YEP Crew Blog Post – Shaina Thomas: Relationship with Transperth…no wait, Identity!

First official meeting at YACWA and damn it! BOOM we are steam rolling ahead!! I am looking forward to developing a program sincere to the stories around us, more particular with my lived experiences. Even though it’s hard for some of us to speak freely about our beliefs, storytelling often takes place so lightly with “Hey, how are you?” We can strengthen our identity by sharing with others what have already or is affecting us… it starts with a no judgment zone (for real, this is YACWA).


My relationship with my identity is challenging more often than not. On the train home after having liberated chats with fun loving workmates, I sat across a lady who stared at me agitatedly. It didn’t take me long to figure out why – there was a race provocative tattoo and it spoke freely. That is cool though – I am not aware of the tattoo’s context and I am not making any assumptions on what it means to her on my behalf either. Instead what really spoke to me was her statement challenging my role. I come from a large family background with complex customs, attitudes and values for all sorts of things, all the way down to specific hairstyles. My family don’t agree with my values, but that is cool too. I have never felt comfortable using their system as my own. Life experience is varied whereby our relationship with our identity begins. For these particular stories, even though I don’t agree with their values, it was important to be comfortable with my own identity in the face of difference. Sharing stories help deliver the movement of our identity.


YACWA is creating a space where you and I are encouraged to share. I am so keen to hear your stories no matter the positive or negative connotations attached. I want to give people space to share who they are, understand their relationship with their identity. I want to hear how you have been shaped it grows perspective. So, no judgement zone “Hey, how are you?” YACWA openly encourages story sharing with no shame!!

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Vanessa Vlajkovic

Hi! My name is Nessa and I’m 20 years old. I’m studying Journalism at Edith Cowan University, with a Public Relations minor. I am an avid reader, writer, traveller and cheerleader. I’m also a passionate advocate for the deafblind community, and for other types of disability. I’ve been on the committee of the Youth Disability Advocacy Network (YDAN) at YACWA for a few months, and through them have developed a desire to become a YEP volunteer, as I want to expand my horizons.

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