Sam Cooms is committed to improving outcomes for Indigenous people with disabilities. A proud Noonukul Quandamooka woman, her life drastically changed when she became a mother to children with disabilities. Since beginning her studies, the determined CQUniversity Psychology alumnus and PhD student has committed herself to advocate for Indigenous communities and holistic care for all people with disabilities.
Sam is part of CQUniversity's First Nations Research Higher Degree Academy, the first of its kind in Australia. She uses Indigenous values to inform her career and work vision for a more inclusive society for people with disabilities – in Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) and nationally.
Sam believes that First Nations people with a disability have some of the poorest outcomes of any group in Australia, and this is echoed in many First Nation groups globally. Her research seeks to share the voice of a people in a strength-based and culturally appropriate manner. Sam hopes that her learnings about Indigenous knowledge will contribute to that conversation.