Australian Tertiary Education Network on Disability

Pathways15: Panel Session: Student Experience

Panel Facilitator: Graeme Innes, AM.

Panel Members: Anthony, Jack, Beth, and Ryan

This panel session will explore the experiences of students with disability in Tertiary Education. Current and Alumni Students from Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education will share their study journey including what has worked well or could have worked better. The session will be facilitated by Graeme Innes AM and will cover topics such as inclusion, access, reasonable adjustments and challenges and successes within tertiary education and transition into employment.


Graeme Innes, AM is a lawyer, author, and company director. His autobiography Finding a Way achieved popular acclaim in 2016. He has been a human rights practitioner for more than thirty years and is a conference presenter and facilitator. Graeme was a Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission for nine years, responsible for issues relating to disability, race and human rights.

Graeme led the merger of four blindness agencies to form Vision Australia, and chaired the board of that agency. He is currently the chair of the Attitude Foundation, a start-up aimed at using media to change attitudes towards Australians with disabilities.

Graeme was awarded an AM for his work on the development of the Disability Discrimination Act, was a finalist for Australian of the Year, and, on the international stage, he was a member of the Australian delegation that participated in negotiating the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. He was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Canberra in 2014, RMIT University in 2016, UNSW in 2017 and Edith Cowan University in 2018, in recognition of his work as a human rights activist.

Anthony Brussow was a recent mature-aged apprentice who balanced work and family life to successfully complete a Certificate III in Engineering Mechanical Trade (Maintenance) at TAFE Queensland SkillsTech in 2019. Anthony accessed disability support throughout his time at TAFE as he suffered autoimmune encephalitis in 2014 and also has longstanding literacy issues as a result of dyslexia. This condition and the dyslexia means that Anthony faced significant challenges in terms of his learning with effects on his attention skills, speed of information processing and aspects of his executive functioning. Anthony worked hard throughout his apprenticeship to develop work skills to an excellent level and continues to be an outstanding role model to his work colleagues and those new to his trade. Anthony positive attitude and trade aptitude saw him awarded the TAFE Queensland SkillsTech General Manager’s Award in 2019.

Jack A. Milne is currently undertaking a Graduate Program with the Australian Federal Government’s Attorney-General’s Department (Policy Stream) and studying a Graduate Diploma in Australian Migration Law and Practice at the Australian Catholic University. Jack holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Asia Business Studies) degree from Swinburne University of Technology and has studied International Relations and Economics at Oriel College, University of Oxford. He also holds a Master of Science in Business Analysis and Strategic Management from Alliance Manchester Business School, the University of Manchester.

He was the Australia regional youth co-ordinator for the Royal Commonwealth Society and played a leading role in the establishment of the Commonwealth Children and Young Persons Disability Network based at the Commonwealth Secretariat. He also held the position of one of the lead advisers to the former Vice Chairperson, Commonwealth Youth Council.

He was awarded the Associate Fellowship of the Royal Commonwealth Society and is currently a council member of the Royal Commonwealth Society ACT Branch and is on the Institute of Public Administration Australia Future Leaders committee.

Jack’s future aspirations are to be in a leading role in the APS with the aim of advancing the interests of Australia in the region and beyond, promoting democracy, human rights and rule of law. What Jack is most passionate about though, is championing the disability cause and disability inclusive development.

Beth Radulski is an Autism and Neurodiversity activist, and the first openly Autistic Autism researcher at La Trobe University. She is conducting a PhD on Autistic masking - defined as the purposeful concealment of Autistic traits - and the Neurodiversity Movement. Beth works as the Project Officer: Neurodiversity at La Trobe, using her research background to increase educational accessibility and acceptance for Neurodiverse student and staff cohorts.