Child’s medical treatment highlights tension between principles and reality

Charlley and her mum

These issues become so septic because they are complex but are treated like there are two simple answers — right or wrong. I think Charley’s parents have been courageous and they seem to want the best for their child.

I don’t think their actions are ten steps back for disability rights. I think they have started a new conversation about the tension between the principles of human rights and the reality of quality of life.

Lets keep talking.

The one thing most employers get wrong about recruitment (and it’s potentially unlawful)


Twice in the last week I’ve been confronted by the issue of asking employment applicants whether they have any health or disability-related needs or requirements. First at a Human Resources Institute diversity event; and then on the application form for a part-time position I have applied for.

The practice seems quite prevalent among employers, who seem unaware that it is a potential breach of human rights. Based on the four years I spent working for the Human Rights Commission, let me explain what the problems, risks and solutions are.

Thinking about the box, rather than outside it

box with question marks

We often hear people utter the mantra, “Think outside the box.” It’s become the hold-all for creative thinking, problem solving and even good leadership.

But how often do we often think about the box itself? How often do we consider that, by thinking outside it, we stray away from the box — even ignore it completely — and miss the truth of the matter.

Diversity — are you trying to get it right?


Organisations that build cultures that require people to do the right thing in regards to culture, gender, sexuality, function (disability) etc, create behaviours governed by fear. People will avoid engagement in order to stay safe, because they’ll be scared of getting it wrong.

Nobody wants to be shamed, blamed, attacked, punished or made fun of.


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