Jake Briggs

More Than a Disability Advocate – Jake Briggs

A man fuelled by a passion for his people, Jake Briggs is pushing for change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples living with disability, particularly those who have interacted with the criminal justice system.

(Featured image: A bearded man wearing a blue suit and a checkered red and white shirt is sitting in his wheelchair) 

Mr. Briggs’ disability advocacy was born out of lived experience. In 2010, an accident left him as a C5/C6 Quadriplegic, at the time he worked in the construction industry. Within 12 months, he returned to work, reskilling in contracts administration. It was during this time at work that he began to engage with disability advocacy groups and campaigns.

With the fire to advocate in Jake’s belly officially burning, he left his career to work full time as the NSW Project & Business Development Manager for First Peoples Disability Network. Through his work with FPDN, Jake saw an opportunity that enabled him to focus on making the difference he truly desired and in 2019, he founded Culture Connex.

Culture Connex is Jake’s approach at ensuring every person with disability is valued, respected and supported as they should be.

Their website poignantly puts it like this:

“Like you, we don’t believe disability should limit what you do or stop you from achieving your goals. That’s why we established Culture Connex – to help you get the support you need to live a full and meaningful life, wherever you are and whatever your disability.”

Culture Connex provides more than 500 line items of support, which range from Community Nursing Care to Innovative Community Participation. Despite this huge number of supports offered, they mostly focus on providing access to trusted support workers, Support Coordination and specialist disability accommodation (SDA), home modifications and supported independent living (SIL).

Although they’re not alone in offering services like these, the Culture Connex difference is that they’re run from the perspective of lived experience with disability. As a proud Wonnarua/Kamilaroi man, Mr. Briggs also looks at his cultural heritage to offer an understanding of the challenges many first nations people with disability face when it comes to accessing the supports they need.

Jake’s resume doesn’t stop there though. He is also part of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability with a role on the panel of The First Nations Peoples Strategic Advisory Group. He’s also produced a podcast called Keep Rolling with Jake Briggs.

Along with his Culture Connex crew, Mr. Briggs is an incredible advocate for all people with disability and we’re excited to see what the future has in-store both for him and those he has set out to help.

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