People are leaders in their own lives
When Samaritans was established over 20 years ago, we set out some clear values and principles which would help shape our services into the future.
One such principle was that services should help people to take control of their lives and live with dignity.
A benefit of having clear principles such as this helps us to make decisions when considering complex policy issues or social justice statement.
For example when quarantining of welfare payments was introduced a few years ago in the Northern Territory we opposed this, because the decision-making about how the funds should be spent was taken FROM the welfare recipient TO a government department.
We should not be determining that people are incapable of handling their own income based on where they live.
Another example is the NDIS which promoted the notion that people with disabilities should control how their funds should be spent and we have supported this with great enthusiasm.
We believe that people with disabilities should be the experts in their own lives, should determine how their funds are spent, should determine where they live and who they live with, should determine how they spend their time and how they make a contribution to the community.
So yes, we still believe 20 years later that services should help people take control of their lives and live with dignity.