Hi my name is Grace Edward, and I’m an ambassador for International Day of People with Disability.
I am a multidisciplinary artist. I write, produce and direct.
I am the youngest of seven kids. My family migrated to Australia in 2003 from Kenya, although we’re originally from South Sudan.
When I was born, I was not born a person with a disability. I had an accident at the age of four that took my vision in my right eye.
My cultural background or the fact that I live with a disability are equally as important as the other.
The biggest challenge in living in Australia is not really seeing both of those communities for a long time represented authentically. I need to speak up about these things, because they don’t only affect me, but I see how it affects my communities.
At my first visit with a specialist here in Australia I was told I shouldn’t play sport. I didn’t listen to the doctor.
For most of my adolescence I played football with a club. Football, the correct word for it. [Laughs.]
I had so much fun being in a team environment; a supportive team environment. And to not let someone or something stop me from doing what I want to do.
YCDC is a youth disability CALD collective. I co-founded the group in 2020 and we are a supportive peer space for young people with lived experience of disability from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
It really came out of a need of — we can talk about our experiences. There are cultural nuances that other people may not be able to understand.
The biggest thing is seeing that we have so many young people who I think are going to continue making the disability space much more inclusive and they give me so much hope in the future. It gives me so much hope.
Grace Edward (she/her) is an Abegi and Teremo woman from Yei in South Sudan who grew up in Kenya. She is a writer, director and producer. Grace is passionate about building a sense of cultural community and being a part of disability inclusion and representation.
Grace is one of the co-founders of the Youth CALD Disability Collective (YCDC), a volunteer group made up of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) young disabled people.