Improving DES – a young person’s perspective

Mija Gwyn and Simon Green from the Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) and Renae Flannigan, will present two perspectives on disability employment —working with young people with disability and what it’s like as a young person with disability looking for work.

Together, the three will explore the experiences of young people who have previously accessed a DES — examining the factors that cause problematic servicing from a participant point of view and exploring how a new disability employment model could provide better work preparation, training and careers for participants.

This session will also touch on quality servicing, how to improve regulation, oversight and safeguards for DES participants as well as the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. It will conclude with audience questions.


Mija Gwyn Manager, Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS)

Mija (she/her) is a Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) manager.
She has worked with YDAS since May 2017 in the roles of NDIS Readiness Coordinator and Transition Support Package (TSP) Coordinator.
Mija has held a range of leadership, governance and management roles in the disability advocacy and arts sectors. She has led and coordinated film festivals, arts and community development programs and projects in Australia and the United Kingdom, including The Other Film Festival.
Mija has a Master of Communication from Griffith University and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Melbourne. She is now completing a Master of Public Policy and Management at University of Melbourne.

Simon Green Programs Coordinator, Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS)

Simon Green (he/him) lives on Bunurong land. He is a disability advocate from Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS).

Simon is a leader with disability. He was born with the chronic illness cystic fibrosis and has experienced depression throughout his adult life.

At YDAS, he is the coordinator of the Young Leaders Program and Together Training — programs that support disabled young leaders into positions of power and empower the youth sector to be more accessible and inclusive for disabled young Victorians.

Simon is also a beardy arts nerd who loves rock and D&D.

Renae Flanigan YDAS Young Leader Program

Renae was a participant in Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) Young Leader Program. Since doing the program, she has found a passion for advocacy and lived/living experience leadership within the disability and mental health sector — sharing her story as a young carer and the impacts it’s had on her and her family.
Renae is studying towards a Master of Social Work at Melbourne University and has a Bachelor’s in Communication Design and a Cert IV in Mental Health Peer Work.
Following a career in design, Renae’s passion for social service led to her to undertake a Peer Cadetship in the mental health and disability sector. In this role Renae hopes she can make a difference to the lives of others while highlighting the need for representation, recognition, extra support and stories of hope for individuals and families living with mental health and disability.
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