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

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

Cathy McMahon

Cathy McMahon and Josey McMahon will be presenting at the Safeguarding the Future conference. Their presentation is called Never too late to get a life.

Portrait of Cathy McMahon

Cathy McMahon’s childhood was spent in rural Queensland with her large family. At age 11, she moved to a large institution, where she remained for 47 years.

Nine years ago, Cathy embraced the opportunity to move, and she now lives an entirely different life in a home on the Gold Coast just around the corner from her sister Josey. Making up for lost time, Cathy is an artist and an active and valued member of her local community, including her local church.

Never too late to get a life

This is the story of twin sisters Josey and Cathy, whose lives diverged at the age of 11. For the next 47 years, Cathy lived away from her family in a large institution. Many decades later, the sisters’ very different life paths eventually joined again.

In this session, you’ll hear how Josey rethought what was possible for Cathy and helped her move out of the institution and reconnect with their family and the wider world once again. Once Cathy moved into her own home, Josey supported her in becoming an active and valued member of her local community.

Cathy and Josey will explain what it took to convince others that Cathy would thrive in the local community with appropriate support. Now in their late sixties, they’ll also explain what they’ve put in place to safeguard Cathy’s future.

At its heart, this story is about personal change, reconnection, and the power of family and relationships.

About this session

  • Cathy and Josey will be speaking at 9:45 am on Thursday, 23 May
  • 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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