In this sponsored post, “CityNews” speaks with Independent candidate for Ginninderra, Mignonne Cullen, who wants to create change for all Canberrans.
BACKED with an understanding of issues that the ageing population, the disability community and other marginalised groups face, former nurse Mignonne Cullen is running as an Independent for Ginninderra in the ACT Election.
Mignonne, who lives with a disability herself, has worked on various advisory and management boards in the disability sector for the past 12 years.
“I was a nurse for 27 years but none of my nursing experiences prepared me for the reality of living with disability,” says Mignonne, who, in her early 40s, suffered three strokes, causing complex health issues which resolved over time.
“Unless you’ve been there, done that, you don’t always see what’s needed.”
Mignonne’s been a member of People with Disabilities ACT for 12 years, and is a current board member, she was a member of the ACT government’s Office of Disabilities, Disability Reference Group from 2017 to 2019, is a former volunteer for the Belconnen Community Services disability programme, Positive Links, and is a member of Women With Disabilities ACT.
She says despite efforts by advocacy groups, the same issues – housing, employment and transport – keep being raised with little resolution.
“While there’s a shortage of affordable housing in the ACT, the issue of appropriate affordable housing for people living with disabilities is even more acute; and almost invisible,” Mignonne says.
“There’s a reluctance by the major political parties to embrace changes to building design that would enhance many people’s living standards, not only those in the disability sector.”
Since housing and employment have a symbiotic relationship, Mignonne says an appropriate employment opportunity with tailored support is crucial for improving the life of some of the ACT’s most vulnerable citizens – including long-term unemployed and ageing people who want to participate in a work program.
“For many Canberrans living with a disability, and other marginalised groups, daily living, such as getting to and from a job, shops, medical appointments and a night out, is difficult due to the inconsistencies of the ACT public transport system and out-of-pocket expenses,” she says.
“The constantly changing routes and timetables can create a challenge for some, which is made worse when a person with mobility issues turns up for a service marked on the timetable as accessible when it’s not.”
Mother of two boys aged 24 and 28, Mignonne grew up near Broken Hill and has lived in Scullin, in the Ginninderra electorate, for almost 30 years, with some time away for military service.
“My main focus if elected will be improving the quality of life for all Canberrans and improving ACT government service delivery,” Mignonne says.
“I’m good with people, I care about people and marginalised groups, and I’m here to create real change.”
Authorised by Mignonne Cullen, candidate for Ginninderra.