Sisters Gemma and Shaye Harrison with mother Sandra Harrison and their former support worker Mayor Tanya Milligan.
Sisters Gemma and Shaye Harrison with mother Sandra Harrison and their former support worker Mayor Tanya Milligan. Ebony Graveur

Past career leads mayor to advocate for disability support

PRIOR to being elected mayor of the Lockyer Valley, Tanya Milligan's passion lay in advocating for those with disabilities.

Having worked as a disability support worker with Anuha for nearly 20 years, Cr Milligan's passion remains the same, while donning the title as mayor.

The former support worker continued her work in the disability support sector in the Lockyer Valley right up until she became mayor.

This morning, the Lockyer Valley Regional Council held a morning tea in the Centenary Park to celebrate Disability Action Week.

"It's a great way to bring a community together, to celebrate their abilities rather than their disabilities,” Cr Milligan said.

It was a situation involving a ramp as a disability support worker that led Cr Milligan to run for council.

"The whole reason I put my hand up for election was over a ramp; it was a mobility and access issue,” she said.

"It was the ramp at the post office in Laidley - the bank had been closing so the post office was going to be the agency.”

Laidley mum Sandra Harrison joined Cr Milligan in cutting the cake.

Two of her triplet daughters Gemma and Shaye face challenges from KIF1A, a genetic mutation.

Ms Harrison said the disability was rare but affected her daughters in a number of ways.

"They are identical so they have the same problem,” Ms Harrison said.

"It affects them totally - physically, intellectually, they're legally blind.”

Ms Milligan was Gemma and Shaye's support worker 20 years ago, before she became mayor and is still in regular contact with the family.

"They were about three or four when Tanya used to work with the girls,” Ms Harrison said.

"Tanya messaged me and invited us along and it's great to see so many turn up.”

Disability Action Week runs from September 15 to September 22.


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