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Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee

Meet the committee!

The Committee provides advice and guidance on all aspects of the Festival including our Disability Action and Inclusion Plan, built environments, access services available across our programs and community building. Committee members are paid for their time and meet at four key stages across the year.

The committee is comprised of members with a range of access requirements, disability and/or lived experience, and includes patrons, artists and service organisation representatives.

Passionate Deaf advocate, NDIS project coordinator, and Access Consultant, with a lifetime of experience in self-advocacy, inter-community and intercultural collaboration. Laura has experience spanning from mental health support and education, disability inclusion and awareness, to creating and facilitating community spaces and engagement for marginalised groups. Laura's varied experience and especially powerful lived experience, gives them the tools to create meaningful projects and opportunities both online and off for deaf & disabled. Outside of work, they are either gigging with their deaf band, or cooking up new creative art and video collaborations within the deaf community, to show off our beautiful Auslan and deaf culture.

Consultant – arts, diversity, access and inclusion. An accomplished leader, consultant and facilitator with 15 years’ experience in government, the arts, not-for-profit and university sectors, Morwenna has worn the hats of CEO, senior leadership team member, project manager, lecturer, researcher, trainer and advisor. She is currently working as a consultant specialising in strategy, diversity, access and inclusion in relation to the arts, and is a member of advisory committees with the City of Sydney, Sydney Festival and Perth Festival. She recently completed a Churchill Fellowship, exploring inclusive music programs, venues and festivals which actively engage disabled people across the USA, UK and Ireland. Her work is influenced by her own lived experience as a musician with disability.

Simone Flavelle is Screenwest's Diversity and Inclusion Manager, developing WA screen industry knowledge and practice around diversity and supporting practitioners identifying as diverse to be included in industry. Simone was previously a Founding Member and Digital Producer at DADAA (Disability in the Arts, Disadvantage in the Arts Australia), designing and implementing arts and cultural projects, workshops and digital mentoring programs with over 90 Western Australians identifying primarily as disability diverse. Led by artists with disability, Simone has supported performers, visual/digital/sound artists and film makers to create works for screen, exhibition, theatre, specific sites and online. She is a parent to two young men living with disability.

Raf Gonzalez is a Latino multi-disciplinary artist; born and raised in Perth, he comes from a family of migrants who moved from El Salvador to Australia during the Salvadoran Civil War. Raf is a proud Aspie whose work highlights often-marginalized diverse identities, raising them from supporting character to protagonist, and giving them the agency they often aren’t afforded. Raf has been supported by DADAA and the Centre for Stories with his writing.

Patrick Gunasekera (he/him) is a self-producing interdisciplinary artist of Sri Lankan migrant heritage, living in Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar. His theatre, dance, music and award-winning written works explore how cycles of violence are normalised in unequal societies, and how marginalised lived experiences are sites of agency, autonomy, knowledge and transformative growth. Patrick’s solo and collaborative performance works have been presented across local and interstate festivals, artist-run initiatives, and contemporary performance venues, and his writing has been widely published online and in print. In addition to systemic advocacy in the arts and in public sectors, Patrick has an independent practice as a cultural safety mentor – working with independent artists and small to medium-sized arts organisations to create culturally safe workplaces, and ensure underrepresented artists have cultural autonomy over their creative work. He has worked in arts journalism since 2019, exclusively covering the practices of disabled, migrant, queer and young artists through a peer lens.

Melanie works two days a week in Media and Corporate Communications for the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and was the Secretary of Women With Disabilities WA Inc - a non-profit incorporated organisation that is run by women with disabilities for women with disabilities. She graduated from Murdoch University with a double major in Japanese and Communication Studies in 2000 and has since worked as a Japanese interpreter. Melanie is also a User Analyst for Web Key IT, testing websites and documents for compatibility with her assistive technology. She loves socialising with friends and family and attending concerts and events and is thrilled to be involved with the Perth Festival.

Grace King is an assistive technology assessor with the National Disability Insurance Agency. In 2009, Grace came to Perth from Madison, Wisconsin, to volunteer at the Cisco Academy for the Vision-Impaired, teaching people who are blind or have low vision to build and maintain computers along with customer service skills. Before this, Grace was working in IT for NASA. Grace is also an award-winning mezzo-soprano and performed alongside Little Birdy gold record-awarded musician Fergus Deasy in Playtime with Grace and Fergus: The Musical, at the Fringe World Festival 2019.

Zel Iscel was born blind and arrived in Australia with her family at the age of six. She began her education with no English but learned quickly because she loves to talk.

She completed her degree in Politics and Government at Edith Cowan University in 2003 and became involved in disability advocacy while at university. Zel currently runs her own consultancy, Inclusive World, where she provides training in disability awareness, consultation on inclusive events and projects, translates documents into easy read, and undertakes many other interesting activities. She became involved in the arts in 2006 when audio described theatre was being trialled in WA.

Since then, Zel has become an ardent theatre goer and also attends other arts events that are audio described.  In 2018, Zel very fortunately acquired a position on the Board of DADAA, she is now Secretary.

Hello my name is Naomi Lake

I am a Health ambassador for Down syndrome Australia and an Employment Ambassador for Down syndrome WA

As a Health Ambassador I give presentations and speeches to Doctors, nurses, allied health, support workers and students. My aim is to inform them how to treat people with Down syndrome when they attend their practice. Inclusive communication is a powerful tool. It is very important for health professionals to actively listen and respond to people with Down syndrome and involve them in health care decisions. I have had some very positive feedback after my presentations.

I am committed to being a voice for people who cannot speak up for themselves.               

I have written and published two children’s story books with another on the way. I was commissioned by Carers WA to write a short biography of my life called “Naomi’s World” for their “disable the label” project.  I have also written a story that has been put to music and dance and will be performed on stage at the Albany Entertainment Centre later this month.

I tour throughout the State visiting schools and remote communities, sharing my story and conducting literacy sessions. I am passionate about encouraging children to read and write and my visits show them that anything is possible. It inspires children and spurs them on to read more and write their own stories.

I am proud to be a leader and a role model.

When I am not working I enjoy performing arts and have been a participant in several shows. My favourite thing to do is to look after my chickens.

Some of my hobbies include reading, sewing, camping, fishing, and cooking when I have time.

Dureshawar Khan is a proud Esapzai Pashtun woman from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa now settled on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodja. Khan is an award winning theatre maker, poet and Neuro Inclusion activist. Her works delve deep into themes of vulnerability, connection, and belonging, offering a unique perspective from her intersectional identities as a neurodivergent woman, sovereign tribal person, and feminist of faith.
Khan is an alumna of the Black Swan Emerging Writers group, a 2023 PICA Artist in
Residence, and a participant in the Perth Festival Cultural Ambassador program. Her
contributions have cemented her reputation as a respected voice in the Boorloo arts
In 2021, Khan made history with her critically acclaimed, award winning show MoR (mother) which became Australia’s first Pashto language theatre work, captivating audiences and critics alike with its raw emotion, poetic script and intimate storytelling.
Beyond the stage, Khan’s academic background in Criminology and Legal studies informs her work in Law and Justice. Drawing from her experience as an AuDHDer, Khan passionately advocates for neuro accessibility within the legal profession and the justice system.

Disability Access and Inclusion Plan

Watch our introductory video with Julia Hales.

Read the PDF Disability Access and Inclusion Plan here.

Read the Word Doc Disability Access and Inclusion Plan here.

Listen to our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan here.

Read the Easy English version of the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan here.