Remembering Stella Young - Creative Collective Engaged

Published on 17 August 2022


Northern Grampians Shire Council, in collaboration with the Remembering Stella Young Advisory Group, has established a Creative Collective to design and develop the Stella Young memorial artwork and surrounding public site. Creating this memorial site in Stawell will ensure the continuation of Stella’s legacy to challenge and educate society and its perception of disability and to strive for “a world where disability is not the exception, but the norm”.

Three well-known creative women, from a variety of arts practices and who have lived experience of disability, have committed to work together as a collective to codesign a statue of Stella Young, along with developing the surrounding setting. The Collective will tap into their own lived experiences to provide creative direction and ensure the planned statue captures Stella’s essence and honours her legacy. They will, in addition, help facilitate the involvement of local women who currently live with disability in the process of delivering the work to ensure the space is highly inclusive and accessible to people of all abilities.

The Collective includes Sarah Barton, a film-maker, who is currently producing a documentary about Stella, ‘You get proud by practicing’. Sarah is known for her work in disability media, including the award-winning and high-rating community television series, No Limits, on Channel 31, in which Stella appeared. Both Sarah and her own daughter, Stella, who lives with cerebral palsy, were great friends with Stella Young, affording Sarah the opportunity to bring and share her intimate knowledge of Stella with this exciting project.

Fayen D’Evie, who often collaborates with other artists across the world to create artwork accessible for all, lives in central Victoria and will draw on her blindness and award-winning experience as a sculptor to propose critical and imaginative methods to include as part of the Stella memorial statue and surrounding site development.

Jillian Pearce, a Wimmera local, former contemporary dancer and experienced creative producer and director, will bring her creative experience, having delivered highly complex large-scale large budget projects on high and unusual structures such as grain silos. Jillian has delivered many community arts projects both locally and afar, including arts programs for local disabled young people, and her contribution will ensure local knowledge is considered during the creative process.

The Creative Collective will engage with the council’s appointed creative consultant, Danny Fraser, a sculpture artist from Northern Grampians where Stella Young was raised, to realise and complete the final statue of Stella. Northern Grampians Shire Council received funding from the State Government for the Remembering Stella Young project in February 2022 through the landmark Victorian Women’s Public Art Program, which promotes gender equality by addressing the underrepresentation of public artworks celebrating the achievements of women in the state.

Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Murray Emmerson said that the community are proud of Stella’s many achievements and that her work lives on in Stawell.

“This project has already helped highlight how much work is still do be done in creating environments that enable all people to live productive and fulfilling lives”

Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins said the purpose of the Victorian Women’s Public Art Program was to ensure the significant achievements of Victorian women were better represented and recognised.

“Stella Young was an exceptional Victorian woman – a strong advocate who challenged society’s perception of people with disabilities,” Ms Hutchins said.

“This artwork will continue Stella’s important legacy of educating our community and honour a fiercely passionate woman whose determination improved the lives of so many Victorians.

“I congratulate the artists who have been selected for this remarkable project and can’t wait to see what they create.” 

For more information visit Remembering Stella Young (

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