Angela Cox is the Principal of Special Voices. She is also a published author of a book on the sibling experience of disability.
Angela holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Western Australia and was admitted as barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1997. She also holds a current Victorian legal practising certificate and is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria. In 2002, she graduated with a Master of Arts (Middle East and Central Asian Studies) degree with First Class Honours from the Australian National University. In 2020, she completed the Law Institute of Victoria’s Legal Practice Management Course in 2020.
Angela has over 20 years’ experience in private and government legal practice. She worked for several years as a personal injuries lawyer in Perth, defending motor vehicle accident, workers compensation and medical negligence claims. While undertaking her postgraduate studies in Canberra, she also worked as a ministerial adviser, lawyer and project officer in the immigration area, focusing on asylum seeker and refugee issues. As a Melburnian, she has worked as a senior policy adviser to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services on the historical launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Barwon, Victoria in 2013. She has also held senior legislation, public and administrative lawyer roles in a number of Victorian Government departments.
Angela is passionate about helping families get what they need from disability support systems, so that their beloved family member with disability, and all family members, can live the best possible life. Moreover, she understands the pain and frustration that parents and siblings usually have to endure as they battle ‘the system’ to get vital disability and carer services and supports. She and her family have ‘been there’ many times!
This is because Angela has a younger brother, with Down syndrome. Growing up in the 1970s and 80s, she watched her parents fight for the health, education, recreation, respite and later employment and accommodation services that he needed. Her parents were actively involved in what were, back then, ‘grassroots’ disability organisations: Catholic Care for Intellectually Handicapped Persons (now ‘identitywa’) and the Slow Learning Children’s Group (now ‘active’). Now, as her brother’s NDIS and Centrelink nominee (and protective ‘big sister’!) she staunchly advocates to ensure that these contemporary systems adequately provide for his and her elderly mother’s needs.
Following the 2014 publication of her book, ‘Me and My Brother’, a book of stories of people with disability and their siblings living in the Macedon Ranges region of Victoria, Angela started informally advocating for some of the families featured in her book, and educating the community about the NDIS ahead of its rollout in the region.
The ‘Me and My Brother’ project, combined with her personal experience, motivated Angela to, in 2018, implement her long-held vision to establish a purely NDIS-focused legal and advocacy service to support families. And so Special Voices was born.
Angela lives in Melbourne with her dog, Jack. She loves writing, running, cycling, gardening and anything to do with animals.