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I am passionate about amplifying diverse voices

I have a diverse portfolio within the mental health sector, focusing on diversity and inclusion of intersectional identities. My advocacy has included policy, service design, training, research, media, and government relations. I currently work with a variety of organisations, including headspace, Orygen, Beyond Blue, Royal Children's Hospital, National Mental Health Commission, and others. I am committed to amplifying diverse voices and ensuring that systems and services become more responsive to our needs and experiences. I endeavour to use both my professional and lived experience to help advocate for a world for all people, regardless of background, identity, or intersectionality.

Giving decision-making power to the people 

Traditionally, things are often done “to” and “for” us. This is not just within mental health spaces, but in most decision-making, like governments. What I do is tactfully disrupt systems to change them from things being done “to” and “for” us, to now being done “with” us. I’m identifying, facilitating, and creating opportunities for people to be decision-makers in their own lives. Giving decision-making power to people with lived and living experiences, means we have a genuine chance to make sure the future is relevant, safe, and inclusive. It means we can address the blind spots of traditional decision-makers and create new futures and possibilities.

Learning from other people’s experiences

Whilst my lecturers and units definitely assisted my development academically, I would say the more dramatic development was my social identity. I was a part of many different student societies and was able to learn through other people’s experiences. I think UWA opened a lot of doors for me because I felt so trapped before, but UWA made me feel freer. I’m definitely a very different person from who I was when I first studied at UWA, but I look back fondly on each different chapter of myself and am grateful for the friends I’ve met along the way.

Anything's possible

Whilst I am a mental health professional, when I went to UWA, I initially studied Engineering before graduating in Computer Science. However, I am particularly passionate about the intersection between technology and mental health. I’ve been lucky enough to explore the ethics of artificial intelligence, digital interventions for mental health challenges, and even now working with Meta (aka Facebook) to design safe digital futures for young people. I think the main thing my UWA degree helped to do was change my idea of what was possible. And now I work in a career that I never knew existed, but I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.

Who is Emily Unity?

Emily Unity is a mental health professional, software engineer, and multidisciplinary creative. Also a queer, culturally diverse, and neurodiverse young person.

Having a diverse portfolio in the mental health and human rights sector, focusing on marginalised and minority communities. Emily has worked across the sector including with headspace, Orygen, Beyond Blue, the Royal Children's Hospital, the National Mental Health Commission, and others.

Emily has lived and living experiences of mental health challenges, homelessness, suicide and self-harm, being a young carer, neurodiversity, LGBTIQA+, having a disability, and being from a refugee and migrant background.

Emily was recently awarded the 2021 Mental Health Advocate of the Year, 2021 Youth of the Year, and the 2020 Young Woman or Non-Binary Person of the Year.

Emily endeavours to use both professional and lived experience to help advocate for a world for all people, regardless of background, identity, or intersectionality.