Witty Activist

Wayne Herbert

Describing himself as the love child of Steady Eddie and Ru Paul—Wayne Herbert is on a mission to change the conversation around disability from “what can’t you do?” to “what are you amazing at?”

As well as being an outspoken public speaker and advocate for the rights of and opportunities for people with disability and the LGBTIQ community, his book Anecdotes of a Disabled Gay challenges the way people think about disability and sexuality.

His work has won him the ACT Chief Minister’s inclusion award for Making Inclusion Happen, a nomination for the 2017 ACT Australian of the Year award, and positions on the LGBTIQ ministerial advisory council, the ACT government disability reference group and the board of the ACT AIDS Action Council. Fresh off the back of a speaking gig at the Canadian Association for Supported Employment’s annual conference he’s excited to be home because, “Canberra’s people bring out the best of me.”

“I don’t know of any other places in Australia where I’ve felt so accepted, embraced and loved for who I am. That’s given me the power and passion to become more visible in the community because I feel safe and supported.

“It also helps that Canberra is deeply committed to and investing in making our city the most inclusive city in Australia. I get to see the results of my work in inclusion every day, supporting people who are often marginalised, experience genuine success.

“It is a great feeling knowing that I am an influential voice contributing to an increasingly inclusive community; and it’s exciting that other parts of the world are also wanting to hear what I have to say.”

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Wayne Herbert