Remembering Ramp Up


The surprising rise and dispiriting fall of the ABC’s voice for people with disability


On the 2nd of December 2010, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation launched Ramp Up, an online platform “dedicated to all things disability”.  A first for the ABC and the country, its journalists, bloggers, opinion writers and editor were to be people living with disability.  In her opening post, Stella Young, wrote simply: “It’s a place to share our stories, our truths, our resources – to ramp up the conversation about disability in Australia”.

Ramp Up closed on the 30th of June 2014.  In this series of articles, Warwick Forster traces the history of Ramp Up through the voices of those who were there at its beginning, those who worked for it and those who wrote for it.  

Jump ahead or read through, it’s up to you.

The Plan – Craig Wallace, Bruce Belsham and Karen Palenzuela describe the thinking behind Ramp Up and its day to day running

The Architect – a profile of Stella Young.  Activist. Comedian. Editor.

The Mentor – Graeme Innes explains why Ramp Up was a milestone for coverage of disability issues in Australia

The Maverick – Todd Winther’s sharp tongue and sharper pen landed him in hot water many times.  And that was just what Stella Young liked about him.

The Bastard Activist – Samantha Connor thinks people should think harder about subjects like legalising euthanasia. If it takes a slap in the face she’s only too willing to do it.

The Advocate – Carly Findlay is taking the conversation about discrimination and prejudice of the ‘other’ to a magazine, television show or blog near you.

The Apprentice – Carl Thompson produced some of the most delightful and insightful writing on Ramp Up, despite being one of its youngest contributors

The Alumni – Eliza Hull is doing great journalism with a podcast on parenting with disability.  How did Stella Young help her get there?



First: The Plan

Pete Forster, Editor

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