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interview Increasing representation of people with disabilities in politics and leadership positions is paramount to achieving a truly inclusive society. Link interviews two inspiring women who are working to promote inclusion and change the way leadership is understood. Leading the way L Liesl Tesch, politician iesl Tesch is a former the social and economic inclusion of high school teacher and people with disabilities. Paralympian who became the Member for Gosford in New South conference is we put a motion to the Wales in April 2017. 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary “I was elected to represent the disability in politics and leadership positions was one of her main goals. “While I wasn’t elected to Conference held in Bangladesh represent people with disabilities, people of Gosford, but I’ve also in November, to establish a but the people of Gosford, I do have become a voice for people with Commonwealth Parliamentarians a great understanding of the needs disabilities and a really important role With Disability Sector,” she said. of people with disabilities and I have model for social inclusion,” she said. Ms Tesch was one of two “So, much like we had a a good network that I can use to push women’s sector to develop female for change,” she said. “Similar to my parliamentarians with disability to representation in politics, we’re role in sport, simply by being there represent Australia at the inaugural using a similar model to increase and doing what I do with integrity meeting of Commonwealth representation of people with and vision, being a role model is one Parliamentarians with Disabilities disabilities in politics. of the most important roles I can play. held in Canada in August last year. She said the conference, 26 “One of the outcomes from that Ms Tesch said increasing representation of people with “Having representation of 15 per “Just being in Parliament, in a cent of politicians with disability wheelchair, in places that are very attended by 25 politicians from 13 would be ideal, as that would at least visible … I’m hoping things like the countries, was all about ensuring be close to mirroring representation built environment will change faster disability perspectives were in the general public – but that’s than it would if I wasn’t here, so a considered in all aspects of policy definitely not the numbers we’ve got future Member of Parliament can do and legislation that contribute to in Australia at the moment.” this without having to second guess. interview linkonline.com.au