I’m An Artist, Not A Work Of Art

Emily Dash

23 July 2015

In 2011, Emily Dash received a Youngcare At Home Care Grant to help her live an independent life at home. Since then she has been busy, and we mean REALLY busy!

If we haven’t met, I’m Emily –  writer, actor, filmmaker, blogger, advocate and First Class Honours graduate (I like to keep myself pretty occupied).  I love my family, my friends, and the theatre.  Oh, and I have Cerebral Palsy.

I try to live by the motto “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do”. 

But one of the biggest challenges I face is society’s attitudes. Driven by fear or good intentions, people put me in a box.  I am talked about, rather than talked to.  They think it’s okay to stare at me, to invade my personal space, to reach out and touch me.

I become a work of art.

It’s an all too common experience for people with disabilities.  And it is not okay.  The impacts can be devastating.


Advocating for and educating people about disability issues is exhausting… and sometimes it feels futile.  But I’ll never stop.  Because every time I speak out,  I have the power to change people’s perception.  I can make a difference that goes far beyond my own experience and I’m proud of that.

So I’m an artist, not a work of art.

I often explore and challenge perceptions of disability through my work.  Last year, I submitted a short multimedia and spoken word piece to an exhibition.  It was called (you guessed it) “I Am Not A Work Of Art”, and it was exhibited at the 2014 Arts Activated conference.  My team recently received funding from Metro Screen’s Screenability program to make a short film, which will be completed by December in association with Pearly Productions.  I hope my work will empower people with disabilities, and expand community perception of what’s possible.

But that’s not all.  Youngcare works hard to keep young people like me with high care needs out of aged care.  So I thought I’d give back.  My friend and I made a short documentary of our recent trip to Melbourne.  Hopefully it shows my independence, confidence, and how young people deserve young lives.  We are submitting it to two film festivals. One is Focus on Ability Film Festival, which is great. But the other is the Cause Film Festival, in which the prize money will be donated to Youngcare if we win.

Stay tuned.

Emily wants to connect with you!  She’s on Facebook and on Twitter.

News you might like:
30 August 2016National not-for-profit organisation Youngcare today announced the appointment of new Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ryan.Mr ...
We want you to be the first to know! Youngcare is thrilled to announce the return of one of Brisbane’s best nights of Australian music: the ...
2 August 2017Youngcare explores options as NSW project endsYoungcare’s partnership with St. Vincent’s Australia to deliver high care housing ...
The Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge 2017 has been nominated as one of Northern Territory’s best events by industry experts Selected as ...
24 July 2017A message from our partners at VincentsAt VINCENTS one of our core values is to actively build a company environment that contributes ...
5 May 2016WHAT’S ON! 28 APRIL - 8 MAY Simpson Desert ChallengeSupport the trekkers by donating and follow the trek with our regular ...
23 July 2015In 2011, Emily Dash received a Youngcare At Home Care Grant to help her live an independent life at home. Since then she has been ...
7 November 2016Share a slice of Youngcake this ChristmasFor a young person with high care needs, the loss of choice and independence is one of ...
5 May 2016A helping hand from Hand Heart PocketYoungcare’s At Home Care Grants are set to continue helping more young Queenslanders with high ...
18 July 2017The Today Show aired Todd and Kat's story'I never thought I’d find somebody like her': How gaining independence led a young man ...

Are you a young person seeking help?

What we do


Get Help


Contact Us


A huge thanks to our supporters 

De Luca Corp
Betta Home Living
MGD Private
Birdsville Social Club
Wolff Group
Care Tech
Hopgood Ganim
Brazilian Beauty - Albany Creek
Network First
Aurora Adventures
Audi Centre Springwood
Collins Food
CV Services
Flight Centre Foundation
Artis Pura
Cutting Edge
Rivergum Homes
Eureka Landscaping
Birdsville Hotel
Motorola Solutions
Braggs Signs
Tatts Group
Shine Lawyers
Queensland Rail
Clark Real Estate
Just Photography
Forte Catering
Taylor Byrne
Knight Frank
MMO Interiors
Select AV
Just Cause Bunch
Vertica Capital
Tattersalls Club
Birdsville Roadhouse
LAS logo
Vantage Performance
Channel Nine
Story Bride Hotel
Audio Visual Elements
Hand Heart Pocket
One Harvest - love beats
Bruce Lynton
MS Queensland
Oktoberfest Brisbane
Spot Productinons
50-50 charity raffle
Queensland Government
Curwoods Lawyers
Duco Events
Women's Weekly