Ambassadors for International Day of People with Disability 2023

The Albanese Labor Government is today naming 11 official Ambassadors for this year’s International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), highlighting the diverse talents of people with disability across Australia.

IDPwD is a United Nations observed day held on 3 December each year that aims to increase public awareness, understanding and inclusion of people with disability.

One in six Australians – or 4.4 million people are living with disability.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said this year’s group of Ambassadors is the largest to date, and reflects not just the diversity but the intersectionality of disability in Australia.

These role models are all inspirational and are already challenging stereotypes and changing society’s attitudes towards disability.

“International Day of People with Disability offers the opportunity to raise the profile of people with disability and this year the Albanese Government is welcoming a record number of Ambassadors from all walks of life to share their stories,” Minister Rishworth said.

“From filmmakers and writers to lawyers, actors, and athletes, our Ambassadors will play an important role in demonstrating the strengths and intersecting experiences of people with disability.

“By accepting the invitation to become Ambassadors, these 11 Australians are not just making disability more visible in the community, but providing positive and honest representations of people with disability – just as previous Ambassadors have done.”

The IDPwD 2023 Ambassadors are:

  • Anja Christoffersen, an international model, author, disability advocate, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Champion Health Agency, a talent agency that represents people with disability, chronic illness, and carers.
  • Ann-Mason Furmage, a disability advocate who has worked as an accountant and financial controller in Australia and the USA for over 20 years. She has held numerous leadership positions in the disability sector, including as former President of the Physical Disability Council of NSW.
  • Charlie and Lewis Smith, twins from Adelaide with a passion for filmmaking which they are pursuing through Bus Stop Films. They host a podcast called Twin Times where they discuss all things entertainment, filmmaking and sports.
  • Giancarlo de Vera, a lawyer and advocate for disability, multiculturalism, racial justice, LGBTQIA+ affairs and cultural diversity. In 2021, Giancarlo was listed as one of the 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australians by the Asian-Australian Leadership Summit.
  • Grace Edward, who spent some time in a refugee camp in Kenya before her family was granted a humanitarian visa at age 8 to come to Australia in 2003. Grace is one of the co-founders of Youth CALD Disability Collective (YCDC), a volunteer group that promotes awareness and advocates for the interests of young CALD people with disability.
  • Gretta Serov, a motivational speaker and writer. She is the founder and head writer of the blog ‘On Our Own Tracks’ which features stories of people with disability overcoming challenges and guides for how to achieve your dreams.
  • Hannah Diviney, a writer, actor and advocate. She is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of Missing Perspectives, a publication dedicated to young female storytelling, and recently published her first book. Hannah came into global prominence in early 2022 when she publically called out Lizzo and Beyoncé for using an ableist slur in their songs which they subsequently corrected.
  • Hugo Taheny, an athlete currently ranked world number 1 for shotput and discus for people with Down syndrome. He is also the South Australian Health Ambassador for Down syndrome Australia.
  • Michael Theo, a Wollongong-based actor and podcaster. He was featured on the hit ABC TV show ‘Love on the Spectrum’, and hosts his own podcast Mr A+ with Michael Theo which aims to bring love and light to people’s lives.
  • Dr Scott Avery, an Indigenous disability researcher and advocate on health and social inequalities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability. He is a Senior Lecturer at Western Sydney University and has undertaken extensive community-based research while working with the First Peoples Disability Network.

For more information about the IDPwD and how to get involved visit