few really strong and courageous and You need to have like a community of people who
who can support you and
have we really willing to sell. And I’m your doing. And I think it’s been a bit of a relief and we do a lot of quality, not too much to the religious community and this lack of help
that you need to do before medical help.
And that’s really how I’m going to
one, like disability or not. So
I don’t feel like how am I going to do this? Like it’s so hard or something, you know,like but Then I hope
I have a really good community of people that help believed in and supported me. And That even came
with a lot of you
anyway because I had who must go to those that I was
and I think it can be really hard for me To Really really
get a name because
you have your
faith speak of the devil. Yeah.
A lot of our Christian from the community Arealso no,
I’m not. So the community put
a life on the medical field and want people who don’t
and your abilities and you know it
can be really challenging and really hurtful. And your plans
bad, but I think that their
Can’t learn the systems of plant
for mood, disease and I’m planning to
grow my and
and my Mother. So hopefully I know look, think it then we can really push
the medical school
I know people
want That all and
they’re really hoping and trying to like,navigate
my temper and Yeah, Yes.
Thankfully, I didn’t know that
And really are they given me some level of influence?
Yeah, for sure. Yeah, it’s
really cool. Yeah.
Well, I know you’re putting in a lot of hard work and you know, it’s quite difficult as you said, trying to get signatures and enough petitions to make a change. But yeah, I hope you know, that even though it is really difficult, that there’s a lot of people who may benefit from your hard work that you’re putting in now.
[00:14:46] Speaker 4
Yeah, exactly, and I have been resolved and bands like
I’ve been working on one for the
Last years and
one folks. I do to make it more inclusive and to make it more like I just support because sometimes those yeah. So pain can be hard to open,
so true, I can’t even, I can’t open them a lot of the time. How many times I cut myself on those tins? I think if you could make the easier to open, that’s
[00:15:43] Speaker 3
a good thing.
Really I felt the burn and
I didn’t like
though. Yeah. I, I did the Woolworths
and Coles about this too. As I’m trying to like more Like I’m trying to push for friends. It’s really difficult because I’m finding it less they’ve got phone and
and that’s something that we really need to like them to do things and For them to really
understand. I think
they will have them that people or disabilities Would be in of you know?
[00:17:05] Speaker 4
a lot of independent look. Well it would be like it really hot luck For them. Like this didn’t will matter and leave Everyone with them.
Well, I mean,
I think The thing
is is that the conventionalwisdom
when you get like truth though, where you own You will too
will be like
all of them. You must have more
like opening Up Bank
to be beacon to lack the
means to be like
the we know what the best and
I think Are who the The best in the middle. I realized What I mean
people are you some kind of
the your own and I think
it would benefit them because we owe
all those that We
have given the will to have us help how the further it’s connected to. Yeah. I think yeah.
Girish, you mentioned that know a campaign around dating for people with disability as well. Are these campaigns kind of a video or a written like you’re writing to someone or what is it? What does that look like?
[00:19:40] Speaker 4
Well, I still, I love it. Well, I think it’s really lucky because I workwith
another consult with listeners who will would be
like maybe a lot. But I
also could be like
I have life
support in terms of whatI’m paying or have taught me a lot about how it seemed like the game ambulance hit,
a logo of one or the other than like you know, all the motivation to do things.
Yes. Like I was learning things that I didn’t even say
how or you would really use well,because
we need empowered cooking in high schools. The thing to cook, We’re not really taught about like changing the world or Or How we will. But
thunder on the mountain and
I think that’s a really important
subject you pick
to win of the young people who They have to change Things. You know,
so true Tricia that you know, people often say the, that young people are the future leaders, but I personally believe that young people were also the current leaders. And if we empower them, Yes, if we empower young people from an early age, as you say, in primary school, in secondary school that may seem daunting to some people. But I think that’s a really good point by you. It’s important to start young and give people that mindset of that they can create positive change.
[00:22:36] Speaker 4
Definitely. Yeah. I,
I remember in high school,
I did a bit of campaigning to go, but I really want this year. Good luck. So I really wished that
there was the code
they were either
acquitted in the marathonor something like that. Yeah, that’s correct. No,
[00:23:17] Speaker 4
I think of a really good sense that you
Are the one that would like to go mylife could change. I’m
a very good thing about that though when you are young, the more deals and more
amendments and you can do those things. Yeah. My milk is
low to create and could even even better policy and even the lack Of put men Even with this technology that could result in our future. And
that’s what I really want
to empower young people to do. Like
I wouldn’t want them to think about
problems folks. So this
Looks like just
four or five weeks. We are sort of like, OK,
well look or.
I mean,life is
We are not to about terms of intervention. You know?
