Legacy of Stella Young acknowledged through arts award

Posted 8 months ago by Nicole Pope

The award was established in Stella’s name to recognise her important achievements [Source: Arts Access Victoria]
The award was established in Stella’s name to recognise her important achievements [Source: Arts Access Victoria]

An inaugural award named after the late Stella Young will recognise young Australian artists with disability.

Stella, a prominent disability activist, writer and comedian with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder causing bones to break easily, passed four years ago, aged 32.

Arts Access Victoria (AAV) proudly announced its Stella Young Award will be awarded annually to artists aged between 16 and 30 years old who have demonstrated significant impact or achievement in disability activism through the arts.

It aims to support the professional development of young artists with a disability, to build and inspire the next generation of activists, driven by creativity and passion in transforming our society.

The award was established in Stella’s name to recognise her important achievements through her early work with Disability Media Australia on the the program No Limits, a pioneering program which challenged the representation of disability in Australian screen culture.

It also emphasises her resounding call to action around disability pride: You get proud by practicing.

AAV Executive Director, Veronica Pardo worked alongside Stella’s family, friends and colleagues to establish this award and knew Stella well.

“She was a beacon for the disability sector, bringing disability into a mainstream discourse. As an artist she pushed boundaries about who is an artist and how art is made,” she says.

“[This award] is critically important for young artists [with disability] who are often overlooked for opportunities.”

AAV also offers an arts and disability advocacy scholarship in the name of the late Lesley Hall, a feminist, influential disability advocate and former Chief Executive of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations.

“I think young people with disability have a lot to tell us through the vehicle of the arts,” Ms Pardo says.  

Artists who practice in comedy, performing arts and screen culture can apply for the award.

To be eligible for the award the successful applicant must be a person with disability or has lived with mental health issues, is aged between 16 and 30 years old and is an Australian resident.

The successful recipient of the award will receive $3,000.

Applications for the Stella Young Award are now open until 25 May 2018 at 5pm.

For more information visit Arts Access Victoria to download an application form.

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