Launch Day at Imperial Shopping Centre Gosford

Yesterday, December 6, 2018 was the LAUNCH of #ThinkOutsideTheChair, held at Gosford Imperial Centre, one of the campaign partners. The event ran from 8:30am–9:45am and was a great success.

Among those who attended were Chris Holstein and Member for Gosford Liesl Tesch. Speakers at the event were Deb Warwick, Centre Manager at Gosford Imperial Centre, Monique Cardon, CEO of Fairhaven, the oldest leading local charity and NDIS provider on the Central Coast, Marni Walkerden, the mastermind behind the Think Outside the Chair campaign, currently working with Ability Links, and Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford. They each shared their involvement with the campaign, and how others can be involved.

#ThinkOutsideTheChair is a collaborative Central Coast movement and campaign designed to challenge and change the current thinking around disabilities. Not all disabilities are visible and we need to change our thinking in this space. The idea of the campaign came from Marni Walkerden. Marni not only works in the disability space through Ability Links but knows and understands what it’s like living with her own disability.

People living with disabilities have a lot to consider when they venture out into the community, sometimes it’s negotiating parking spots and sometimes it’s the availability of bathrooms. The abuse that can happen on a daily basis is at times unbearable. To add abuse on top of what they need to accomplish makes everyday living challenging and can become isolating” – Marni Walkerden. 

Our campaign name, Think Outside the Chair is an effort to see beyond the physical indicators of disability, seeking to inform, engage and educate the community to see all Australians live harmoniously in communities that celebrate inclusion and diversity. The abuse and confrontations that can occur sometimes mean staying at home is easier than going out and trying to feel included in the community.

At the event, members of the community contributed by taking photos with signage with the hashtag #thinkoutsidethechair and our logo, and it did well to be shared through Instagram and Facebook. We also held a Facebook Live of the event’s proceedings. Think Outside the Chair bumper stickers were given out, and we had over 200 and they all got snatched up! One lovely member of the public took 20 at once to share around her workplace.

As the launch formalities are over, so our journey begins. Our vision is to see this roll out across the Central Coast and throughout Australia. The Central Coast leading the way in communities that celebrate inclusion and diversity. We are inviting local businesses, individuals and anyone who wants to support the campaign. Current supporters include Fairhaven, Blue Badge Insurance, and Ability Links.

For more details on the day see our Facebook and Instagram pages and we hope to engage with you further on their. For any questions, if you would like to partner with us, or join our mailing list, please email info@thinkoutsidethechair.com.au.

After the event we were featured on the front webpage of abc.net.au. where we were trending #7 on the Top Stories bar. That was one of the highlights of the day and we were very excited. See the page below.

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