In this week’s episode, Geoff is talking to Layne Dixon who was a Finalist in the 2021 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards for Western Australia.
I’m a writer as well as a disability and inclusion activist. For the past 3 years I have been writing my website about my own story as someone who has cerebral palsy as well as educating people about disability and inclusion. Earlier this year I got awarded Youth Citizen of the Year thanks to the City of Cockburn.
I am passionate about the enhancement of community life. Layne is a marketing student at North Metropolitan TAFE who lives with Cerebral Palsy, but that does not stop her from what she wants to achieve in life. She is a member of Cockburn Youth Advisory Collective, Youth Disability Advocacy Network Inc. and Cerebral Palsy Achieve. Layne has been a volunteer at Gosnells Toy Library and a Peer Mentor at Emmanuel Catholic College. She has been involved in athletics and has been breaking Under-18 and Under-20 Australian records. Layne is now completing a traineeship in communications and marketing at Perth’s Arts Festival
Since 2018 my primary focus has been to educate non-disabled people about people with disabilities as well as inclusion. I was diagnosed just after 2 years old with ataxic Cerebral Palsy, and I’ve recently been diagnosed with anxiety (mental health)
In this episode:
- We learnt that Layne has some awesome blogs on her website – did you know how hard it is to find clothes when your fingers don’t work as they should? See the link below to check it out.
- Layne’s words of wisdom to us? “Don’t give up. Always keep trying”
Connect with Layne on Instagram
Check out Layne’s website
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Want to nominate someone? (It can take as little as 2 minutes to recognise someone making a difference)
Welcome to the Inspirational australian’s podcast where we check the people making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others And here is your host for today. Geoff Griffin
Welcome to the Inspirational australian’s podcast stories of inspiring achievements and community contribution. Every week we will celebrate an award program category winner or finalists. We hope you’ll be inspired and encouraged to know that Australia is in good hands, together with our corporate partners and not for profit partners, Awards Australia, showcase ordinary people from across Australia. Doing extraordinary things. If you enjoy hearing the stories of our Inspirational Australians, please subscribe. Write us and review us. Would really appreciate it.
My guest today is an outstanding young writer and a passionate disability and inclusion activist lane Dixon was diagnosed at two years of age with ataxic cerebral palsy. But hasn’t let that stop her.
She’s a member and volunteer with multiple organisations. And in addition to being awarded is the city of Coburn. You. Citizen of the year, lane was selected as a finalist in the 2021 Masonic Care WA/ Freemason’s community service, and volunteering award for the 7NEWS Young Achievers.
It’s such an honor to have you on the podcast Layne. Welcome.
Thank you so much for having me Geoff.
It’s the absolute pleasure to say much and it’s really inspiring to talk to young people like yourself, who have a real passion and then just get out there. And do their very best to make a difference. So I’m looking forward to our chat. As I say, you have such a passion to educate people about disability and inclusion. Are we making any progress as a country when you need them?
but I have indeed Yeah, I guess change takes time doesn’t it’s frustrating.
yourself and lots of others are doing your bit to really make a difference. So we really appreciate that. You were diagnosed with cerebral palsy when you were only two, as I mentioned. Can you tell us a bit more about what cerebral palsy actually is and how does it impact you and others?
Yeah. None that, you know, before We’ve been trying to get me diagnosed. But everyone said there was Even though cerebral palsy, in fact, everyone did for me Will even, you Know, very fit our mold and my fingers
Yeah. As you say it affects everybody differently.
It’s probably something that people didn’t realize. If maybe that it would have the same effect on everybody, but what you’re saying is that every person maybe has a different part of their body. Is that way of saying that is affected or maybe at a different rate that it affects people In the same part of the body but its all different
That makes it really hard not to. And so I presume that cerebral palsy comes on slowly from the age of two. There’s a slowly regression in terms of your ability to, to in your muscle ability. Is that correct or is that wrong?
My impression of Cerebral Palsy is that you don’t know and that you really need the money for medical aid for you to get better
But that’s about it.
