Paul Campbell has been part of VALID’s family for the past 14 years. Throughout that time, he has attended the Northern Self Advocacy Network meetings (NSAN), the Having a Say Conference and participated in other VALID events and projects. His mother says she has seen him grow from strength to strength.
Paul represented the NSAN members at quarterly meetings with Arthur Rogers who is the Special Adviser on NDIS reform from Victorian Government Department of Premier and Cabinet. These meetings were attended by other self advocates from around Victoria and they talked about issues that affect people using services in the different regions.
He has demonstrated a willingness to seek out opportunities to build on his strengths. "Paul is now very tuned into other peoples feelings and reactions," says Paul's mother, "and is always eager to get involved and look out for his peers."
Paul has been a member of the VALID Self Advocacy Forum since 2015 and is well respected by his peers for his dedication and compassionate nature.
Recently Paul was elected by the Self-Advocacy Forum to represent them on VALID’s Board of Management. "Since joining the committee his confidence has grown and he is comfortable correcting people if needed," observes Paul's mother.
"Paul now understands the rights of people with a disability and speaks up for those who can't," says Paul's mother. So much as that in 2016 and 2017 Paul was nominated for the Supreme Court of Victoria Funds in Court: Inspire Award in the category of Speaking Up and Advocacy. These awards recognise outstanding achievements in speaking up for people with disabilities by people with disabilities.
Paul is passionate about volunteering and has worked closely with Bundoora Extended Care through the Community Visitors Scheme and in the kitchens of City of Darebin Community Centre. Paul has also led fundraisers at Northern Support Services, and with the Lost Dogs Home, where he also volunteers his time.
For the last three years, Paul has volunteered at VALID’s three day Having a Say Conference in Geelong. The skill and enthusiasm he brought to his catering role has been an immeasurable help and support to the rest of the volunteer team.