Community members in the news

Dedication and inspiration


Dave Sams
Dave Sams Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

HSP community member Dave Sams, who lives on the Hunter coast of New South Wales, is one of 50 people featured on the BBC’s Outlook program, which shines a light on inspiring people from around the world.


Being thrust in the spotlight is not Dave Sams’ idea of a good time.

So Mr Sams was not enthusiastic when friend Elizabeth Schiemer said she wanted to enter him into the BBC’s Outlook segment, which was looking for inspirational stories from around the world. “I did it. But it was more to inspire people to volunteer. It’s good to volunteer for things. We don’t do enough of it.”

Twenty years ago Mr Sams helped start the not-for-profit Salamander Recycling Centre. He still works at the centre, and is a Landcare volunteer, despite having to walk with two crutches due to the hereditary spastic paraparesis that affects his legs.

“I’m still active,” Mr Sams can be heard saying in his Outlook segment about the condition. “I can still use a shovel, rake and drive.” Read more… 

And here is the interview from the BBC program:


Kate Hood
Kate Hood

HSP community member Kate Hood grew to prominence as an actor in the 80s cult television drama Prisoner as the misunderstood Kath Maxwell. Kate was diagnosed in her 40s with HSP and now uses a wheelchair.


This year she began filming a role in the famous long-running TV soap opera Neighbours. “At last,” Kate wrote “a major Australian TV series, which is seen globally, has taken the step of casting a disabled actor to play a disabled person.”


Kate advocates for people with disability to be given roles on both stage and screen. She is the Deputy Chair of the Diversity Committee at Actors Equity. Kate recently wrote

“Feeling very privileged to be presenting at SNAP Disability Arts Festival on International Day of People with Disability. My subject? Diversity in casting within mainstream performing arts. Nice to be wearing my Equity hat – and talking to my creative tribe (and others) about this incredibly important issue. Important for disabled performers – and important for mainstream performing arts..

I believe in the power of the Arts to create social change. As George Bernard Shaw said: ‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything’

Come along! And help me change people’s minds about disability in the arts…

Read more…




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