Glen Innes's POWER advocacy group organises day of celebration

CELEBRATION: POWER is looking for new members. Pictures: Andrew Messenger.

CELEBRATION: POWER is looking for new members. Pictures: Andrew Messenger.

Glen Innes's disabled community has formed one of Australia's few 100 per cent self-organised advocacy groups.

POWER on Tuesday celebrated International Day of Disabled Persons with an event at the Chapel Theatre they organised for themselves.

The event featured dancing and film and followed on from last year's Sense of Place premiere.

POWER has gone from the strength to strength in the aftermath of that event; the acronym stands for 'people organised will encourage richness'.

The idea is to give disabled people a place outside the formal support system to build the community, and to help organise to make Glen Innes an easier place to be.

The key word is inclusion.

"It's about getting the word out there that yes we can do a lot of stuff and yes we can get out into the community on our own without support," said founding member Jackie Bourne.

"Inclusion encompasses such a wide range of things."

POWER, formed just last year, has already managed to win grant funding and organise two years' worth of celebrations of International Day of Disabled Persons - despite having just four members.

Jackie Bourne said the group has achieved a lot since 2018, but they need more help to grow. She's looking for more volunteers, particularly people who can help with grant writing.

She found Glen Innes an easy place to live with a disability when she moved here four years ago - but it can always get better.

Ms Bourne, who has a mild intellectual disability said it's easy to get around town, and simple to access good quality support services that are available.

But what is good can always be better - "be more welcoming, be more friendly," is the advice she had to make Glen Innes more disability-inclusive.

"Having a lifelong disability and having a sister who has a disability I've always taught myself to speak up for myself and for those who can't speak up for themselves," she said.

"We just want our voices to be heard and for people to focus on our abilities, not our disabilities. Because everyone's different and we all how our own unique talents."

The Sense of Place featured Glen Innes locals with disabilities talking about the places meaningful to them.

The film was screened at the North West Film Festival.