Stella Young

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Stella Young
Stella Young.jpg
Born(1982-02-24)24 February 1982
Died6 December 2014(2014-12-06) (aged 32)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Alma materDeakin University
University of Melbourne
Occupation(s)Journalist and comedian
Known forcoining term 'Inspiration porn'

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

Early life and education[edit]

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", the idea that disabled people can do certain things "in spite" of their disability and are used to motivate non-disabled people, rather than uplifting disabled people.[9] The concept was further popularized in her April 2014 TEDxSydney talk, titled "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 chapter[edit]

  • "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". 3 December 2010. 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 (8 December 2014). "Stella Young dead: comedian, ABC journalist and disability advocate dies at 32". Retrieved 23 December 2015.

External links[edit]