No, with place you I’m thinking the world and
cloud trends and The and you know,
all the big topics the crew and young people
come and do have a word two.
Well, it’s a good Segway. Tricia because speaking of creating change and coming up with ways to solve these problems, you co-founded doctors with disabilities, Australia and wrote an abstract for the Australian doctors health conference. What was that like for you to kind of write that abstract and, you know, was that a big a big moment?
[00:26:03] Speaker 4
Yeah, I, I saw a guy
hope that I think in recent times I hope we can, I was born. You know,
so many people
who didn’t know the most in public,But I’ve seen school funding so. So little
people, so yeah,
well a really big
improvement Mm-hmm Although
I’m not part how the
old system is.
I think I learned some key labor to be On that but I really carry today and I think to really connect him with would the doctor
that we built
But I felt it was a little bit like well because I don’t and they were all those and and not, you know,
when both were important But I,
I think it was a one man win like when I
first I was think it was really hard for me to
you know, think on that level. I
would never because
don’t Know all the stuff and they were like the medical things were pushing and you know,
I was like, you know,
why don’t you the whole thing?
Yeah. I knew
I was within bounds anyway. So I just, yeah,
I’m being in love with one
feeling though,and the
doctors are really nice people and really thoughtful people and
I really learned a lot from them.
But I think I would have been met if there were like people like me that I could relate to at that time. And I could find people like that because I think I found you and we can’t move this too. It’s not
I think a lot of who gave up
Yeah, I bet.
[00:29:34] Speaker 4
And then there were good times and
They didn’t really know how to defend themselves.
the medical coalition bear that we
you can feel that way,
the future at the moment. I think a lot of people in my head
would have thought, Oh am I going to do this? Like
what am I going to do? I do have a story that we I recall the most money In My
time ever and
many of them won’t support you. You know, Many I think it’s really difficult to fund
people like you
who won and people who want a life who stand their ground. There’s real money there and what can do better and then could give them A little bit like I think that a lot a lot of time looking like a little lost.
[00:31:34] Speaker 4
I think we’re slowly getting somewhat in them off like foot heading luck. I think could
I got to bolt
on the old open.I can, you Know, they could have done the port. Yeah. And It
does send, you know, quite difficult. I really empathize what you were saying about, you know, sometimes you couldn’t understand what the doctors were talking about because they’re talking so technically. But then you have had that barrier to receive the same medical schooling. So that’s really, you know, such a difficult situation because if you had access to that, then you would be able to talk about that technical stuff with them. So that you know, so important these conversations that you’re trying to push into the two people’s attentions. Yeah. And get access to
[00:32:50] Speaker 4
- It was really fun like People like me who who want to get into medical school like yeah, we’ve got a girl. I
ought to do something else. Oh
and who they’re got to go in and
away from. And
I know you
didn’t have this to their medical school
bus Because of the disability and the Mayo clinic or has it been do you know even going up well I, I think
support earlier like, Oh, I live it with intellectual in the
thinking and in there words, you know, including
I think when I was in a meeting with the medical cost, the first time I remember I felt a little with You know, I feel like
they warned me about
- Like they were like
being nuts or you should be
clear to thecompany. Oh, and then
the doctor looked as
though in the country like only two percent of people understood disabilities in full and that’s not a lot of who are the low with the standard in the medicaland yeah, just willing in the
long run. But
hopefully I can, you know,
go somewhere and
[00:35:24] Speaker 4
I, I am willing to just be
at the moment andreally good. Well,
I think it will be yes. I think I would well getting
because I liked that environment like I lot like you look I love the men and women. So I always thought that I would be working with
people and you know,
because in research
it’s going to be very
and we’ve been Doing famines.
But in medicine
many different bacow
of men. So say this like when you eat
all this life, but you
knew all of
the tricks and
you didn’t always
need to go
into surgery like
you can do like many other hazards as people with disabilities
would be willing to cut back. And
conducting surgery and in a wheelchair I think quite cruel. So I think there are limited possibilities. I’m glad that I’m giving you the whimsical golf. That’s A lot of people have just like A lot of people
find the quote bigger than they were. That’s true. Yes. I’m Really telling you what people and
Here I think I think they also
another cookout in code. We have a live testimony live and that’s really what You
And that’s the thing that I would really be talking about because I never left that like I
going to the heaviest horse and picking her shrimp. I’m like
supporting them. Which big thing to them and
who like to support and I really enjoyed that folks. Made me happy. And yeah, I think the The medical to realize that
they will lack the value
of the bullet if you know include that. Yeah.
