Published by F Magazine
Written by Ashley Hanger
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus (SBH) Queensland Board of Directors Member Claire Gonchee has a strong interest in social justice and advocacy, with a keen determination to help see SBH success in this ever-changing world.
Having Spina Bifida and hydrocephalus herself, Claire has had a long-standing relationship with SBH Queensland as a service user and past Board Director. “I became involved with SBH Queensland as a child,” said Claire. “I was involved heavily as a teenager, attending teenage and young adult retreat programs for three or four nights at a time. I re-engaged as an adult, where I have attended six GOALS retreat programs. The programs are four-day intensive workshops that target topics and challenges within our lives.”
Claire has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from QUT and has completed extensive study in the Masters of Human Services (Disability Studies) program at Griffith University. Claire has worked for approximately 10 years within what is now the Department of Human Services and in addition to this she has worked extensively in the not-for-profit sector as a volunteer. This volunteer role includes such jobs as assisting with Volunteer Managers Network Meetings, where organisational governance insofar as volunteering and networking were the focus, as well as fundraising work and administrative duties.
It is her hope that her experiences educationally, professionally and personally as a person with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus will prove to be an asset to the SBH Queensland Board of Directors and she is looking forward to working with our SBH community in the future. “The biggest thing I learnt was that it is okay to be a disabled person,” said Claire. “That it was nothing to be apologetic about and that I didn’t have to apologise. That there were other people just like me. I had a better understanding of what it’s like to live with a disability.”
SBH Queensland strives to improve the lives of children and adults with the most frequently occurring, permanently disabling birth defect.