Thanks to Black Inc Book, the Growing Up in Australia book series is here! With their latest book, Growing Up Disabled in Australia shares a unique and diverse range of voices from people with disabilities throughout Australia. This book series represents the highs and the lows of disability in Australia. Some of the books include Growing Up Queer in Australia and Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia.
Edited by Carly Findlay, this anthology has more than 45 stories from disabled writers throughout Australia. This book shares the highs, and the lows of disabled people. I personally related to a few of these stories, but every one of these stories is unique in their own way. Some of the authors in this book includes Senator, Jordon Steele-John and young Paralympian, Isis Holt.
Jane shares her story and experiences as a child being locked up in institutions. Throughout this time, she was institutional and domestic abuse during her childhood and teenage years. Back then the stolen generation was going on; when Aboriginal people were homed in isolations and had to work stressful hours for free. In 2009 Jane went and spoke about her journey in New Zeeland. Not long after that some people from the audience came up to her and said, “do you know that you've actually got Aboriginal in you?”. Since then, Jane knew for real that she wasn't just disabled, but she also had Aboriginal in her. Prior to this event she thought that she was Aboriginal, but until then Jane wasn't sure if she is.
This is really upsetting to hear; over the years I have met a lot of disabled people, and some of these disabled folks are black. They often say to me that yes, people outside of the disability community would identify these people as disabled, rather than black, or even black and disabled. This is shocking to hear, but there are so many barriers and problems that is within our “the disability community”, and through my personal experiences; I believe that disability and other minority communities need to be properly educated within primary and high schools.
I have been fortunate enough to meet Jordon Steele-John over the years; and his contribution within the disability community is just incredible. Born in the UK; Jordon and his entire family migrated to Australia when he was just a young boy. How close his family is just surprising me, as Jordon explained that it was unusual to have a tight family in this modern time.
Through having a tight family, Jordon's advocacy came from the stories and the love that his family shared. Jordon explains, “Me and my brother Harry, before we knew anything else as kids, we knew that we were loved. Thoroughly loved and cherished by the family we were part of." He continues, "That just a person, you are enough". - Chapter: You Are Enough by Jordon Steele-John.
As many of you know here in Australia, we have a Disability Royal Commission. This is an investigation into the neglect, violence, and abuse of disabled people. This wouldn't of been possible if it wasn't for Jordon, as well as many other disability advocates.
Looking back at these incredible stories, I wished I had this book growing up and going through my years in school. Yes, I am still growing up, and yes, I've still got a lot to learn; but for me, reading this book, I could relate to many of the stories on a personal note, and to know that I'm not alone. Please I recommend that you purchase this incredible and one of its kind anthology, as I personally believe it will change so many people's perceptions on disability and their own life as a disabled person.
There are some online stores that you can purchase this anthology:
iBooks (Apple) iBooks – PDF version. Click here
iBooks – Audiobook. Click here
Amazon – Paperback, kindle (PDF version) & paperback. Click here
Amazon – Audiobook. Click here
For my friends that live in Perth there is also a book tour for Growing Up Disabled in Australia. Which is held online thanks to Rabble Books – Click here for further information and registration for the event!