I really found my people at ANU. Finding lots of other LGBTQIA people and other people with disabilities was really helpful in learning from other people's experiences, but also being able to share them with other people.
Ebe Ganon - a queer, disabled student who completed her arts and science degrees in 2020 whilst managing illness challenges and full-time work - finally has her walk-across-stage experience today, following a long wait due to the pandemic.
"I'm very excited to get to finally celebrate all of this with lots of amazing people who have also had to wait for their graduation over this period," says Ganon, who has epilepsy and a number of chronic illnesses.
Growing up in Perth, Ganon moved to Canberra to study at ANU when she turned 18 years old.
"I flew 3,000 km to move to Canberra but everyone was really welcoming when I got here. It was the first time that I had to learn to manage my chronic illnesses by myself, and find my own specialists and my own care plan," she says.
"I really found my people at ANU. Finding lots of other LGBTQIA people and other people with disabilities was really helpful in learning from other people's experiences, but also being able to share them with other people."
Ganon has circled right back to working at ANU in the Equity and Belonging team within the Student and University Experience division.
"We do a lot of work to support the governance and strategy sitting behind inclusion and diversity efforts," she says.
Ganon graduated with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Science Communication and minoring in Philosophy of Science, and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English Literature and minoring in Philosophy.
"These complementary degrees have helped me to excel in the workforce and in my disability advocacy work by equipping me with strong, cross-cultural communication skills," she says.
"Alongside my full time work at ANU, I am working with Children and Young People with Disabilities Australia (CYDA) engaging with projects such as the Disability Standards for Education reform, and Disability Employment Services reform.
"In these projects, communication skills are everything, allowing me to confidently and appropriately facilitate focus groups, and translate feedback and perspectives expressed by young people into policy recommendations."
Ganon is looking forward to starting her Masters in project management at ANU, which she will study part time alongside her many other commitments, to help get to grips with the big projects the Equity and Belonging team at ANU are working on.