World Access to Higher Education Day - Champions for Change
Champions for Change is an annual initiative, developed by the NCSEHE and Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia (EPHEA) as a component of World Access to Higher Education Day Australasia.
Nearly 150 Champions were announced at the 2021 World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED) event, recognising and celebrating their outstanding work in supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The following 2021 Champions for Change have provided a valuable contribution towards improving the access and success of students with disability in the Higher Education sector:
Darren Britten (University of Tasmania - ADCET)
In his new role as National Assistive Technology Officer, Darren has gone above and beyond to ensure tertiary education staff and students have access to expert advice about all things assistive technology. He offers a supportive community of practice, regular virtual drop-in sessions and newsletters.
Assistive Technology Specialists - Sally Leggo & Natalie McLaughlin (Western Sydney University)
Sally and Natalie work tirelessly to destigmatise and mainstream Assistive Technology at Western Sydney University - improving the learning/work experience for many. In addition to helping those with a formal disability adjustment, they have made tailored support available to all students and staff.
Jessica Buhne (University of Sydney - Centre for Disability Studies)
Jess works tirelessly to advocate for tertiary education to be accessible to, and inclusive of, all students, including those with disability. She collaborates with educators, equity professionals, and key community stakeholders to improve systems and enhance knowledge, prioritising lived experience.
Lisa Chiang (Griffith University)
Lisa has been a firm advocate for mental health at Griffith University for a number of years now. Her advocacy goes beyond the confines of her job, with clear impact on students and educators. Her Meaningful Minute videos have transformed my classes, and mental health video series supporting students.
Baden Cutts (Federation University)
Baden has worked tirelessly to improve the access and success of students with disabilities at both Fed Tafe and Fed Uni. His dedication and enthusiasm for inclusion and his dynamic innovative approach to services with students have made him a champion for change within this institution.
Equitable Learning Services team - Smoxi Chen, Jacinta Jones O’Meara, Joseph Beswick, Maddy Dack, Tracy Galloway, Elnaz Rasouli, Hannah Freedman-Smith, Reema Muneer, Tania Perez & Jessica Craig-Piper (RMIT University)
The team pivoted so well to supporting students remotely during Melbourne lockdowns. Completed proactive mental health check-ins with over 2,500 registered students!
Elicia Ford (University of Sydney – Centre for Disability Studies)
Elicia is a tireless advocate for students with disability. She has worked on impactful strategic projects including UDL training, COVID-19 Responses, the DSE Review, the NDIS workforce enquiry, and has made significant contributions to the goals of ATEND, EPHEA and ADCET and the NDCO Program.
University of Queensland Disability Inclusion Group - Tim Dunne (champion), Paul Harpur (Chair), Kym Powell, Tim Sweeney, Celina Campas, Rob Pensalfini, Alicia Steele, Clare Tarlington, Angela Hannan, Leonie Meyn, Kathy Ellem, Rene Ferm, Melinda Browning, Peter Rutherford, Jolene Cooper, Cecilia Flux, Brett Crunkhorn, Anthony Zgrajewski, Merrill Turpin, Paul Sheeran, Krista Markham & Brooke Szucs (University of Queensland)
Formed in 2017, UQ’s Disability Inclusion Group (DIG) provides outstanding leadership and advocacy for students/staff with disability. It is led by persons with disabilities, reports to the Deputy Provost and the chair of the UQ DIG sis on the UQ Senate Sub-Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.