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Advocate Spotlight June / July 2020

Name: Sonia Muraca

Role at ADA Australia:
Disability Advocate

Tell us a little about your career and life to date:
I have loved working in the Community Sector over the last 20 years and I have held a variety of roles in the aged, disability and mental health sectors during this time, which has allowed me to learn so much from the people and organisations I have worked with.

What inspired you to become an advocate?
Within the roles I have had, advocacy has always been a strong theme and an area that I feel very passionate about. What I enjoy most are the opportunities where an individual or collective group can be heard allowing for connection and change. Having a younger sister with an intellectual disability, I naturally advocate for her and even more so with the recent transition of the NDIS over the last four years. I enjoy being able to use the knowledge and skills that I have gathered over the years to advocate for others to allow for choice and freedom.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?
The most rewarding part of my role is when someone I have been working with feels confident enough to use their own self advocacy skills.

Why is advocacy important to you?
Advocacy is important to me because it allows voices to be heard and for change to occur. It also gives an opportunity for the people you work with to know that their perspective is important and that they can make a difference.

Is there a standout moment you have had as an advocate?
Often in the work we do, people are not always in a great place. So, for me it is very fulfilling if the time spent working together has allowed for that person to gather their own strength and resources. Over the last few years, I have been involved in NDIS meetings and reviews, so it is always a great day when people receive the funding and services they need and deserve.

Tell us something about yourself that may surprise your colleagues:
I grew up in Melbourne and have lived on the Gold Coast for three years. I am one of seven sisters and come from a very large and loud Italian family who all reside in Melbourne. Before I started working in the Community Sector, I had wanted to be a journalist and studied Professional Writing and Editing. Although I did not quite make it to being the Channel 9 news reporter I had envisioned, I still love to write and have created a regular blog.