Stella Young dead at 32

Stella Young dead at 32

Stella Young In Tales From The Crip. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

COMEDIAN and disability advocate Stella Young has died aged 32.

Ms Young’s family released a statement that said she passed away on Saturday, unexpectedly, but with no pain.

“With great sadness we acknowledge the passing of Stella Young, our much loved and irreplaceable daughter and sister. Stella passed away on Saturday evening, unexpectedly, but in no pain,” the statement said.

She will have a private funeral, followed by a public event in Melbourne.

Her family has requested privacy and asked that people consider making donations in support of Domestic Violence Victoria, a cause which Young was passionate about.

Ms Young was a regular commentator on disability issues and editor of ABC’s Ramp Up website, that published discussion and opinion about disability in Australia.

Editor and comedian Stella Young has died aged 32.

Editor and comedian Stella Young has died aged 32. Source: NewsComAu

In a statement, ABC managing director Mark Scott described Ms Young as “an unforgettable communicator and a passionate advocate”.

“As a writer and broadcaster Stella was sharp and incisive, challenging and provocative. She was very warm and generous, the first to laugh and to make us all laugh.

“Stella helped us understand disability issues by sharing with a raw honesty about her own life and forcing us to reconsider how we think about disability and create an environment where those with disability can best get on with their own lives. She took great delight in challenging conventional wisdom and lazy thinking.

The new @MACcosmetics store on Chapel St has an in-store DJ, but no wheelchair access. #fail #everydayableism

— Stella Young (@stellajyoung) October 10, 2014

Ironically I’ve probably spent enough money at @MACcosmetics to have funded a ramp. I’ll be taking my crip dollar elsewhere.

— Stella Young (@stellajyoung) October 10, 2014

“It is so hard to believe we have all lost Stella at such a young age. She was so talented, so widely loved and respected. The more people heard her, the more the opportunities in her career were growing.”

Ms Scott said she was increasingly in demand as a comedian in Australia and had a growing international reputation.

“Her many friends at the ABC are filled with sadness at this news – as are Australians around the country, who loved and admired her columns, her broadcasts and her comedy performances.”

In an opinion piece for NewsCorp published in 2013, Ms Young wrote passionately in support of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Widely loved and respected: Stella Young. Photo: Josie Hayden

Widely loved and respected: Stella Young. Photo: Josie Hayden Source: News Corp Australia

Born in Stawell in Western Victoria, Ms Young was active in the disability community in a variety of roles, including membership of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council, Ministerial Advisory Council for the Department of Victorian communities and Women With Disabilities Victoria.

Tributes have flowed in on Twitter at news of her death including from fellow media personalities Charlie Pickering, Josh Thomas and Eddie Perfect, and Paralympian Kurt Fearnley.

Devastated to hear the news that Stella Young has passed away. She was a mighty advocate and an utterly hilarious comedian. Rest in peace.

— Charlie Pickering (@charliepick) December 7, 2014

The world is less interesting without Stella Young. She fearlessly challenged every stereotype of disability. Love ya & always miss ya buddy

— Kurt Fearnley (@kurtfearnley) December 7, 2014

Stella Young is so terrific. A hilarious, rare, super cool lady. Heartbreaking news.

— Josh Thomas (@JoshThomas87) December 7, 2014

Very sad at the news of Stella Young’s passing. She did amazing/shocking/hilarious things and had much more ahead. Squeeze your loved ones.

— Eddie Perfect (@Eddieperfect) December 7, 2014

I was privileged to be on the #QandA panel years ago with Stella Young. She entertained and educated with every breath. Rest in peace.

— Tony Burke (@Tony_Burke) December 7, 2014

I’m devastated to learn of the death of the amazing Stella Young. A warrior woman full of wit and wisdom, gone too soon. RIP

— Tesstifuckit (@tessstifychic) December 7, 2014

So sad that @stellajyoung has passed away. What a passionate, intelligent & articulate woman. Thoughts are with her family #stellayoung

— lydia_shellyOfficial (@lydia_shelly) December 7, 2014

So sad to learn of #stellayoung s death A passionate fighter for justice & fair go Let her legacy be renewed commitment to equality for all

— Martin Foley (@MartinFoleyMP) December 7, 2014

My heart breaks at the news of Stella Young, a brilliantly funny, bitingly articulate and brutally honest woman. 🙁

— Joy-FroyToTheWorld (@courtwhip) December 7, 2014

As the editor of Ramp Up, which was established in 2010, Ms Young soon created a bold voice and robust forum on a subject that people tended to tread carefully around.

However, funding for the project was cut off in the May budget, as part of Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s cuts to the Department of Social Services, and Ramp Up ceased publishing on June 30 this year.

TED talk featuring Stella Young

Ms Young was a two-time state finalist in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Raw Comedy competition and hosted eight seasons of Australia’s first disability culture program No Limits, which aired on Channel 31 and community stations across the country.

Prior to joining the ABC, Stella worked in Public Programs at Melbourne Museum, where she taught children about bugs and dinosaurs.


Originally published as Stella Young dead at 32