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

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

Valen Litster

Ann Greer, Valen Litster, and Sally Aubrey will be giving a presentation titled It's a long game: Planning for a great future for Valen in a constantly changing world.

Portrait of Valen Litster

Valen Litster is a 42-year-old man who lives in Townsville, North Queensland.  He has always been a truly valued member of his family despite his complex disability and the level of support that he needs to have a good life.

Val loves to work with tools and has made many beautiful things with support, including outdoor furniture and household items.  He is very proud of his work.  Val and his team hope to start a small micro-business selling his handmade items.  He also owns a coffee machine, which he operates in conjunction with Skills NQ (a local Townsville organisation). He maintains and stocks the machine, while Skills NQ pays for the coffee supplies and maintenance of the machine. Valen receives a small income from this arrangement. 

Valen defines a good life as seeing his family regularly, doing things that give him pleasure, having the support he needs from people who truly respect and understand him, and spending time in the outdoors. 

Valen has recently started presenting in public about his life; a life that is extraordinary because it is so ordinary. Valen’s severe communication impairment requires an innovative approach to enhance his relationships, communicate his thoughts and feelings, and build his profile in the Townsville community. Val’s team is currently focused on building a communication system to make this a reality.

It’s a long game: Planning for a great future for Valen in a constantly changing world

Valen Litster – a man with a severe communication impairment – will open this session using a slideshow to tell the audience about his present-day life. Val was involved in developing the captions for the slide show with the support of his family and team.

Ann Greer, Valen’s mother, will discuss the past experiences, challenges, and strategies that have helped Valen become the happy man and good citizen he is today. With her signature candour, Ann will share her family’s questions and thoughts about Valen’s future when he will need help from people other than his parents.

Sally Aubrey is one of Valen’s two sisters. She will discuss her thoughts on growing up in a family where lots of time and attention went elsewhere and her future support of her brother and sister. This plan is not fully formulated but is still under construction.

About this session

  • Ann, Valen, and Sally will be speaking at 9:15 am on Friday, 24 May
  • The conference runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm AEST on Thursday-Friday, 23-24 May 2024

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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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