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Dr Patricia Kailis

"…the highlight of my professional life was when the father of a boy who had died of muscular dystrophy told me…that the proudest moment of his life was when his daughter walked down the aisle to be married and she had been reassured that she was not a carrier of muscular dystrophy, and would not have children affected. Now to me, that was a real plus.

I think that the big positive change, and the biggest change, most dramatic change in Western Australia was when the Government set up a designated Minister for Disability Services. I don't think there's anyone in Western Australia who would do anything else but support that. For the first time there was someone who had empathy with the people who had disability……and then that was when the Commission was set up too……and when both of those organisations were set up we were lucky with our Chairmen. The Ministers had access to Cabinet and to the Premier. They could speak to Education, Health and Transport Ministers if there was a problem that had a three-pronged approach and could really draw the services together…… But that was when the real change came in the delivery of services for people with disability - the setting up of the Ministry and the Commission."