Paralympian Liesl Tesch has delivered her first speech in NSW Parliament as the Member for Gosford on an occasion Australian Paralympic Committee Chief Executive Officer Lynne Anderson said gave her ‘goose bumps.’
With dozens of Tesch’s family members, friends, colleagues and constituents in attendance, the dual Paralympic gold medallist delivered a powerful, fearless and emotional speech which created history.
Anderson said it was an honour to be present to share Tesch’s inaugural address – the first delivered by a wheelchair user to be elected to the NSW Parliament.
“What a great pleasure it was to be there, Liesl was magnificent,” Anderson said.
“As an outstanding ambassador for the Australian Paralympic movement and a fierce advocate for people with a disability, Liesl’s address gave the Parliament a strong insight into what she will fighting for during her term, along with a dose of her infectious passion and humour.
“It really was a moment that gave me goose bumps. It really is a sense of pride for the Paralympic movement to have one of our own elected to Parliament.”
Greater education, health, reconciliation and infrastructure were key themes to Tesch’s speech, as was increasing the level of accessibility for people with a disability.
“My priority is to be the catalyst for the positive change that the region is crying out for. I believe my life experiences have given me the skills, resilience and vision to achieve this.” Tesch told Parliament.
“We are a progressive Parliament, and people and change make history. People with disabilities do not want to be fighting for access. We want to be able to live our lives well and in my case, roll in on day one to be an active and effective member of Australia’s workforce.
“I am so excited to be working with and for a community of people who know what I stand for, know what I believe in, and know that I will fight for justice, fairness, equity and inclusion in our community.”
A full transcript of Tesch’s historic speech can be found here.
By APC Media