Australia has lost a great mind with the death of Stella Young. The journalist and disability rights advocate passed away on the weekend, her family said in a statement this morning.

As Shakira Hussein writes in Crikey today, Young was known as much for her advocacy and writing as she was for her smarts. She was funny, “fuck-you funny — which is to say, the best kind of funny”.

In recent years, the 32-year-old had been the editor of ABC disability portal Ramp Up, which was closed earlier this year.

“With her as the editor, Ramp Up was a disability platform with no time or space for inspiration porn. Instead it focused on issues of justice and injustice, and it gave its writers licence to be sexual and bawdy, rather than the celibate-but-contented disabled character from your nana’s favourite daytime soap,” Hussein writes.

Young continued to write for the ABC, which released a statement this morning describing her as an “unforgettable communicator and passionate advocate”:

“Stella helped us understand disability issues by sharing with a raw honesty about her own life and forcing us to reconsider how we think about disability and create an environment where those with disability can best get on with their own lives. She took great delight in challenging conventional wisdom and lazy thinking. In the best traditions of public broadcasting: she informed, she educated and she entertained.”

Vale Stella.

Peter Fray

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