A statue of the late Stella Young, a prominent Australian disability rights activist, journalist, and comedian, unveiled in her hometown of Stawell on Thursday.
The unveiling ceremony was attended by members of Young’s family, local officials, and disability advocates, who hailed the statue as a powerful tribute to Young’s legacy and a symbol of hope for future generations of Australians with disabilities.
The statue is the first of six artworks to be unveiled over coming months as part of the Victorian Women’s Public Art Program – a $1 million investment.
A Creative Collective of artists Sarah Barton, Jillian Pearce, Janice Florence and Fayen D’Evie, alongside Lynne and Greg Young, developed the vision for the project and local sculptor Danny Fraser created it.
Their involvement led to the creation of features such as a porcelain QR code on the sandstone plinth near the statue for visitors with low vision, which takes people through to a website about Stella, and audio that is triggered via motion sensors.
Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins said: “Stella was a force to be reckoned with. Through words and wit, through intelligence and humour, she called on society to raise its expectations about what people with disability are capable of.
“She challenged our ideas and assumptions, demanded that we learn from people with disability’s lived experience, and then take action to build a better, fairer and more inclusive society.”