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

Registrations close at 5:00 pm AEST on Thursday, 16 May

Bernadette Esplin

Bernadette Esplin will be presenting at the Safeguarding the Future conference with her daughter, Laura Esplin. Their presentation is titled Dream Big

Portrait of Bernadette Esplin

Bernadette Esplin is a counsellor and a mother of 5 children, including her 13-year-old Laura. Fueled by love and with a relentless drive to see Laura thrive, Bernadette has advocated strongly for Laura’s inclusion in mainstream education and her local community.

Bernadette’s approach is a great example of Social Role Valorisation in action. She has encouraged Laura to develop a range of typical and highly valued roles both within and outside the school gates.

Bernadette has a strong vision for a good life for Laura. Her passion and drive have helped others see the benefits of building communities that celebrate diversity and foster belonging. She hopes that, by sharing their story, more families will develop their own visions of bright futures for their family members with disability.

Dream big

Laura Esplin has already achieved a great deal at just 13 years of age. She is a self-published author of three books, a swimmer, a gymnast, a photographer, and an aspiring model. But she might have found herself on a very different life trajectory without the strength of her own determination and her mother Bernadette’s vision of what a good life could be, now and in the future.

Early on, Bernadette recognised the need to be intentional and proactive in building a good life for Laura. She advocated strongly for Laura to be educated in inclusive learning environments and has supported Laura in taking on many roles outside of school.

In this session, Laura and Bernadette will explain how inclusive schooling has laid the foundation for safeguarding Laura’s future. They’ll describe how they stuck with mainstream education even when the going got tough. You’ll also learn how Bernadette has helped the school embrace her vision of Laura’s great future by nurturing Laura’s interest in writing and supporting her in becoming an author.

About this session

  • Bernadette and Laura will be speaking at 1:15 pm on Thursday, 23 May in conference room 2
  • The conference runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm AEST on Thursday-Friday, 23-24 May 2024

Register to attend the conference and/or the pre-conference webinars

Learn about the other conference speakers and their presentations

Pre-conference webinars

Main conference

About the Safeguarding the Future conference

  • Thursday-Friday, 23-24 May 2024
  • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm both days
  • Hotel Realm in Canberra
  • Optional networking event on Thursday evening
  • Three pre-conference webinars included in the main conference ticket
  • Pre-conference webinar-only tickets are also available if you can’t attend the main event
  • Flexible pricing is available for people with disability and their families from $0.00 to $225.00
  • People with disability, their families, friends, and allies, support workers, education professionals, health professionals, and everyone interested in safeguarding the future of people with disability are welcome to attend.
  • Registrations close at 5:00 pm AEST on Thursday, 16 May

Register to attend the conference and/or the pre-conference webinars

Safeguarding the future conference

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