Australian Embassy

“Ask Me Anything”: Disability Advocates Answer Big Questions

Media Release

11 December 2019

Stereotypes are something that many groups of people are subject to, and that includes those people with a disability.

On 10 December, the Australian Embassy hosted a Big Ideas seminar that challenged those stereotypes, as a panel of people with disabilities were asked honest questions about their life experiences.

The panel included Angkie Yudistia, the founder of Thisable Enterprise and one of President Widodo’s special staff, Vanessa Vlajkovic, Western Australian disability advocate and Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program participant, composer, pianist Ananda Sukarlan, and disability and social inclusion consultant Bahrul Fuad.

Moderated by Marthella Rivera Roidatua, founder of Koneksi Indonesia Inklusif, the panellists of the “Ask Me Anything” event answered anonymous questions from the audience about their achievements, experiences of discrimination and even romance.

“Over 1 billion people worldwide have a disability. A genuinely inclusive society must ensure they have the same rights and protections that we all have,” Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Gary Quinlan said. “These discussions highlight how much work there is for all of us to do to build that inclusion.”

The Australian Government, through its development partnership with Indonesia, supports targeted and mainstreamed activities in disability inclusion in Indonesia, including supporting people with disability to access public services and social assistance and supporting inclusive infrastructure development.

The event was part of the Embassy’s celebrations of International Day of People with Disability and presented by the Embassy’s Australia Connect campaign.

Big Ideas is a seminar series run by the Australian Embassy Jakarta which explores contemporary topics of interest to Indonesia and Australia. Events aim to generate quality discussions that contribute to the development of new ideas, new perspectives and new networking opportunities for attendees.

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