Man with auburn hair and green top smiling

I have CP and I’m an entrepreneur

Join us as we delve into the little understood world of cerebral palsy (CP) through a series of enlightening videos titled "What is CP?" hosted by researchers Tash Garrity and Georgina Henry, and featuring other people with cerebral palsy, like entrepreneur and advocate Nicholas Lapsley.

I was born with ataxic cerebral palsy which causes shakiness, problems with balance and stiff muscles, depending on what I have done during the day. I am a GMFCS level 1 and have made use of various services at CPA to improve my ability to complete daily activities including speech, dexterity, my fitness and life skills.  

One myth I’d like to bust is that CP is not intellectual disability it a physical disability. We may be limited in our physical capacity, but we can still be very smart at the same time.   

Adventure is what gets me out of bed in the morning, every day is different. I have done skiing, competitive swimming, travel, and even high rope. My message to parents with a diagnosis is your child can still go on great, crazy adventures. Parents may need to adapt but having CP should not stop your child from pursuing their goals and dreams.  

I first came to CPA as a baby when they were running services out of McLeod House on the site next door to CPA’s Allambie Heights campus. Since then, I have continued to engage in CPA services alongside volunteering, fundraising, advocacy and now working for CPA.  

Over the last decade I have been involved in the CPA Seals Swim Team, where we train and compete against each other. Swimming has always been my passion as it a great individual competitive sport and it allows me to keep my body moving to minimise the effects of CP. The socialisation and friendship groups that I have established from swimming are a nice bonus. I have also been attending the CPA gym for many years, doing sessions with an exercise physiologist to work on endurance, strength, and balance. These sessions allow me to be able to walk at a normal pace with a good level of balance.  

In recent years I studied a Bachelor of Business (entrepreneurship) at the International College of Management Sydney, ICMS. This degree allows me to think outside of the box. In my final year of study, I did a deep dive into accessible accommodation to widen people’s perspective of the definition of what accessibility truly is. I believe people should not look solely at wheelchair users but include a wider perspective of disability including hearing and visual impairment, and those on the autism spectrum.  

My involvement in advocacy in recent years has significantly expanded to include a range of issues related to disability. I was involved in the CP Active Blaze the Trail Campaign, where we managed to get the NSW government under the leadership of Chris Minns to agree to our three key asks. I then took part in the planning and creating the Young Changemaker Program where we set young people with disabilities up with the tools to advocate for themselves. This year my focus has shifted towards issues with gaining a NSW drivers’ licence and reducing the amount of bureaucracy for people with disabilities.  

I am now working for the CPA as a Corporate Support Graduate, finding my feet in where my interests lie and looking for the optimal work path. Within the next 5 to 10 years, I hope to have a solid base of resources and knowledge to become an entrepreneur within the disability space and help make the world more accessible to all.  


Keen to find out more about cerebral palsy? Head to the “What is cerebral palsy” web page for more information and to watch the video explainer series.