Akii Ngo (they/them)
Akii is proud, disabled, chronically ill and LGBTIQA+ queer, non-binary femme person of colour, from a refugee background
Akii is an international multi-award-winning disability and gender equity advocate and activist for disability rights and representation. A proud, young, disabled, neurodivergent, non-binary femme and Queer person of colour.
A first-generation Aussie from a refugee background, who lives with multiple complex chronic illnesses and disabilities. An intimate partner (IPV) and family violence (FV) survivor-advocate, Councillor on the Victorian Disability Council and advisory committee member across Australia within the youth, mental health, LGBTIQA+ and disability sectors. Akii is deeply commited to gender equity as many of Akii’s disability are a direct result of IPV which Akii has bravely shared in their extensive violence prevention work.
Akii is a 2022 UN Ambassador for IDPwD, a recipient of the 2020 Australian Disability Leadership Awards in Social Change, a 2021/2022 7News Young Australian of the Year Semi Finalist, a 2021 D-30 International Diversability Disability Impact Leader, a 2022 Inaugural Future Director's Institute Finalist.
Akii is dedicated to accessibility, universal design, non-tokenistic representation and is a fierce advocate for people with chronic pain, chronic illness, and disabilities (apparent and hidden) due to their own lifetime of lived experiences. Akii is also an agency represented and internationally published model – working to create positive change within the media, fashion and beauty industry for appearance diversity (i.e. surgical scars), disabled individuals, mobility aid users, gender-diverse and POC communities. Recently, walking and rolling down multiple 2021/2022 Melbourne Fashion Week shows and 2022 Australian Fashion Week.
Previously, Akii has worked as the Executive Director for Chronic Pain Australia, a Health Promotion Practitioner throughout Australia in government and NGOs, Program Manager for Women with Disabilities Victoria and Impact and Sustainability Manager for Disability Sport & Recreation. Akii was also recently a Researcher Assistant at Black Dog Institute and the University of Sydney, working on a project about stigma for women marginalised by mental illness, disability and refugee status where they have co-written and published a scientific paper. Outside of Akii’s day jobs, they are a presenter/public speaker, writer, educator and consultant on all things inclusion and co-design. Akii is also a host of a 3CR community radio show ‘Chronically Chilled’.
A few of Akii’s recent presenting engagements include being a keynote at the 2021 Disability Sport & Recreation Award Night, 2021 STOP Domestic Violence conference, an international presenter for the 2021 Health Advocacy Summit , 2022 Global Disability Summit, Cricket Victoria’s 2022 IWD, the 2022 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) , live at the 8th Annual Women's Leadership Summit, interviewed by ABC on the Royal Commission into Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation of people with disabilities. The Disability, Inclusion & Accessibility Trainer for 2022 City of Melbourne Fashion Week, 2022 Wear It Purple Keynote at the Sportsgirl HQ and Trainer at Chisholm’s 2022 Annual Staff Conference.
They are a qualified public health nutritionist and health promotion practitioner with over 12 years of experience throughout Australia and overseas in capacity building, policy, co-design and systemic health promotion. Akii is currently undertaking (and has almost completed) a Masters in Social Work and holds 4 tertiary qualifications - Graduate Diploma in Public Health, Bachelor of Human Nutrition (ext Nutrition & Dietetics), Diploma in Project Management and Cert IV in Training & Assessment.
Akii has spent their entire career dedicated to making a positive and sustainable difference to the community. Currently working as the Accessibility Manager for Sydney World Pride, a Senior Co-design & Engagement Advisor at the NDIA and is a lived experience expert at the Royal Children’s Hospital.