Maureen Corrigan

A portrait photo of Maureen Corrigan
Maureen Corrigan

I have enjoyed a varied working life in health. I began as a medical practitioner then moved into management of hospitals, health services and aged care. My main qualifications are a medical degree, a master in administration and a college fellowship. I retired earlier than anticipated because of multiple sclerosis. This means I can enjoy other passions much more often.

I have a passion for healthy living and love travelling. I also enjoy reading and visiting various arts venues. Having more time to enjoy these things is something that I truly value. Writing is also a new discovery!

Maureen Corrigan's articles

A fast moving train leaving a station.
Japan bullet train

Independently going somewhere.

Travelling is a passion of mine. It is like a book whose pages open into another world. Mobility problems make it trickier to travel independently but I believe almost anything can be organised. I'll try almost any path with my scooter to arrive at amazing places. On my travels I have heard inspiring stories. One was from Miwa in Japan. With a group of friends she started a campaign to fight for elevators to be built at railway stations. The group wanted elevators at stations so people who use wheelchairs would be able catch trains independently. Elevators were built after so much passion for independence was shown. It was a fight for a right from which many benefit.
1 comment - on 12/01/2016
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Houses alongside icy waters in a Greenland town.
Greenland houses and icebergs at a small town

Homes alongside icy waters in Greenland.

I went to two fascinating islands in the polar north recently. While flying from Denmark I could see the ice cap that covers 80 per cent of Greenland. When we arrived I went on a cruise ship that sailed down the west of coast of the country. Greenland is a bit smaller than Western Australia and about 60,000 people live there. The cruise finished in Iceland and we then started a tour on a minibus. Driving around the countryside in Iceland I saw so much incredible scenery. I was surprised to be able to access many of the sights on my scooter.
4 comments - last comment on 10/12/2015
Maureen in a wheelchair with railway staff behind her.
I had to get into a manual wheelchair.

I had to use a manual wheelchair.

I have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Japan where I caused a stir riding my scooter. People everywhere were caring, respectful and willing to help. But it seemed that no one had seen such a mobility scooter before, including a staff member at the Emerging Science and Innovation Museum. The railway system was very accessible but I was not allowed to ride my scooter to or onto the train. It was not an electric wheelchair and there were rules. Our guide told us that people with mobility difficulties stay at home. A local disability advocate asked me to return to Japan to give a talk on getting out with my scooter. I think I will.
8 comments - last comment on 02/03/2016
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Maureen and Jake in an all-terrain vehicle.
Maureen Corrigan at Coolum beach.JPG

Jake drove me to the water.

I had a wonderful experience with assistance getting into the surf to swim in Queensland recently. A lifeguard drove me to the water. I wondered if I could get this assistance at other beaches. I contacted Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) and learned there are different groups responsible for safety at every beach. The Beachsafe website had very helpful information on just about every beach in Australia. It has links to service providers for beaches. However, there is not accessibility or amenities information. Contacting the relevant Surf Life Saving Club, as I did, is probably the best place to start.
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A concrete beach ramp along the sand to the sea.
Israel Corrigan beach ramp.JPG

Sloping cement paths to the water.

I did not know what to expect when I travelled to Israel. I wanted to see the country and experience the food. I found Tel Aviv was a vibrant and accessible city. There were accessible walkways, beach wheelchairs and bathing boxes in Tel Aviv’s beaches on the Mediterranean Sea coast. Even part of the old city was surprisingly accessible. I saw dividing walls but learned of friendly relations between Arabs and Jews. I also learned national disability insurance has been in place in Israel for many years. I felt safe and loved my time there.
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An old and new bus in Malta.
Two_Malta_buses

New buses replaced the old.

On holiday in Malta recently, buses were the best way of getting around the small Mediterranean island. There were many scenarios trying to get on a bus with my scooter. These included many not stopping, being too full, ramps breaking and metal ramp rings pulling off. Locals and tourists frequently used the buses. No one seemed concerned by the full buses. By the end of the holiday, we had enough of busing. Back home in Melbourne I take trams regularly but I have never caught a bus. I am interested to know what others think about their bus experiences in Victoria.
1 comment - on 10/04/2014
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A close up of the wheels of two wheelchairs.
close up of two wheelchairs

The paths made it difficult to navigate wheelchairs and scooters.

The front wheels of my scooter fell off on the first day of a holiday in Finland. It was on an unexpected cobblestone paths. Luckily, I was outside a carpentry shop and two men helped put the wheels back on. However, the wheels kept falling off. I went to buy my own set of tools to fix the wheels. I could not find a hardware store so I went to a large department store. I was lucky that a shop assistant was able to properly fix the wheels. From then on, I was able to use many other cobblestone paths.
2 comments - last comment on 29/11/2013
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A brightly coloured painting of 3 drums sitting on a wooden platform against a corrugated iron wall.
A brightly coloured painting of 3 drums sitting on a wooden platform against a corrugated iron wall.

Master of stillness, an exhibition of work by Jeffrey Smart

Jeffrey Smart is famous for his modern paintings of urban landscapes with objects that some find ugly. People have called Jeffrey Smart a narrative painter and a poet. For me, the composition of each of his paintings just begs for a story, but Jeffrey Smart says he did not have one. He says he paints the real world and leaves the interpretation up to the viewer.
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The Greenpeace ship, painted in dark green with rainbows on the bow.
rainbow_warrior

The Rainbow Warrior III is a fast vessel with its own helicopter landing pad.

The third Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace's new campaign ship, was on its first visit to Australia and had just arrived in Melbourne. One of the crew members said that the ship was here for a few days to raise awareness about what was happening on the Great Barrier Reef. A banner was flying, which said Save the Reef. It was an environmentally friendly Green ship. I gained new insights about Greenpeace and what was happening on the reef.
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An ornate golden crown
crown

The crown of a princess, buried at Tillya Tepe in northern Afghanistan.

The latest exhibition at the Melbourne Museum is Afghanistan, Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul . The treasures are from four of the 1,500 archeological sites in Afghanistan. They show a rich mix of cultures from Greek, Roman, Indian, Chinese and local Bactrian, going back over 4,000 years. The treasures, thought lost or destroyed were re-discovered in 2003, safely hidden. For over 30 years, the country has been in chaos. Art such as these treasures could be at risk again in the future.
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