Daniel was identified Autistic at the age of two and a half years.
He has received an Order of Australia Medal for his outstanding contributions to disability advocacy and community and has advocated inside of a range of committees including the Victorian Government’s Victorian Disability Advisory Council, Public Transport Access Council advising State Government on access to public transport, City of Greater Bendigo’s Disability Inclusion Reference Committee and the V/Line Accessibility Reference Group.
"There have been times in my life that I’ve wanted to do away with my Autism due to being ashamed of some of my challenges including meltdowns and being conscious that I’m not the so-called ‘normal’. I would also chastise myself for not following neurotypical social ‘norms’.
I am however coming to embrace myself as being Autistic, recognising that I live in a world that’s not necessarily built for us. I celebrate what I am able to contribute to the world around me, realising that I was never meant to be everyone and everything. I look forward to continuing to become more comfortable in my own skin, shining in my own unique way.
I began my schooling in a specialist educational setting, then gradually transitioned to mainstream education, attending full time from Grade 5 onwards. I then graduated Secondary school and went on to study a Bachelor of Graphic Design with Honours at La Trobe University. I now work part-time as a graphic designer and photographer in a supportive workplace environment. I live independently and am now on a journey to build my own home.
I practice my advocacy work in a number of different ways.
Firstly, I run Speaking Insights with my father and we educate about Autism from the parent and Autistic perspective, sharing about my journey from childhood through to adulthood, including receiving an Order of Australia Medal for my services to disability and the community.
I have also presented at a variety of conferences.