Qualifications: Masters of Social Work (in progress), Graduate Diploma of Public Health (Chronic Conditions Management), Bachelor of Human Nutrition (Nutrition & Dietetics), Diploma of Project Management, Certificate IV Training and Assessment
Akii has spent an entire career working in primary prevention and public health promotion dedicated to creating positive community and patient-centered systemic change. Akii has worked in government, non-for-profit and NGOs throughout Australia and internationally within a variety of grass-root roles and organisations in areas including mental health, nutrition, gender equality, prevention of violence against women, disability rights, as well as systematic and self-advocacy. Akii is also currently a Board Director and Treasurer at Disability Justice Australia.
Akii is a fierce advocate for people living with chronic pain and disabilities due to their lifetime of the lived experience of chronic pain, stating with being born with life-threatening necrotising enterocolitis. Akii is in pain every minute of every day due to chronic disabling pain associated with their Ehlers Danlos syndrome, severe spinal stenosis, postural orthostatic tachycardia, mast cell activation, fibromyalgia, bilateral carpal tunnel (& associated repetitive strain injuries), migraines, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia and hypersomnia. Akii also deals with gastrointestinal pain related to necrotising enterocolitis and thoracic pain due to a thymectomy. Akii is therefore deeply passionate about breaking down barriers for people who live with chronic pain, chronic illness and disability.
Travelling is Akii’s favourite past times and one of their biggest joys and passions in life. Akii loves exploring the world, both solo and with their partner. Although at times, it feels impossible due to Akii's disabilities and chronic pain, Akii is passionate about disability accessibility (i.e universal design) and demonstrating that a fulfilling life is possible despite pain, illness and disabilities. In Akii's spare time, they loves brunching, watching shows, baking and especially spending time with their two rescue long-hair sausage dogs, named Ponyo and Jojo.
To read and watch more about Akii's own lived experience story of chronic pain, visit the National Pain Week website resources and written Faces of Pain stories.