Discussion with Jethro Hepton, Chair of Advocacy WA
Why did you join the board of AWA?
I have a passion for advocacy. I have worked in the sector as a lecturer and have lived experience of disability. I know what it is like to be a participant of NDIS and some of the challenges people face. I want to be able to use my skill set in the sector to help others and be a voice of disability. Those that have no voice need someone to stand up and speak for them and empower them to speak for themselves. When government departments, local councils, employers or any institution does not listen to the needs of people with disability, Advocacy WA is there helping them convey their feelings and what they want, without judgement.
How does your experience inform your engagement and participation in AWA board business?
I am able to use my personal and professional background of disability in my role as Chair. I teach and educate people about the disability sector and I am able to transfer these skills in my dealings with and for the board. I have experience managing staff and teams, following budgets and meeting funding criteria and I bring these skills and knowledge to my role as Chair.
What do you enjoy most about being on the board AWA?
I like the fact that we make a difference in the lives of others. I also enjoy learning more about disability because having a disability does not mean you have a full understanding of the impact disability has on others. With Advocacy WA, I learn about the complex issues faced by others. I also enjoy meeting with stakeholders and lobbying for support and funding so we can better support the wider disability community.
Advocacy WA has really grown in the past few years in its role of educating and empowering people and communities. We help people take control of their own lives – a basic human right.