Five of the best: Australian disability activists

There are so many great disability activists working to promote inclusion and remove barriers facing people with disability in Australia. Here are five of our favourite Australian disability activists.

We know that there are many great people creating awareness and understanding of inclusion and barriers to participation. Here we name a few of our favourites.

1. Senator Jordon Steele-John

Senator Jordon Steele-John is the youngest ever Australian senator, and if that wasn’t impressive enough, he’s also the first person with disability to sit in the upper house of the Australian Parliament. Check out his first speech in Parliament here.


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A post shared by Jordon Steele-John (@jordonsteelejohn)

2. Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay OAM is a writer, speaker, disability activist, and super stylish fashionista! She started out blogging about her skin condition, Ichthyosis, which has led to numerous awards and accolades.

Carly regularly writes about disability in the media and in recent years published her memoir ‘Say Hello’ and anthology ‘Growing Up Disabled’ – add them to your reading list! In 2020, Carly received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her work as a disability advocate and activist.


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A post shared by Carly Findlay OAM (@carlyfindlay)

3. Dylan Alcott

Dylan Alcott, AOM is a former Australian Paralympic athlete, radio host, motivational speaker, and 2022 Australian of the Year. Dylan became the youngest wheelchair basketball gold medallist in history at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, and is the only man to complete the Golden Slam in quad singles.

Since retiring from professional tennis in 2022, Dylan is focusing on giving young Australians with disability more opportunities to get involved in sport and study through the Dylan Alcott Foundation, and using his platform to advocate for the rights of people with a disability.


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4. Alastair McEwin

Alastair McEwin is Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner and an accomplished human rights advocate.

When we asked Alastair what a perfect world would look like he said: “I think it’s quite simple – attitudes and inclusiveness.”


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A post shared by Alastair McEwin (@almcewinddc)

5. Cátia Malaquias

Cátia Malaquias is an award-winning lawyer, human rights advocate and mother of three children. Her son, Julius, has Down syndrome.

He motivated Cátia to create Starting With Julius, a not for profit organisation committed to promoting equal representation of people with disability in advertising, media and education.


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Main blog image: By robbiesaurus from Smithtown, NY, USA (Dylan Alcott (AUS)) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons