Develop, support, promote disability leaders

Disability Leadership Oration

Disability Leadership Oration Logo

Disability Leadership Oration

The Disability Leadership Oration will be held each year to lead the discussion on disability leadership and set the national agenda. A thought provoking 45 minute talk that puts disability leadership into the centre of things and sparks conversation.

Centred on IDay in December (International Day of People with Disabilities), the Oration will become a destination annual event for the calendars of the broader disability community, business and government leaders, and anyone interested in thought leadership and equality.

Each year a prominent disability leader will share their perspective on disability leadership, where it is going and what it looks like. Taking a broad view, they will outline the way forward and consider what needs to be done and who should be part of making progress happen. The inaugural Disability Leadership Orator was Natalie Wade.

The Disability Leadership Institute gratefully acknowledges our sponsors, The Achieve Foundation, without whom this major event would not happen.

The Disability Leadership Institute is hosting the Oration in partnership with our broadcast partners the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The ABC is supported by The Australian Government for its IDay programming.

Watch on IView

The final recorded version does not carry Auslan. Auslan was present at the Oration and was intended to be part of the broadcast and IView versions, but because of a technical problem experienced during post production it is not. 

#DisabilityOration 2023 Commemorative Program

with full printed versions of the various speeches and the Oration. 

Natalie is sitting in her power wheelchair, she is wearing glasses and a yellow cardigan.

2023 Speaker

Natalie Wade is a respected disability rights lawyer and advocate. Based in Adelaide, South Australia, Natalie is the Founder and Principal Lawyer Director of Equality Lawyers, a disability-led, disability rights law firm providing premium legal services to the disability community.

Natalie is an authentic leader who believes in designing law reform, public policy and community campaigns through lived experience and expertise.

In 2021, Natalie authored Disability Rights in Real Life, a practical handbook for disabled people, their families and allies on everyday disability rights law.

Natalie holds several senior advisory roles including on the Australian Disability Strategy Advisory Council and the Premier’s Council for Women.