Dinesh went on to become the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland, and the second person to graduate medical school with quadriplegia in Australia. He now works as a Doctor in the emergency department at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
Dinesh said none of this would have been possible without the people who stood with him when he wasn’t able to stand.
“The daily fight is not just for the person with disability. It is for their caregivers, their families, their parents. They have to fight for everything, for their education, their employment to accessing the community, their funding and even for their wheelchairs.
“There is so much fight but the more we fight, the more things change for other people,” says Dinesh.
As a result of his lived experience, Dinesh is a powerful advocate for inclusion.
“When I first came back to medical school, there was a doctor who said I don’t know if the patients will take you seriously. I have now seen thousands of patients and not one patient has ever said, Are you sure you can do your job?,” recalls Dinesh.
Dinesh said the significant barriers to his employment continued to be these attitudinal barriers from the people in power.
“That’s where the challenges have come from. That’s where the objections have come from. It’s never been the community, it’s never been the patients. I hope everything I have fought for in education and employment positively effects others with a disability,” he says.
Dinesh says organisations like Montrose have played an important role in changing the lives of people with a disability. He says the advocacy work of individuals and organisations alike is critical to securing an inclusive future for people with a disability.
“We have some pretty good public and government support structures but also that’s shaped by organisations like Montrose, who have a powerful voice to drive change. They have shaped the community and have the opportunity create even more change,” says Dinesh.