Link December 2018 Volume 27 Issue 6 - Page 30

people Far left: Ian Bonar and Sarah Gordy in Jellyfish, photograph by Samuel Taylor. Left: Sarah Gordy, image courtesy Snooty Fox. Below left: Sarah Gordy and Penny Laden in Jellyfish, photograph courtesy Samuel Taylor. She said the recognition is important and she is thrilled. “I got the MBE for service to the Arts and People with Disabilities, two important things in my life,” she said. “The industry now sees me as a woman and an actor first and I can deliver for them. The decision- makers are risk averse, but I am changing minds and creating a better "Diversity is an opportunity, not a problem. We are all individuals and there are new stories to be told.” “Last year I filmed a French bank advert (a TV commercial for Caisse d’Epargne) which says a lot in 30 after me. “But there are many ways people with disability can be successful; it should never be about being famous. for TV bosses” at the Mencap second My friend Adam has a successful annual Lord Rix Lecture in London. career at an English supermarket – “Slowly I have got the industry that is just as important as what I do. seconds. It shows me as a young to see the truth in what I have been “Being the first woman with a woman working, on a bus, in a saying. Diversity is an opportunity, learning disability to be honoured in supermarket, swimming underwater, not a problem. We are all individuals this way hopefully is an inspiration to as a woman with a bank account. and there are new stories to be told,” parents and young people. “I like it because it is not about said Sarah, who is an ambassador for “Being a celebrity ambassador disability. It’s about a person living Mencap, a UK charity for people with for Mencap is important; I want to be her life the way she wants to.” learning disability. a good role model, and encourage Sarah is passionate about “People like to see society people to be happier and ambitious.” boosting inclusion for people with reflected in drama and society comes disability in the mainstream media in all flavours. It is not about what is which reads: “I have Down syndrome, and in 2015, she shared her “ideas deemed worthy; it has to be about but that’s not all I am.” what is true and interesting. We need She concludes her interview by telling Link: “Everybody is an where people who are different play individual. I am a woman, a daughter, a characters, not disability … something friend, a volunteer, a music lover, I have like a shop assistant the hero talks green eyes and a really bad singing to sometimes. That way people who voice. My main work is drama, but are different are seen as part of the sometimes I do talks, dancing gigs and society and actors learn their trade.” modelling. I am on a local government Services to the Arts and People with people Sarah has a quote on her website to create small roles in big projects Sarah was awarded her MBE for 30 environment for those who come advisory committee and volunteer for the British Heart Foundation. Disabilities in this year’s Queen’s “Nobody is just a label.” Birthday Honours. www.sarahgordy.com linkonline.com.au