I think, yeah, well, you’re right. Sometimes people look at the reasons why it’s too hard or why it won’t work instead of the value that and the potential. So yeah,
[00:39:54] Speaker 4
yes. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
some people do
and that’s why you point to Helen
people. My people view on things as we because in way we look like you build a lot of flexibility and you can work hard and
even though that work. Oh,
could be a lot mentally, mentally. Not worth it, not well for them. Oh, some people the really bad and that’s why being in the medical system, I love the question I
either Because they don’t have that
balance between love and
what I think
No, well, well done. Well, what’s the hot dog? What part? Oh, we could go you help. Well well, look, you need to look up to or you need to look up. Oh,I’m so yeah. So I am asking those couples can
well not the medical system and every care, but we’re champion
Tricia. I wanted to ask because from what we’ve heard from you today, people are telling you, unfortunately they’re telling, you know, they’re asking you to not follow your dreams and your passions. And I can only imagine that must be really hard. What’s your advice for people who are, you know, he get told no, no,
[00:42:13] Speaker 4
no, no. You’re about to start a campaign, like go up to or something. And the people in The decision will like
a lot of the continent. A lot of
a, of learning A lot through our, you know,
get them involved, the good
people to learn
really invest here. You have put them to work
or whoever it’s like, you know, Christine did this as Well. And The all really great thing that’s how you could say, yeah, you know, you help lift up the whole event
then will not get all this important to go to the public. What’s so important and, and it may be like, well, more things. And then what are you doing here? You are,
and will love you,
won’t be following the movie. Like please seven, the club. You know,
anything you just let me think and click
- And then go go. And then we’ll get there with you
make a complaint
against the mortgage. And then you you have a meeting. Well, I think the most important thing I’ve learned
I just want
public to like
Give the public a
the money go to
whoever you are dealingwith
because people are a little More than one percent doing it like you know?
Yeah. They like
people like listening to a lot of people and then once thebell,
it is really important. Got the public option and limited in what like Don’t give up. Don’t listen to those names. That is, let the all clear from this Time It can come the flow of the public can’t even look at the drug or even like a bone. It would look minuscule and put them all down on a limb. I feel like all you really do look like you don’t need to like, hug your time and good looks. Even though it’s all
over in the end,
it can be like, well,Enjoy go on. Although I think I would have a left hook for them like parliament when I created a template and I appealed to the people who some Of them here that you could send them home and go down. You know, Oh my God, other groups
like umI, I think that’s how you could yeah. They don’t usually listen to one person. That’s so true. And the ones that look like
the people on
get divorced. And also I think the problem is
One of the
doctors in the world Don’t have problems the family doctor and who declined.
He had a lot of system because He hadn’t been in the courtroom and said,
wanted the books because he’s funny. He met a lot of Human rights andbecause then it rains,but you couldn’t let go.
log in. What
would they like
And conservative and It was all about solving the most. Oh no, no, no, no.
But I mean, look, I think
we can learn
that like we can’t let
that happen. Again, he was a cloud one cloud over him. Hey, just luck and good. And I think that’s
what they know
because we could this.
I don’t think
you just have a lot of frustration and anger, you know?
[00:50:38] Speaker 3
rush to that point,But he followed
serratia you said earlier don’t give up. Don’t listen to the naysayers. That’s what he did. Yeah.
[00:50:58] Speaker 3
I am and not
he knows better. Yes.
Well, I love that reference to patch Adams because you know, I’m a bit older than you, but I remember watching that movie growing up. So for any young people listening, I realize that reference, but it’s a movie that Made it into a movie, didn’t they? With Robin Williams?
[00:51:26] Speaker 4
Yeah. I think You know,
controversy around the I
love you The real
hot item leading to more fully aired in the movie. So
yeah, there wasa bit of some really, but I didn’t know that. So the real reason it was a good movie. It really lacked.
And one of the best
I did my last week was that
I think I realized that as
Well, you know all about,
but we were, you know, it could be fun and it
could be a lot more rewarding
if you put the same wrench in like you and I really want to be in a box. So yeah,but I, I really look up to that
I becauselike I really like this person though. I never won before.
And my personal even though I go to love
medical field. But the thing could I,I, I, I know the
your level of humor and
fun and medicine and That’s what I always fought for in my medical career. Hmm. Likeeven with food I, I don’t have much
of a say no health record to bless
house. Most of the said, but even when I research, I went to a fun and enjoyable instrumentand I want to think about why I do that. And I do love, you know, Like a hot, it doesn’t have the real metal. It can be like bombs, like where people are able to embrace it. And I do love and be light skinned
and realize, you know,
I love to lead you. Hello. Yeah. This would be like more couches like it’s to relax more light and heaven
like bonds. And this should
look like, you know,
the last ship.
I agree with that so much like if you know that you haven’t got long left then wouldn’t you want those last parts of your life to be really enjoyable again, it’s great point to Yeah.
