Loud and Clear Conference and Concert 2023

Group of people looking happy with police officers

The Loud and Clear Qld All Abilities Conference and Concert was a fantastic event held at the Alex Surf Club in Qld on the 11th -13th October with the theme “Reach for the Stars”.

This all inclusive event is all about bringing people together to talk and learn about important things. It’s a great chance to meet new friends, share ideas, and to be inspired to dream big to reach your potential.

We had amazing and inspirational speakers and activities to help us reach for our dreams, just like reaching for the stars in the sky. 

Day 1 highlights of the first day, featured some amazing presenters and activities:

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Group of people sitting and listening with hands up

The Wingless Warrior: Not Armed but Still Dangerous was the first inspirational talk for the day. 

Kerry-Lee Gockel talked about resilience, strength and determination, as she shared her story of overcoming life’s challenges, with no arms, and being able to swim incredible distances in open water, to achieve her dreams and goals.

Her message was clear: no matter what obstacles come our way, we can rise above them and reach for the stars.

Lady standing with microphone
2 ladies standing with projector giving a speech

Brendan Neil from The Island Charity Swim took to the stage next. He shared his heartwarming story of unwavering dedication to make a difference for the Sunshine Coast disability community by supporting the special schools through the 10km Island Charity swim from Mudjimba Island to Mooloolaba Beach.   Brendan’s story shows the power that one person’s determination can unite a community, and inspire us all to “Reach for the Stars”. 

Man giving a speech through microphone with hand in air
Man standing hand on chest giving a speech through microphone
Man pointing to screen and giving a speech

Qld Police Service and the Police Liaison Officers did a fun and inclusive presentation about community safety, and who can help us when we need it. 

They stressed the importance of open communication and understanding, fostering trust, and working together to keep each other safe.  We also had the opportunity to see the Qld Police Liaison Car.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services team discussed their vital role in keeping the community safe. They shared insights into their preparation and response during emergencies.

Their presentation served as a reminder of the heroes who stand ready to protect us in times of need. The highlight of this presentation was seeing a fire truck up close and we had the opportunity to use the fire hose. 

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Lady smiling
Man talking through microphone
Man showing a sign

The Sunshine Coast Councilor for Division 10, CR David Law, spoke to us about how the council works in an inclusive manner to involve people from the disability community to develop future plans, for all of us to live together in a safe and connected environment. 

Rosy Lawson-Lamont is an inspirational and determined self-advocate who shared her dream on how she achieved her goal to live independently. She discussed the importance of belief in yourself, choice, and control in the lives of individuals with disabilities. 

Rosy’s words resonated with the audience, encouraging them to take charge, speak up and don’t give up on your dreams. 

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Girl pointing and talking through microphone
People holding up sign and smiling

The Inclusion Australia Our Voice representatives from Qld, NSW and SA provided us with the latest updates on what they know from talking with the NDIS Review panel. Thank-you Sarah, Payge and Laura for your informative presentation about the NDIS Review. 

girl talking through microphone


Day 2 we continued to learn about remarkable stories and insights shared by the speakers. The presenters encouraged us to be better prepared for emergencies, to advocate for change, and to respect and celebrate the cultures that make our world so vibrant and unique.

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People reading
Man talking through microphone
Lady laughing
Lady practicing CPR

The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) kicked off the second day of the conference with an engaging presentation on Safety in the Community. They emphasized the importance of being prepared for emergencies and understanding basic life-saving techniques. We had the opportunity to practice CPR on the dummies, and also see how some of the equipment is used. This presentation taught us  that being knowledgeable about these skills can make a significant difference in saving lives.

Group of people in front of an ambulance
People practicing CPR on dummies
Man talking through microphone

Inclusion Australia’s Jamie Bannister provided us with insights on how being a self-advocate and speaking up,  can transition to systemic advocacy. Jamie highlighted the journey individuals take from advocating for their personal needs to advocating for broader systemic changes. 

This presentation emphasized the power of collective voices and the importance of advocating for inclusive and equal opportunities for everyone. 

Inclusion Australia’s message resonated strongly with the conference’s theme of reaching for the stars by ensuring everyone’s voice is heard and respected.

