Archive for December, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19th, 2014

From the staff at Monash Disability Services, have a very happy, safe and peaceful holidays and a wonderful new year.

See you in 2015! And in the spirit of the holidays, here is one last heartwarming video for the year.


Department of Justice People with a Disability Leadership Scholarships Program 2015

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The Department of Justice (Victorian Government) is administering a Scholarships Program commencing in the 2015 academic year.

The People with a Disability Leadership Scholarships Program 2015 seeks to support students with a disability who are studying justice-related subjects. Scholarships will be of two years in duration and are intended to support students engaging in studies including (but not limited to):

  • Law
  • Criminology
  • Para-legal
  • Psychology
  • Social work
  • Other justice-related fields

There are three scholarships on offer for the 2015 academic year:

  • $20,000 to the candidate who tops the list of applicants, and
  • $5,000 each to the two ‘runners-up’ in the process.

The closing date for applications is 5.00 pm 27 February 2015.

You can find the Program Guidelines and Program Application Form linked here.

Stella Young Memorial Service

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

A public memorial service will be held to rejoice in the life, achievements and legacy of the fabulously dishonourable comedian, journalist and disability activist Stella Young.

The party will be held on Friday 19th December at 11am at the Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne City. Federation Square will be offering an interactive screening program honouring Stella’s life and work from 9am – 3.30pm. The memorial service is open to everyone, and admittance will be on a first come, first served basis. We strongly advise getting there early to secure a seat. Doors will be open from 10am for an 11am service (60min duration). All guests are advised to please enter via the accessible entrance on Collins Street.

The organisers will make every possible effort to meet the access requirements of all guests. The service will offer Auslan interpreting, Live Captioning, Audio Description, water bowls for Companion animals, a hearing loop, additional accessible toilets and seating choices for people who use wheelchairs.

Please visit for further access and transport information.

People from Stella’s home-town of Stawell are extended an extra heart-felt and warm welcome.

As the Melbourne Town Hall has limited capacity – and in recognition that some people will be unable to travel to the service – it will be simulcast live at Federation Square, on ABC News 24 & on digital radio 774 ABC Victoria.

The dress code is FABULOUS. If possible, we’d love you to wear red and white spotted shoes, bright colours and little to no black. Pink or purple hair is a definite bonus, as are the incorporation of chenille stems.


Watch paralympian Dylan Alcott rap with Ghostface Killah at Meredith

Monday, December 15th, 2014

“What better way to unwind after 24 hours of world record breaking tennis than rapping your favourite verse, with one of your favourite rappers from your favourite group of all time.”

So said Australian gold medallist who just spent his weekend at Meredith Music Festival – part of it on-stage with Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah rapping in front of a packed crowd. The 24-year-old paralympian crowdsurfed his way to the front of the festival audience where he joined the New York rapper centrestage and totally nailed a verse of Wu classic, ‘Protect Ya Neck’.

The Saturday afternoon performance follows the athlete completing a 24-hour marathon of wheelchair tennis in Melbourne last Thursday, as ABC News details, raising nearly $70,000 for the Starlight Foundation and Variety Children’s Charity.”I had ice packs on my hands because my wrists were so swollen from playing 24 hours of tennis,” says Dylan, who has scored the opportunity to meet his rap hero backstage at Meredith.


A Crip tribute to Stella Young

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

A Crip tribute to Stella Young is an evening of readings by crips and non-crips of Stella’s work or of letter’s we have penned to Stella to commemorate and celebrate what a great woman and amazing disability activist she was. Join us and read something, just sit and listen or share your favourite memories of Stella. Any money raised will go to Domestic Violence Victoria, as per the Young family’s request. www.

Confirmed readers include:

  • Angie Jones
  • Clem Ford
  • Kate Hood
  • Kath Duncan
  • Carly Findlay
  • Jax-Jacki Brown
  • Ross Cottee

Bearbrass Asylum Orchestra- our house crip band!

Doors open at 7.30pm and the readings start at 8pm
Hares and Hyenas
63 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065

This event is fully wheelchair accessible, but sadly this event will NOT be Auslan interpreted.


Stella Young, writer, comedian and disability activist dies

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Prominent disability activist, writer and comedian Stella Young has died aged 32. Ms Young was the former editor of the ABC’s disability news and opinion website, Ramp up. Her family said she passed away on Sunday.

“With great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Stella Young, our much loved and irreplaceable daughter and sister,” the family said in a statement. “A private funeral will take place soon, followed by a public event in Melbourne, with more details to come.  “Our loss is a deeply personal one. We request privacy during this difficult time.”

Ms Young was born in Stawell, in country Victoria, with Osteogenesis imperfecta. She studied to become a teacher, before beginning a career in journalism.

Read tributes to Stella from the ABC’s Mark Scott and Wendy Harmer.

In a letter to her 80 year old self she wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald:

But on my path to reach you, I promise to grab every opportunity with both hands, to say yes as often as I can, to take risks, to scare myself stupid, and to have a shitload of fun.


$3M funding takes Monash Bionic Vision closer

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The Monash Vision Group (MVG) moves a step closer to clinical trials of its Bionic Eye, thanks to landmark donations from two respected business leaders.

Dr Marc Besen and Chancellor Alan Finkel have each donated $1 million to the groundbreaking project through their respective foundations. With an additional commitment of $1 million from Monash University, the philanthropic donations will cover critical development costs. The support keeps MVG on track through the next phase of the project, culminating in the first human trials next year.

Over 50,000 people in Australia are considered clinically blind and the number exceeds 160 million globally. The bionic eye offers hope of restored vision to humankind and has the potential to change tens of thousands of lives.


24 Hours of Wheelchair Tennis

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

On Thursday December 11th at 7am, Dylan Alcott will attempt to break the world record for the longest continuous playing of wheelchair tennis, playing for 24 consecutive hours. Dylan is the current world number 4 wheelchair tennis player. and is a former Paralympic and World Champion winning wheelchair basketballer. Dylan is completing the challenge to attempt to raise $100,000 collectively for two charities he holds very close to his heart, The Starlight Foundation and Variety – the Children’s Charity, with all proceeds being split between both.

Thursday 11th December (7am) – Friday 12th December (7am)

Where: Tennis Australia – Melbourne Park (home of the Australian Open) – Court 24 (new National Tennis Academy side)

Who: Dylan will be playing with many sporting stars and celebrities from across Australia, including basketballer Elizabeth Cambage, actress Olympia Valance, AFL stars Chris Dawes, Jack Watts and Tom Hawkins, professional tennis players Storm Sanders and Luke Saville amongst others.

(Note: Absolutely anybody can come and have a hit with Dylan on the day, and we strongly encourage it. There will even be spare wheelchairs on site to try wheelchair tennis. If you would like to come down and ‘pay to play’ against Dylan, please email for more details).