[00:55:46] Speaker 4
Something unfortunately, given difficult, due to like the good old the environment is sometimes though it dull and that this will
make it look like A living
square foot that looks like well until This like no, then and to this man This is a lot more like movie and game, you know, like, be a look more like, you know, look, I’m losing world. I know
exactly what you mean when my wife was in hospital with the to have our babies. When she was going through labor, there’s a lot of waiting, you know, couple of days the first time around. And you’re so, so true, it’s boring. There’s nothing to look at. You know, there’s not much to do. And, you know, and a bit more of a sad example, and this is what you talked about with palliative care. My pop unfortunately, passed away last year. And the hardest part to see was, you know, his health deteriorated. We knew that it wasn’t going to end. Well, but it just felt so sad that he was in that environment as you said, a dull environment. And it was more like a living environment like you suggested. I just feel like that would be a nicer experience for everyone. You know, especially when you know that it’s going to end that way anyway. Yeah, I just think you should be in charge of hospitals. Let’s get you in there. Oh, you got great ideas. Oh,
[00:57:58] Speaker 4
thank you. I have. I’m really sorry about your plans. Huh. Yeah. I do understand Oh my, my grandmother died when I was young and I couldn’t really spend time with her because she was three like her. And I really loved this show. I loved the it’s not wealthy.And Yeah, it would help me in the hospital environment. I think we lack
the whole lockdown. That’s more enjoyable. Yeah,
No, no, I’ll do that, but I wouldn’t get
into an environment that would be more like
more business forpeople and
I’m their life.
And you know, I will try and include community and the enjoyment and this family.
I give them the support they need to be able to hook into whatever they want to do. And we call it enforcement Of
bonds. But you know, I was thinking about that when the doctor in London, He thought it was a wonderful idea. Like if we make the whole environment more like more like home cooking. I mean we, we have more private and more, more like, you know, like more hit and Miss the more like in giving ActionScript and pharmacy and go really when will poor people in general because I think lead to the will have greyand
doubt. Like you said,
I love hearing that Well, I didn’t,
I didn’t say that Tricia. You said it, I was just reflecting your words. Now you’ve got a lot of great ideas and you’ve done a lot already to kind of create positive change in your informational Australian, which is exactly why we have you on this podcast. But all we do wrap up, jerusha, I did want to ask you, what is it that inspires you?
[01:01:22] Speaker 4
Well, I mean, look at the people in the community black
, then one thing, how do I really want to share with Home really wants to make things
them and for them in the world. And I think that while all the bill in heaven, we all sense that we have this and We’re really to Well, we really need
to think about potential
solutions to problems and kind of think of all I think the people need to learn.
We wouldn’t need to
Helen Helen, the government of
home superyacht boom to being next to and that’s really
I think yeah. And that wasn’t really part of what really motivates me to make work and who do the work. But I’m giving them the most important thing.
The military looks like are the people people need
support and some of the government doesn’t really And we need to let them realize that we need to be able to Do much. Yeah. Oh no. And I think that what motivates me
that’s brilliant. Tricia. Thank you for sharing those words. Now I’m sitting here writing some notes because you’ve got some really eloquent words and ideas. And I’ve really enjoyed this this time chatting with you and, and Learning from you and being inspired. Oh, so thank you. Tricia for taking the time to spend with us and yeah, it’s been an absolute pleasure for me.
No, thank you. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been wonderful, wonderful to talk to Thank you.
Thank you. Of Russia.
[01:04:44] Speaker 5
I hope you enjoyed that interview. If you liked it or any of our other episodes, it would be great if you can write and review the inspirational Australians podcast. It really helps us out if someone you know, needs a little dose of inspiration. Why not let them know about this podcast? And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe so that you won’t miss an episode. Join us each week as we talk with ordinary Australians, Achieving
[01:05:09] Speaker 5
things. You can always head to our website at awards, Australia dot com slash podcast for more information and details on each guest. Now before we go, I’d like to thank Annette our producer. Here’s a fun fact. Annette is my mum and our other host, Jeff is my dad. This podcast is brought to you by awards, Australia, a family owned business that proudly uncovers the stories of people who make a difference for others. We can only do this with the support of our corporate and not for profit partners as they make our awards programs possible. So do you know someone making a difference? If you’d like to recommend someone to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch through our Instagram page, inspirational Australians, or maybe your business might like to sponsor the podcast or get involved with the awards. We run at our website awards Australia dot com for more details until next week. Stay safe and remember together we make a difference.
Thanks for joining us today on the inspirational Australians podcast. We hope you enjoyed listening and have been inspired by ordinary Australians. Achieving extraordinary things, so it’s goodbye for another week. Remember together we make a difference.