People giving a talk using a microphone

Lyndon Davis, a proud member of the Gubbi Gubbi people, shared his unique perspective on the rich heritage and traditions of the indigenous people of Australia. He spoke about the significance of preserving and celebrating these cultural roots.

Lyndon’s presentation reminded us that recognising and respecting indigenous cultures is an integral part of our journey towards a more inclusive and diverse society.

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Man using microphone and holding didgeridoo
A group happy by the water
A group of people listening with interest

Day 3 was rest day for our Loud and Clear Qld members. We worked together as a team to decorate and build 18 kites for the Sunshine Coast Council All Access Day at the Beach.  The kites will be donated for people with disabilities to use on the day. Thank-you Matt and Beth for running this fun art day.  

To close off the conference our members had the opportunity to share and reflect on the conference highlights. 

As we move forward into 2024 let’s keep in mind the lessons and inspiration we’ve gained from the Loud and Clear Qld Conference 2023:  with the knowledge and understanding we’ve acquired, we are better equipped to reach for the stars in our quest for a more inclusive, compassionate, and informed world. Together, we can reach for the stars and create a world where everyone’s voice is heard and valued.

A group of people painting
People holding a painting

Loud and Clear Qld Concert 2023: Reach for the Stars

The final night of the Loud and Clear Conference was a night to remember. It was the all inclusive “Reach for the Stars” Concert. 

We kicked off the evening with a warm Welcome to Country by Lyndon Davis from the Gubbi Gubbi people,  who set the stage for a celebration of unity, diversity,  and inclusion. The inclusive dances performed by Gubbi Gubbi Dance beautifully brought together different cultures, making everyone feel a part of something special. 

The dynamic performances by the Sunshine Troupe left us in awe, showing us that anything is possible when we come together as a team. 

To top the night off our live bands were out of this world and we were reaching higher than the stars. MC Wheels and The Sunny Coast Rude Boys, had us grooving and moving, as we danced the night away. 

This incredible night was a reminder that when we embrace our differences and celebrate our shared humanity, we can create moments of pure joy and connection. Let’s carry this spirit of togetherness with us, and keep dancing through life’s challenges with resilience and determination. 

We are shining stars, who inspire others to believe in themselves.

If you are interested in joining Loud and Clear QLD, we would love to hear from you. 

Contact loudandclear@p2pqld.org.au for more information or view our Loud and Clear page.

Thank-you to our supporters and sponsors

Loud and Clear Qld would like to thank our supporters and sponsors, with your assistance we “Reached the Stars” at our Loud and Clear Concert and Conference 

We would like to thank:

  • Leanne, Loud and Clear Coordinator
  • P2P Jodi and Erin for your ongoing support
  • The wonderful support workers and volunteers without whom it wouldn’t have been possible
  • Alexandra Headlands Surf Life Saving Club
  • Sunshine Coast Council 
  • ILC Grant Funding 
  • Equity Works
  • Venue 114
  • Aesop Media (Hing and Esther) for the wonderful photography, and live streaming for the concert.
  • SARU (Self Advocacy Resource Unit) 
  • Oaks Seaforth Resort 
  • Our Loud and Clear Qld members for all of their hard work in organising and running the conference and concert
  • P2P Matt and Beth for your artistic skills in kite making and designing

Our Conference presenters: 

  • Kerry-Lee Gockel: The Wingless Warrior
  • Brendan Neil: Island Charity Swim
  • CR David Law: Sunshine Coast Council Inclusion Action Plan
  • Rosy Lawson-Lamont: Paving the Path to Independent Living
  • Qld Police Service and Police Liaison Officers: Safety in the Community
  • Qld Fire and Emergency Services: Safety in the Community
  • Inclusion Australia, Our Voice Committee members Sara, Laura and Payge: The NDIS Review 
  • Qld Ambulance Service: Safety in the Community
  • Inclusion Australia, Jamie Bannister: From Self-Advocacy to Systemic Advocacy
  • Lyndon Davis: Cultural Conversations

Our Concert Performances and Bands:

  • Lyndon Davis and the Gubbi Gubbi Dances
  • The Sunshine Troupe
  • MC Wheels and Crook3d Sounds
  • The Sunny Coast Rude Boys

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