Scott Avery recognised for leadership in disability
PhD student Scott Avery has been named a finalist in the 2018 Australian National Awards for Disability Leadership for his research and published report Culture Is Inclusion: A narrative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability, released in July this year. The nomination is for the 'Inclusion' award category.
The report is the outcome of a research project that promotes the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability within research and policy. Led by the First Peoples Disability Network it creates a ‘narrative’ of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability by combining their personal testimony gathered through interviews with statistical data sourced from Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The project commenced with a firmly set community-directed approach to disability research, inclusive of all people who wished to participate and subject only to their self-identification as a member of the First Peoples disability community. The research is discrimination and trauma-informed, acknowledging the unique sensitivities of conducting research that includes people who are both Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and have disability.
“I think a lot of people hold assumptions about what people with disability can and can’t do, and we would like this research to debunk a lot of those myths,” said Avery.
The research is not just tackling the systemic barriers, but a lot of the attitudes that people might hold, both for Aboriginal people and people with disability.
The National Awards for Disability Leadership recognise outstanding achievements by individuals, or disabled people’s organisations, who have significantly contributed to advancing the status of disabled people. The Awards reflect what is important to disabled people and the ways that we are effecting change and pursuing equality for our community.
Scott Avery is FPDN’s Research and Policy Director and a community researcher and a PhD candidate under the Centre for Health Services Management, Faculty of Health. He is leading the ‘Living Our Ways’ research program which has conducted research in urban and remote regions of NSW, Central Northern Territory, and with Deaf and hearing impaired Aboriginal people. His research is supervised by Professor Joanne Travaglia and Dr Deborah Debono.