Sunday, July 21, 2024

Disability day ambassadors named

The Federal Government has announced seven prominent Australians as ambassadors for this year’s International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) on Saturday 3 December. 

Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth said she was thrilled some of Australia’s most creative and passionate individuals will lend their voice to support the annual event.  

Among the group is Chloe Hayden, the first Australian actor with autism to co-lead a television series – the remake of Heartbreak High

Actor Chloe Hayden.

People with disabilities often don’t see themselves represented in broader society – in moments of crisis, they can feel excluded and left behind, the Minister said.

As such, the theme for this year’s United Nations International Day of People with Disability is ‘Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world’. 

“I am proud this year we have a number of individuals who put this message into action, championing the rights of people with disability every day,” said Minister Rishworth.

Filmmaker Nathan Basha.

Other ambassadors this year include disability and gender equity advocate, Akii Ngo; motivational speaker and filmmaker Nathan Basha; Indigenous elder, Uncle Wilfred Prince; tourism advocates, Braeden and Julie Jones, and ground-breaking artist, Eliza Hull.

Minister Rishworth said celebrating IDPwD was a collaborative effort between Government, organisations, community groups, businesses and individuals. 

While the IDPwD Ambassadors play a key role in raising awareness, she encouraged all people in Australia to get involved. 

Indigenous elder Uncle Wilfred Prince.

“You can host an event or start a conversation in your workplace, school or community this December to recognise the 4.4 million Australians with disability,” she said.

“While IPDwD is a day to celebrate, it is also an important reminder to Australians that breaking down barriers and encouraging a more inclusive and respectful society is everyone’s responsibility. 

“We all have a role to play in ensuring people with disability have the opportunity to reach their full potential and participate in all aspects of community life.”

IDPwD is a United Nations observed day held on 3 December that aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.

For more information about the 2022 IDPwD ambassadors, and how to get involved, go to www.idpwd.com.au

The 2022 IPDwD Australian ambassadors are:

  • Akii Ngo is an international multi award-winning disability, gender equity advocate and activist, educator, presenter, consultant, qualified public health nutritionist and communications professional. Akii is a proud Queer, trans non-binary, chronically ill neurodivergent and disabled person of colour from a refugee background.
  • Nathan Basha is a motivational speaker and filmmaker who works at a prominent radio station and advocates for equity in employment access for people with disability. He was a finalist for the NSW 2016 Young Australian of the Year Award and was nominated for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Young People’s Human Rights Medal in 2014. 
  • Uncle Wilfred Prince is an Indigenous elder with cerebral palsy. Uncle Wilfred founded the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland to help ensure a fair go for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with disability.
  • Chloe Hayden is an award-winning motivational speaker, actor, performer, author and disability rights advocate. She was diagnosed with ADHD and autism at 13 years old and is passionate about celebrating diversity and creating a better future.  Chloe plays a lead role in the remake of TV series Heartbreak High, and is the first Australian actor with autism to co-lead a series.  
  • Julie, Braeden and the Jones family (pictured) founded the website Have Wheelchair Will Travel, and Julie is co-founder and editor of the Travel Without Limits magazine (Australia’s only disability-specific travel magazine) while being an advocate for accessible and inclusive tourism. Braeden lives with cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user, and loves being involved in every aspect of the community. 
  • Eliza Hull is an award winning musician, writer and speaker who works to change how the world views disability. She was the creator of the successful podcast series on parenting with a disability, We’ve Got This, for Radio National and was the editor of the book anthology We’ve Got This in 2022. Eliza is the co-creator of the children’s book, Come Over to My House, about various families with disability. 

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