Safeguarding the future conference - Canberra, 23-24 May 2024

The Grass Is Greener Where You Water It

Too often, people believe that “real” friendships can’t happen for people with significant disability. In this presentation, Lisa and Sean share the legacy of investing in an inclusive life.

Investing in Relationships and Everyday Wonders

Sean talks about the people who are important in his life, many of whom he has known since early childhood. He shares insights into his ordinary 23-year-old life. He is a valued worker, youth group leader, student, friend, swimmer, boxer and gym member.

Lisa explains the value of having an ambitious vision and how she sought ordinary, valued experiences throughout Sean’s life. She talks about

  • the determination and efforts that were needed to stay on an inclusive path
  • how Sean was supported in roles where he could be known for his gifts and contributions, and
  • the power of being alert to the people who were “open” to friendships.

About Sean Fisher and Lisa Bridle

Sean enjoying a beer with friendsSean Fisher attended his neighbourhood primary school in the inner southside of Brisbane. He graduated from St Laurence’s College, a large Catholic boys’ school, in 2014.

Since then, he has been a valued member of the Operations Team at Multicultural Development Australia (MDA). In 2017 he acquired a second part-time job.

Lisa Bridle is a social worker with a background in community development. Since 2011, she has worked at Community Resource Unit in family leadership development. At CRU, she helps families to have a positive vision of an inclusive life.

Lisa has three children. Since Sean was born she has been developing her advocacy skills. She supported Sean’s school inclusion and is an active member of family advocacy organisations.

Lisa is passionate about building communities which include and value the contributions of people with disability. She also has an interest in the bioethical issues affecting people with disability. Her PhD research examined the ethical issues raised by prenatal diagnosis of disability.