Introducing Hannah Diviney – writer, disability advocate and the Editor In Chief at Missing Perspectives

Introducing Hannah Diviney -  writer, disability advocate and the Editor In Chief at Missing Perspectives
Posted on Mon 19 Jul 2021

Meet Hannah Diviney. So far, she's founded Krazy Kosci Klimb, advocated for disability rights and awareness, become Editor-in-Chief of Missing Perspectives, and most recently, been nominated for Young Australian of The Year, 2022. Discover when she wrote her very first story, her journey with CPA, and why she wants you to think of her as your honorary big sister. 

Written by Hannah Diviney

"I’m hoping to be the voice I never heard and the face I never saw growing up for anyone out there who might need me."

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was four years old. That’s the age I first figured out the power of a story. A power that isn’t beamed down from the sky by benevolent smiling storks and doesn’t conjure things from thin air, fully formed, but instead lives inside people. Lives inside me. It’s the closest thing the little girl inside me, who’d spend hours searching for faeries and singing to the wind like I was in a Disney film, has ever found to magic.

And as I’ve gotten older, it’s become obvious to me that writers aren’t the only ones who can use this magic. It also floats around in guitar strings and piano keys. Glitters on fabric, sequins and seams. As we laugh, love and cry with people onscreen, it’s there shimmering in their eyes and pulling us in. The possibilities it brings are enough to give me goosebumps.

The first story I ever wrote was a thrilling tale involving the giggling gang of kids I went to preschool with, and a trip in dreams to the North Pole. The idea was, we’d arrive and be taken to meet the big man himself, and all get the opportunity to tell Santa what we wanted for Christmas that year, up close.

My mum wrote it out for me in a looping hand, on red and green pages she then bound with tinsel. I still have it. In fact, it’s sitting on my desk right now, within arm’s reach of me writing this. Always there as a reminder of why I write. For the feeling in my chest when the story bubbled out and a door I hadn’t even realised was there, opened. For the wide grin on my mum’s face as she raced to keep up with my excited flow of words. For the laughter and cheers of my friends back then, as we all gathered on the floor to read it together, an extra shout if they were namechecked.

Since then, the words have always been there, hovering over my shoulder sometimes before I know I need them. Tracing details, filing moments away, even as I lived them. Feelings. Sounds. Snatches of conversation. Sometimes, just a snapshot of a daydream; what if I’d done or said this? How would the sliding door have changed? Other times, the words have been opaque and flighty, slipping through my fingers and impossible to catch. Like chasing shadows.

But that’s kind of the thrill of the game. The chase. The heady rush of possibility. The tentative first steps of new dance partners fitting together, still holding each other at arm’s length. That moment when you feel the wall break and instead of being met with resistance, you’re let in to look around. To know them. The thing is, you never know, when or where these ideas might appear. They just do.

That’s why I’m so excited to be given this opportunity to share some of these ideas, mystical and unfamiliar as they may be now, with all of you. I feel incredibly privileged to have been given this monthly platform by Cerebral Palsy Alliance, an organisation that has been adding light and colour to my life since I was a mere slip of a thing, at 12 weeks old. To be now, only a handful of weeks away from my 22nd birthday, tells you that we’ve been through a lot together.

I’ve watched the Cerebral Palsy Alliance grow and shift in so many directions – language has changed, attitudes to research and the power of scientific knowledge have changed and perceptions about the capabilities of people with disabilities has changed as we’ve become louder and more visible. All of these things are reflective of the broader shifts in perception of disability across society, a slow-moving but steadily climbing wave, powered by the activism and advocacy work of millions of people both across Australia and the world.

I’m proud to play a small role in this change, as the co-founder of the Krazy Kosci Klimb – the first event of its kind in the world, which sees people with disabilities conquer Mt Kosciuszko, (the highest point in Australia,) as a writer with a blossoming public profile and disability advocate across social media and as the creator of a global campaign petitioning Disney Studios to create a Disabled Disney Princess.

"A disabled Disney princess would give so many people around the world (children and adults alike) the chance to see themselves be the hero of their own story."

 

There are many feathers in my cap and I’m hoping that over these next few months, we get to explore them together.

But this is about more than me. If I’m completely honest, I’m hoping to be the voice I never heard and the face I never saw growing up for anyone out there who might need me. Think of me as an honorary big sister, yeah?

See you in August, friends xoxo

Hannah Diviney is a writer, disability advocate and the Editor In Chief at Missing Perspectives. You can follow more of her adventures on Instagram @hannahthewildflower or on Twitter @hannah_diviney. She also has a website www.hannahdiviney.com

To support Hannah's petition for a Disney disabled princess sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/disney-create-a-disney-princess-with-disabilities

Prioritisation of strategies to optimise gym participation for young adults with cerebral palsy: A Delphi study. This research is being conducted by La Trobe University and CP-Achieve and is open to young adults with cerebral palsy aged 16-30, and their parents/caregivers, plus health professionals and gym workers. 

Researchers at UNSW are conducting a project which aims to validate a Neurodevelopmental Assessment Scale (NAS) and would like to recruit parents/caregivers of children with a Neurodevelopmental Developmental Disorder (NDD) to assist with the validation.