Peter Clement is one of Headway Gippsland’s longest serving board members, and offers a voice for people with acquired brain injury.
Peter has been involved with Headway Gippsland since it was formed as a Mutual Support Group in 1981.
After a car accident at age 18 resulting in an acquired brain injury, Peter sought fellowship with an organisation he could share his time and skills with, and to find a sense of belonging.
We have been blessed with Peter’s friendship since then.
“When I started [with Headway] it was smaller than today, with around 7-8 people,” Peter reminisced fondly, “I got involved with the groups.”
He is glad to have seen the organisation grow over the years, while maintaining a strong sense of community.
This has been evident recently, as unfortunately, Peter has been facing some personal hardships. To thank him for his commitment over the years, Headway of course wanted to help.
An appeal was initiated, calling for donations to assist.
The Board and staff members pitched in, and resulted in a sum of money which was able to support Peter during this time.
“It’s helped us a lot,” Peter said, explaining that there was a time where they “nearly ran out of food.”
The current economic crisis has impacted us all, but even more so for people with disabilities, who are often disadvantaged in the community.
We wrote an article about Peter back in 2022, as part of our Board Member in Focus. In this article, Peter described living with ABI as like being “pushed aside in society” and that he experienced social isolation.
“People don’t want to know you, but with Headway, they understood,” he said.
This experience shows that when a community unites, and people support one another, great change can happen.
What advice do you have for anyone who might be facing personal hardship?
“Stick with your people, even if you don’t always agree with them,” he advises. “Look for someone who’s positive, and stick with them. Even if you’re having trouble.”