Disability and Identity Webinar

On October 11, International Day of the Girl, the WWDA Youth Network are bringing a webinar to you about Disability and Identity.

The webinar will include four speakers with different, intersecting identities about their experiences of being disabled and identifying (or not) as a member of the disability community.

The discussion will cover a number of topics, including experiences of being women, LGBTIQA+ and culturally and / or linguistically diverse (CaLD) and having disability.

The webinar will include captions and Auslan.

Guest Speakers:

Carly Findlay

Bright pink square tile with a round purple LEAD logo, and a circle insert of a woman with a red face, short curly hair with a small bow in it. She's wearing a bright floral top and a sparkly jeweled necklace. Text reads: "Guest Speaker Carly Findlay".

Carly Findlay OAM is an award-winning writer, speaker and appearance activist. Her first book, a memoir called Say Hellowas released in January 2019. Carly edited the anthology Growing Up Disabled in Australia with Black Inc Books. It’s in stores now.
She writes on disability and appearance diversity issues for news outlets including the ABC, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald and SBS.
In 2020, Carly Findlay received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her work as a disability advocate and activist.
She was named one of Australia’s most influential women in the 2014 Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. She has appeared on ABC TV’s You Can’t Ask That and Cyberhate with Tara Moss, and has been a regular on various ABC radio programs. She has spoken at the Melbourne Writers Festival, the University of Western England and Melbourne University – to name a few. She organised the history-making Access to Fashion – a Melbourne Fashion Week event featuring disabled models. She has a Masters of Communication and Bachelor of eCommerce.
Carly identifies as a proud disabled woman – she lives with a rare, severe skin condition, ichthyosis. She organised Australia’s first Ichthyosis meet in 2015 – bringing together 75 people affected by the rare, severe skin condition Ichthyosis. 25 attendees had Ichthyosis. Friendships and support networks were formed.

Ash Hem

Ash is 22, neurodivergent, disabled, queer, asian and a passionate advocate for the centering of lived experience. They work to ensure space is made for people who are often dismissed because of their backgrounds and identities by sharing their lived experiences, amplifying the lived experiences of others and supporting others to share their experiences.

Lily Hodgson

Lily Hodgson, is a Dyiramadilinya Wiradjuri Malungan (proud Wiradjuri woman) who suffers from severe PTSD, FND (Functional Neurological Disorder) and ADHD.Lily comes from a very strong family who has survived the Stolen Generation. Inter-generational trauma, identity stripping and poor physical/mental health inclusive of disability is a common theme for many First Nation’s families & individuals, including Lily’s. Lily’s goal in this life is to show others how to break free from these commons; and actively showing others that you can be stronger than you believe you are. Lily loves connecting with people, connecting to culture, and in doing so connecting others through her art and her voice.

Margot Beavon-Collin

Margot is a Political Economy and History student at the University of Sydney, where she has been a Disability Office Bearer since 2019. She is a current member of the WWDA Youth Advisory Group and PWDA’s Pandemic Project, and has been involved with the Disabled and Neurodivergent Workers’ Alliance and the Disability Justice Network. Her analysis has been published in Militant Monthly and Honi Soit.

Hosted By:

Akii Ngo (They/Them)

(Masters of Social Work (in progress), GradDipCCM, B.HumNut(Nut&Diet), DipProjMgmt, CertIVTAE)

Akii is a disability leader and multi-award winning gender equity advocate passionate about disability rights and representation. They are a proud, young, disabled, non-binary femme and queer/pan person of colour.

Akii is a first generation Aussie from a refugee background, who lives with multiple complex chronic illnesses and disabilities including Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, MCAS, POTS, FND, C-PTSD, Spinal Stenosis & FND. A survivor advocate, board director & company secretary of Disability Justice Australia and sits on a number of advisory committees and working groups across Australia within the health and disability advocacy sector. In addition to advising and consulting for LGBTIQA+ rights, gender equity and trauma informed violence prevention (especially since many of Akii’s disability are a direct result of intimate partner violence) which Akii has bravely shared on WWDA Our Site. Akii is the recipient of the 2020 Australian Disability Leadership Awards in Social Change, the 2021 7News Young Australian of the Year VIC Leadership Semi Finalist and has recently been announced a 2021 D-30 International Diversability Impact Leader.

Akii is dedicated to accessibility, universal design, non-tokenistic representation and is a fierce advocate for people with chronic pain, chronic illness, and disabilities (visible and invisible) due to their own lifetime of lived experiences. Akii is an agency represented and internationally published model – working to challenge the perception and create a positive change within the media, fashion and beauty industry for disabled individuals, and communities.

They are a qualified public health nutritionist and health promotion practitioner with over 10 years’ experience throughout Australia and overseas in capacity building, advocacy, policy, co-design and systemic health promotion practice. Akii has spent their entire career dedicated to making a positive and sustainable difference to the community. Currently working as Project Manager/Coordinator for Disability Sport & Recreation, managing a team of six to help revitalise the disability sport and recreation sector in a covid-normal world, to better support and increase the number of Victorians with disabilities to participate in active reaction and sport. And as a Researcher Assistant at Black Dog Institute, UNSW & Deakin Uni working on a project about trauma for people who identify as women marginalised by mental illness, disability and refugee status.