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Stella Jane Young (24 February 1982 – 6 December 2014) was an Australian comedian, journalist and disability rights activist.[1][2]

Stella Young
Stella Young.jpg
Born (1982-02-24)24 February 1982
Stawell, Victoria, Australia
Died 6 December 2014(2014-12-06) (aged 32)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Alma mater Deakin University
University of Melbourne
Occupation Journalist and comedian


Early life and educationEdit

Young was born in 1982[3] at Stawell, Victoria.[4] She was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, and used a wheelchair for most of her life.[5] At the age of 14 she audited the accessibility of the main street businesses of her hometown.[6]

She held a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations from Deakin University, Geelong and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Melbourne. After graduating in 2004, she worked for a time as a secondary school teacher.[7][8]


Stella Young being interviewed at Floriade in 2013

Young served as the editor for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's online magazine, Ramp Up.[8] Before joining the ABC, she had worked as an educator in public programs at Melbourne Museum, and hosted eight seasons of No Limits, a disability culture program on community television station Channel 31.[6]

In a Ramp Up editorial published in July 2012 she deconstructed society's habit of turning disabled people into what she called "inspiration porn".[9] The concept was further popularized in her April 2014 TEDxSydney talk, entitled "I'm not your inspiration, thank you very much".[7]

Having previously appeared in several comedy showcases and group shows, Stella made her festival debut as a solo performer at the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Her show Tales from the Crip, directed by Nelly Thomas, won her the award for best newcomer at the festival.[6]

She was a member of the boards of the Ministerial Advisory Council for the Department of Victorian Communities, Victorian Disability Advisory Council, the Youth Disability Advocacy Service and Women with Disabilities Victoria.[10]

In 2017 Young was inducted posthumously onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in recognition of her work as a "journalist, comedian, feminist and fierce disability activist".[11]


Contributed chapterEdit

  • "The politics of exclusion", pp. 246-256, in: Destroying the joint, edited by Jane Caro, Read How You Want (2015, ISBN 9781459687295).


Young died unexpectedly in Melbourne, on 6 December 2014 of a suspected aneurysm.[12]


  1. ^ Bannister, Brooke (29 February 2012). "Who are you? Stella Young". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Stella Young profile". 31 March 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Stella Young (26 April 2013). "The Politics of Exclusion". Ramp Up. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In 1982, the year I was born, the Victorian Government announced a major review of the education system for children with disabilities. 
  4. ^ Dave Fregon. "Stella Young | 2012 Global Atheist Convention". Archived from the original on 10 March 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Michelle Griffin (22 September 2011). "Lunch with Stella Young". Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Calligeros, Marissa (8 December 2014). "Stella Young dead: comedian, ABC journalist and disability advocate dies at 32". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "TED Speaker: Stella Young". Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "ABC Ramp Up: About This Website". Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  9. ^ Young, Stella (3 July 2012). "We're not here for your inspiration - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Retrieved 3 December 2016. 
  10. ^ "Stella Young, writer, comedian and disability activist dies". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Victorian Honour Roll of Women 2017". Women Victoria ( Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  12. ^ Marissa Calligeros (29 February 2012). "Stella Young dead: comedian, ABC journalist and disability advocate dies at 32". Retrieved 23 December 2015. 

External linksEdit