The event has been led by a Youth Disability Reference Group - made up of young people from diverse cultural backgrounds with lived experience of disability to design and deliver this event.
Purpose of the event:
The event aims to add to raise awareness and facilitate discussion around disability, cultural identity and young people’s lived experiences, and connections between young people and the sector.
It will begin with a panel discussion followed by Q&A. It will be held over Zoom, streamed onto Youtube (with closed captions on the Youtube stream) and supported by a live Twitter thread.
This event will include AUSLAN interpreters.
Meet the Panel
Cindy Cindy (She/Her) is a passionate youth advocate, currently studying psychology and criminology at university. She is passionate about increasing mental health literacy, disability rights, diverse representation and the voices and concerns of young people. Cindy is interested in how society, culture, identity and spaces affect young people and vice versa. She has done work with Headspace in increasing mental health literacy in the community, the Youth Disability Advocacy Service in advocating for disability rights and MYAN with diverse representation in the space of intersectionality.
Varsha Varsha is a 20-year-old student and social activist from Sydney, studying a BA of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at UNSW. She is currently a Youth Activist for Plan International Australia. Varsha is also part of the 2019 Young Social Pioneer cohort for the Foundation of Young Australians social innovation incubator program, under the disability stream where she is working on tackling the stigma surrounding communication disabilities and speech impediments within education systems and the workforce. Varsha is passionate about the spaces where gender, literacy, disability advocacy and social innovation coincide.
Ashleigh Ash is a 21-year-old disability advocate who is passionate about creating meaningful inclusion by highlighting the voices of those from diverse identities and backgrounds. Born to parents with a refugee and migrant background, they bring an intersectional lens to their advocacy work informed by their lived experience with disability and journey with cultural identity in Australia. This lens is brought to their professional work at Drummond Street Services and Headspace. Ash is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Gender Studies and Philosophy, and a Diploma In Visual Arts.
Markos Markos (He/Him) is a multifaceted creator and advocate. He studied Media and Communications at the University of Melbourne and has worked in a variety of media roles. His main passion in life is facts: He writes fact-based articles, he tweets facts (@FactBuffet) and he won Hard Quiz in 2017. He wants to spread beneficial information far and wide while counteracting harmful mistruths. Along with MYAN, Markos has volunteered at the Mental Health Foundation of Australia, Meals on Wheels, Sentient Media (an animal rights group) and RESULTS (an anti-poverty organisation).
Event Moderator Grace is a Meanjin (Brisbane) based playwright, director and creative producer from Yei, South Sudan. She believes in the power of storytelling as a tool to understand one another better. Through storytelling, Grace explores different aspects of what it means to be a third-culture child and a person of colour, living in so-Australia today. She has co-written, produced and directed three theatre productions in Brisbane. Grace has spoken around Australia on a range of issues including youth leadership, education, health, intergenerational conflict, systemic racism, and displacement. She is a member of MyQ and a previous MYAN Youth Ambassador for QLD.