SUPER-ABLED CHANGE-MAKER.

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Eleanor. Arts.

What’s your favourite part of studying an arts degree?

I’m a really big arts fan! An arts degree gives you a really broad knowledge base and so many transferrable skills. I’ve been able to study topics as diverse as health, modernity, equality, criminal justice, religion, biculturalism and social theory to name a few. I don’t feel the pressure of having to commit to a specific outcome too soon.

Why did you choose sociology as your major?

I have a hearing disorder, and as a young person with a disability I’m passionate about advocating for marginalised and under-represented groups. I knew sociology would give me the tools to make a difference in my community and ensure our voices are counted.

Tell us about the support you receive here on campus.

UC has an excellent Equity & Disability Service that supports and encourages me to excel in my studies and life. I got my diagnosis after third year at uni and they helped me out immensely. Even a simple thing like having a notetaker has meant that I can listen more effectively in class. At UC you don’t have to fight to get support, they reach out to you.

Most unusual way UC contributes to student wellbeing?

Around assessment time they arrange for cute animals to come to campus that we can hug! It’s not often that you get to pet huskies and cuddle with bunnies in the name of wellbeing. The way UC cares for its students' wellbeing is one of my favourite parts of the student experience. They engage with us in appropriate and effective ways, and there’s a beautiful focus on inclusion.

"The way UC cares for its students' wellbeing is one of my favourite parts of the student experience. They engage with us in appropriate and effective ways, and there’s a beautiful focus on inclusion."

So you’ve felt warmly welcomed at UC?

People are really accepting of differences here. I feel embraced and celebrated as a student with a disability. UC has helped me feel that my difference can be my ‘superpower’. The confidence this has given me has been invaluable!

How are you taking your newfound skills and confidence into the real world?

I’ve been offered a UCE Summer Start-Up Scholarship to work on a disability venture. I’m super excited to learn business and entrepreneurship skills that I can use in the future. It doesn’t matter what discipline you’re in, UC encourages you to pursue all kinds of passions and opportunities. I’m thrilled to work on a social enterprise that can benefit my community.

Any advice for young people with disabilities thinking about uni?

I really want all high school students to know that UC embraces and values them. I’ve felt so safe here as a student with a disability. I’ve had excellent support, encouragement and respect. University can be daunting, especially for students with disabilities, but I can recommend UC 10,000%. It has a beautifully diverse community, and that diversity is what makes it so strong.