Create Your Future - Short Films


‘Create Your Future– Personal stories of disability and cultural diversity in study and work’ by the National Disability Coordination Officer, share the stories, unique experiences, and cultural perspectives of individuals from Cultural and Linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds who suffer from a disability.

While providing a voice, these films address the severe gap in access to services and supports by people with disability from CALD backgrounds. With the active participation of those affected; CALD people with disability, this incredible series of films aim to raise awareness, reduce stigma and build aspiration within their own communities while encouraging culturally safe, accessible and inclusive support services for everyone.

People with Disability from CALD backgrounds are significantly under-represented within the disability service system and continue to have high unmet needs. In NSW, 15.3% of people born in non-English speaking countries report a disability but are three times less likely to use Government funded disability services than those born in an English-speaking country. Many factors contribute to this, including different cultural understandings of disability, different values underpinning help-seeking behaviour, and the inability of service providers to appropriately meet the needs of people with disability from CALD backgrounds.

Gabby’s Story

Gabby candidly takes us on a journey through her life, exploring the importance of connection to culture as formative to her sense of identity and belonging, and sensitively navigates us through the impact of transgenerational trauma. She shares with us some of her life lessons, her challenges and successes, and finding her purpose by giving voice to those who feel their voice isn’t loud enough to be heard. From being knocked back for a fitness course to becoming a lawyer – Gabrielle never gives up! Hear Gabby’s incredible story of identity, anxiety, disability and most importantly self-belief, perseverance and resilience.

Abdulaah’s Story

“Back home they used to hide their disabled kids because it’s like something to be shameful about, but in Australia, everyone is trying to help” Abdulaah’s Mum, Mona

This film is through the lens through which Abdulaah’s Mum, Mona frames her persistence in finding the right support for her son. Abdulaah is a happy, confident, vibrant young man. He is passionate about Cosplay and aspires to a career in graphic-design and costume design. With help from his Dad, he has already completed a large amount of costume design work.

Abdulaah’s wears his costumes to Cosplay and Comicon events, where he meets up with and spends time with his tribe. Abdulaah says through Cosplay he belongs, he fits in, and everyone respects him for the character he’s created, but Abdulaah didn’t always feel like he fit in.

Abdulaah has cerebral palsy, hearing impairment and intellectual disability. School was tough for Abdulaah, he struggled to keep up with the work, and the other kids bullied him for his differences. Abdulaah challenges us to think through what it means to have a good, meaningful life. His story is of passion, pride, persistence, and unequivocally about finding the right support.

Victor’s Story

At age 14, Vitor severely damaged his right hand when playing with fireworks with his mates.  After his injury, Vitor became worried and depressed, wondering what it meant for his future.  He was concerned about what he would be capable of without full use of his right hand;  his independence, his ability to have a career and make money.

Vitor is now involved in several activities that defies the boundaries he thought his injury would place on him.  Vitor practices capoeira; Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music, sings, he dances, he runs his own business, and he teaches. Victor has not let the loss of his dominant hand hold him back from gaining an education, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in IT, Masters in Automation and Industrial Robotics and a PhD.

Vitor’s story encapsulates human diversity in disability and culture, highlighting the importance of living a whole and balanced life, and how to find belonging when everything seems unfamiliar.