Meet Our Disability Champions

Everyone belongs at UNSW

Part of making you feel at home on our campuses is having Diversity Champions whose role it is to drive significant cultural change around equity, diversity and inclusion at UNSW. 

Bani Aadam

“Supporting and knowing how to communicate to various audiences is key to swaying and influencing hearts and minds.” - Bani Aadam

Bani Aadam (he/him) is a PhD Candidate and Tutor in the School of Social Sciences. His research is in ethics and mental health clinical practice, and he has lived experience of psychosocial disability. Bani has worked in the psychosocial and disability sectors for several years and is currently appointed by the NSW Minister for Mental Health to the role of Official Visitor, working with NSW mental health clinical staff to ensure appropriate services and supports are being delivered in our public mental health systems, meeting the obligations of the NSW Mental Heal Act (2007).

“My interest in becoming a Diversity Champion is based on principles of human rights, particularly justice, equality, inclusion, and participation. I want to see UNSW lead the way on social justice, allowing people to be active and engaged in university life and citizenship more broadly.”

Veronica Jiang

“I am passionate about advocating for people with disability and providing digital accessible services.” - Dr Veronica Jiang

Veronica Jiang (she/her) is a Lecturer at the School of Marketing. Since 2017, she has been working on two innovation and social engagement projects for people with disability, the first aiming to create and showcase virtual reality videos that tell authentic life stories of people with disability, and the second working with start-up company PeepsRide, which aims to provide accessible transport for people with disability.

Veronica has ideas for a number of projects she would like to push forward as a UNSW Disability Champion, including further embedding Universal Design for Learning, establishing a disability advocacy program, and performing a detailed audit of campus accessibility.

“People with disability are hugely under-represented and misrepresented in the mass media. I want to contribute amplify their voices and advocate for their rights.”

Get involved

UNSW students and staff are invited to join the Disability Network.

Roshana Sultan

“I hope to see disability inclusion become the rule, rather than the exception - something that is universally expected and accepted, without bias, or judgement.” - Roshana Sultan

Roshana Sultan (she/her) is the Program Manager of Viral Immunology Systems at the Kirby Institute. At UNSW, Roshana is actively involved both the Kirby Institute’s EDI Committee and the Faculty of Medicine Cultural Diversity Committee; as well as being an identified Ally@UNSW, a Sexual Misconduct First Responder and a Mental Health First Aider. Externally, she has also contributed to the International Student Advisers’ Network of Australia (ISANA) and the Ankali Project, providing support to those living with HIV through 1-1 friendships. She is also a founding member of the Illawarra Women’s Interfaith Network (I-WIN).  

Roshana has lived experience of developing both physical and psychological impairments. Declared legally blind at 17, her vision has improved significantly thanks to multiple surgeries but she still experiences light sensitivities and requires workplace adjustments to undertake her role. Roshana also knows first-hand the benefits of seeking mental health support.  

“Coming from a culturally and religiously diverse background in which mental health issues are rarely spoken about, I have experienced firsthand the stigma and discrimination people with mental health conditions can face within their own communities, as well as how challenging it can be to recognise you are in need of help and taking the steps to ask for it.”

Isabelle Vertucci

“I want to be a voice for my community to create meaningful change.” - Isabelle Vertucci

Isabelle Vertucci (she/her) is a Peer Connections Officer (Equity) in the Office of Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education and Student Experience). Her role involves creating inclusive mentoring programs and communities to warmly welcome all new students coming to UNSW. Isabelle has lived experience of disability, as well as experience working in the disability sector, which she says has nourished her passion to support and uplift people within the community.

“I care about creating a safer, happier space for all staff and students at UNSW and want to be a leader who empowers people and celebrates diversity in my work. I know that I still have so much to learn and understand from people with a wide range of lived experience, but I am so keen to listen and learn.”

More information

At UNSW, we are creating a campus culture that recognises the needs of people with disabilities and ensures the learning and teaching experience is welcoming and inclusive and that the University’s built and digital environment is accessible for staff and students with disability.  

One of the five initiatives outlined by the Strategy 2025 is to implement UNSW’s Disability Action Plan (DIAP). This plan aims to make the learning, working and teaching experience welcome and inclusive for people of all abilities.

In 2022, two types of Disability Confident Training, run by the Australian Network on Disability, will be offered at the UNSW Sydney campus. The training will challenge participants, disrupt thoughts, and has the potential to facilitate change in practice and processes across the organisation.