Julia recently joined the Co-design team at the Summer Foundation. She shares her story and tells us about her work.
My name is Julia Robertson. I started working with the Co-design team in October 2023. I am 50 years old. I love going out for coffee, researching, going to hydrotherapy, going for drives in the country with my husband, and crocheting blankets and beanies for people in central desert communities. This is Life 2.0.
I have had 2 brain injuries. The first was when I was 5 years old – I was hit by a car; I also fractured my spine. The second was at 29 years old when a life-threatening brain tumour was discovered. At 37 years old, after much cognitive decline and neurological pain, I found a neurosurgeon interstate willing to undertake the high-risk complex surgery. I had a stroke during surgery.
Before the tumour in Life 1.0, I was a vocalist in a band, performed at festivals, and wrote and read music. I cannot sing anymore; I have dysphonia and my voice sometimes sounds like I have a terrible cold. I have spent the past 12 years recovering from surgery and the damage the tumour caused. Because of all this I have a much better understanding of what life can be like for people living with disability. I am more confident than I ever remember being in Life 1.0. I do my best to find ways around the things I cannot do or struggle with. I still have seizures and have lost some vision and hearing.
I am passionate about co-design and dignity for all. As part of my new role in the Co-design team I am working to make our resources inclusive and accessible while helping others understand how important accessibility is. I am also working with Gina and Louise, connecting with our lived experience community.
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