Develop, support, promote disability leaders

Oration 2023 commemorative program

Disability Leadership Oration Logo


Natalie sitting in a wheelchair wearing a yellow jacket in a spotty dress.

Inaugural Orator
Natalie Wade

Natalie Wade is a respected disability rights lawyer and advocate. Based in Adelaide, South Australia, Natalie is the Founder and Principal Lawyer Director of Equality Lawyers, a disability-led, disability rights law firm providing premium legal services to the disability community.

Alistair Baldwin

Alistair Baldwin is a writer, director and comedian. His credits include writing an episode for critically acclaimed SBS anthology Erotic Stories, and serving as a staff writer on ABC’s The Weekly, Hard Quiz and Get Krack!n. His debut play Telethon Kid was shortlisted for the Griffin Award and premiered at Malthouse Theatre in 2023. He also directed an episode of the award-winning SBS Digital Original Latecomers.

DLI Host
Christina Ryan

In 2016 Christina Ryan took one of the most radical steps in her long career of activism and change making: she put the two words disability and leadership into the same sentence. Her next step was founding the Disability Leadership Institute.


Auslan interpreters
Mark Quinn and Alex Notsis – Expression Australia

Live captions
Nick Horder – Red Bee Media


Read the full printed version of all speeches and the Oration

The Disability Leadership Institute Thanks

Our major sponsors for this event
The Achieve Foundation

Special thanks to Kirsty Nowlan and Sarah Percival.

The Achieve foundation logo


Our broadcast partners
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The ABC is supported by IDPWD, the Commonwealth Government, for their IDay programming.

ABC Australia Logo


For the Disability Leadership Institute:

Christina Ryan
Debbie McKenna
Wendy Hill
Karlie Robinson

DLI disability support crew: Graeme Bayles, Adam McKenna, Alanah Paterson.

Karen Hedley and Megan Munro from the Easy Read Toolbox for looking after our socials.

For the ABC

Daniel Hirst
Carmen Pratap
Cathie Scott
Swathi Shanmukhasundaram
Alexandra Neill
and a huge list of wonderful ABC staff and crew who have worked on the Oration.

Many DLI members have contributed significantly to the Oration

Particular thanks to:

Megan Spindler Smith – ABC
Melissa Hale – VCOSS / Disability Advocacy Resource Unit
Tricia Malowney
Shevonne Joyce

The DLI membership includes members of several employee networks who have contributed to the success of Oration 2023. Thank you to:

ABC Inclusive
Westpac Able

Our volunteers

Nicola Hogan
Hazel Li
Kath Sund
Nicole Raso
Jas Kapoor
And our Westpac Ambassadors: Georgia Francis and Emily Moore

Thank you to Paul and the Elizabeth Andrews catering team.