Yeah, you have such a passion which to understandably educate people about cerebral palsy and of course,
disability and inclusion generally.
Which is really awesome.
You’re living and breathing legends because you really try so hard to make a difference.
And in fact, my pleasure. And in fact, you’ve developed a website that’s been writing your story.
How is that going and what are the key messages?
I did wrote a book talk about that about 3-4 years ago. to tell my story and educate others And I’m going to go to the end game for that people and they will visit me and Yeah.
Is it going or is, how is it to have you completed your story yet?
I try to do blog every week about things that happen within me community. All my own life.
A pretty active on social media too
Yes, I am
which is really good because that’s where people are really connecting online, not just websites but social media. Do you have a lot of followers?
I do. Yeah, well, if you’re active, I guess that helps.
ask you for your connection details at the end of the podcast and I hope all of our listeners get on board and connect and follow your amazing story and the work that you’re doing.
Speaking of the work that you’re doing you’re involved with the youth disability advocacy network. Can you tell us a bit about their work and what you do with them?
They are they being all the more young people and they would be good. Right?
Yeah. Which is really important, of course, we’ve seen the Paralympics and how amazing was that.
Oh, it’s such a good awareness and I was saying to my wife how we had watched it so much more than
ever before. And I think it’s really important. And people are starting to fully understand that Para Olympians Olympians. And anybody with a disability are normal people. Yeah. Having a go like anybody else,
you know, and through this pandemic, everybody feels the same. There is no difference. People say we all have feelings. We all have needs and the needs of people with disability are becoming slightly
more aware to the rest of the community. And I think that’s so important. So the Paralympics were good timing as well, to create awareness. And I hope if you can ride on the back of that in terms of the awareness that you’re trying to create as well.
Yeah, I think that the government and they campaign Where they did a thing to help awareness and educate around the community
There. And there are so many different types of disability, and we need to be conscious of those type of things and our whole philosophy and what Australian for our programs to make a difference. But just be kind, be kind to everybody because you don’t know what people’s stories are.
And as you’ve indicated there are levels of disability that people may not see first hand and may not immediately understand. So be caring, be kind and understanding people. You also advise on the Coburn youth advisory committee? Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Yeah I would. Yeah. If I let them avoid, I am, although it in the organized events and organized event for young people within the city of Coburn.
How many people, how many young people do you connect with over the course of your time to help them as a collective You know, you talk about doing events for young people, helping young people. Do you think you’ve connected with over the course of your time? You know, over the last few years,
I ‘ve made connection with young people
You’re also a mentor at Emanuel Catholic college. That sounds pretty cool. What do you do there with the, the young people?
I was a mentor there for 4-5 years ago now? Yeah. Well, and I hope it go well for me go to send them to high School because I really don’t go back. Yeah. And no one And I want to be in the journey of the ADL.
Yeah, that’s fantastic. Well I think you’re all alone in terms of people struggling with that transition from primary to high School. It’s really hard and I admire you for going. But by doing something better, I think we all, I can remember a long time ago, but I think we all struggled with that. And yet you actually did something about it so well done to you. Thank you. Fantastic.
You also undertook a traineeship in communications and marketing at Perth arts festival. That must be pretty cool. That must be a really good learning experience. What was something that you enjoyed most
It was just a my mind. I mean, it was just amazing my training was just amazing IT was actually my first job
a teaching job in the.. you will go and things happened because of covid, last year you know, So I helped out in the marketing area and I ended up convincing volunteers the media managers to put images and descriptions And the deal descriptions on the phone. Now. Awesome.
So your holiday, are there any other highlights things that you really remember that stuck out as being that
it would be just that.
Yeah, well I guess there are a lot of great moments that you had and good learnings you’re a woman with many talents. In fact, I believe you’ve broken some under 18 and under 20, Australian sporting records, it sounds intriguing. What would they
I was in ATHLETIC so I have know I was in In advertising the thing about the Para-Athletic in the League. And they all did amazing underwritings and, and 20s.
Yeah. It’s pretty special So how long did you compete for?
Yeah, I was competing for years
Still involved in athletics.