Inclusion advocacy dynamo's experience with COVID-19 vaccination

Margherita Coppolino

Inclusion advocacy dynamo's experience with COVID-19 vaccination

JAS-ANZ was thrilled to see Margherita Coppolino, its longest-serving disability and human services assessor, interviewed on ABC news yesterday as a person with a disability getting COVID-19 vaccinations. In a story emphasising the benefits of vaccination for protecting the vulnerable, Margherita – proudly wearing her rainbow scarf - spoke about her feelings as a Victorian disability worker herself overcoming fears and logistical challenges to receive the ‘jabs’. 

“When COVID-19 hit last year, it was my worst nightmare. Living alone, in affordable housing, …being 61 years+, and my greatest fear of somebody or my loved ones – as in my friends, finding me dying [from] COVID… I knew that I had to get over my phobia of needles”. 

“After doing it I was so relieved, that I was in a better position to live a longer life…”

An inclusion advocacy dynamo, Margherita is the longest-serving disability and human services assessor at JAS-ANZ. For over 20 years, she has monitored the work of third-party auditors who in turn determine whether vulnerable people are truly being respected and listened to by service providers. 

In following these audits, she has helped check in on the wellbeing of hundreds of service users to see how they’re faring, and whether they are being given every available opportunity to live a full, engaged life. 

It’s been a particularly active fortnight for the indomitable Margherita; Just last week she received an Award for Lifetime achievement honour roll (inductee) at the Victorian Disability Awards.

A disability worker, businesswoman, consultant, photographer, proud Victorian and UN Delegate for Australia’s reporting on the Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities, you can learn more about our marvellous Margherita at her website: About | Margherita Coppolin

Congratulations and thank you Margherita for speaking out on your experience and vaccination relief!

Two other advocates were interviewed in the story. For the full interviews, see:

Victoria says it is 'stepping in' following Commonwealth failure to boost vaccination rates in disability sector - ABC News