The Phoenix Project is a new team of seven, working to help revitalise the disability sport and recreation sector in a covid-normal world. The project aims to support the sector to ensure that people with disability feel confident and safe when they return to sport and active recreation. It will also be building the organisational capacity of Disability Sport & Recreation and the sector, to be more inclusive, representative, intersectional and accessible.
Akii Ngo (they/them) - Project Manager
Akii Ngo (they/them) is a proud disabled, chronically ill and LGBTIQA+ queer non-binary person of colour, from a refugee background, who is deeply passionate about intersectionality, non-tokenistic representation and diverse co-design.
Akii is a fierce and international multi award-winning disability and gender equity advocate, especially in the violence-prevention, diversity, equality, inclusion and accessibility space for young people, girls, women, feminine-identifying and non-binary people with disability. A public health practitioner and nutritionist by trade, Akii sits on numerous advisory committees across the women’s, disability, chronic pain, health and LGBTIQA+ space. A proud and enthusiastic public speaker across local, national and international forums sharing their experiences of diversity, violence, chronic illness and the importance of inclusion, co-design and intersectionality. Akii is also an agency represented and internationally published model – working to challenge the perception of and provide positive representation of disabled people and appearance diversity (i.e. scars etc) in media, fashion and beauty industries.
Akii is excited to be managing the five other members of The Phoenix Project to support the revitalisation of disability sport and recreation in a 'covid-normal' world. To help ensure increased inclusion, diversity and to ultimately support and encourage more Victorians/people with disability to be leading more active lifestyles and having greater positive outcomes. Akii is currently undertaking (and has almost completed!) a Masters in Social Work and holds four tertiary qualifications - Graduate Diploma in Public Health (Chronic Conditions Management), Bachelor of Human Nutrition (Nutrition & Dietetics), Diploma in Project Management and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
[Image ID: Akii, an Asian person with light olive skin is smiling with teeth, their right arm is tucked behind their ear. They have long waist length, bright light pink and pastel wavy hair. They are wearing a demin jacket and a maroon-coloured top. They are wearing natural make up, with light pink lip colour in front of a cream-coloured wall. The image is taken from the waist up]
Andrew Walton (he/him) - Project Coordinator
Trailblazer of sports technology in Australia from relentlessly exploring new levels of engagement with community and governing bodies through the original concept in the development of web-based platforms to native mobile, live scoring and live streaming services of scale achieving commercial growth extending internationally into the UK, USA and Europe.
A country boy with values shaped from a multi-cultural heritage and a professional career in the steel and recycling industries before technology.
Always a deep involvement with sport from junior to the elite through playing and now ongoing coaching or governance support.
Relaxes by listening to Bowie, Cave, Pop, punk rock and heavy metal while learning about the wonders of food and flavors in the kitchen before falling deeply into the endless nourishment for the wiring of the mind that books bring.
Yet the roar of the MCG, when the Tigers are flexing their might to the adulatory delight of the yellow and black tribe, ignites a happiness of immensity.
[Image ID: Andrew, Caucasian male with olive skin and short shaved dark hair. He is in a standing upright position, facing the camera front on and smiling with his teeth showing. He is wearing a white-collared business shirt under a navy-blue jacket. The image is cropped from elbow height up]
Arty Owens (they/them) - Communications Officer
Arty Owens (they/them) is a chronically ill writer and communications professional based in Naarm (Melbourne). While they come from an arts background, they are hoping to further enrich our community through the sports sector.
Their role is to support Disability Sport And Recreation through storytelling and general marketing.
Outside of work, Arty writes children’s literature, plays DnD and has recently started woodwork.
[Image ID: Arty, a Caucasian person with light skin is smiling with large thin-rimmed circular glasses and a brown botanic patterned shirt. They are wearing light mauve coloured lipstick and dangly earrings. They are in front of a cream white wall.]
Cara Thomson (she/her) - Programs Trainee
Cara (she/her) came on board with Disability Sport & Recreation as a trainee in February. Cara had decided on a career change last year coming from manager roles in hospitality and retail previously.
Cara has always had a passion for working with people with disability and started volunteering in the sector when she was a teenager.
Cara is eager to learn about how to make the world a more accessible place and is excited for the rest of her career in the sector.
[Image ID: Cara, a White a woman, smiling with shoulder length light and wavy brown hair. She is wearing a black t-shirt with a blue Disability Sport & Recreation logo with a black cardigan over the top. The Image is cropped from her waist up and she is standing in front of a white background with a yellow triangle behind her head]
Jill Young (she/her) - Training and Volunteers Officer
Jill (she/her) has worked in the community sector for nearly 20 years across disability, health promotion and advocacy in a variety of roles from direct client support through strategic planning. She is passionate about inclusion and finding solutions to complex issues through collaboration, partnership and engagement and is currently completing a program through Moreland City Council that promotes community involvement and finding hyperlocal solutions to immediate challenges.
An active voluntee