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Today, Australia pays tribute to a fearless, beautiful advocate.

Stella Young.

 

Today, as Australia remembers a strong, fearless comedian, writer and advocate — Mamamia remembers a friend and inspiration.

Stella Young passed away at age 32 earlier this month, and her memorial service is currently underway at Melbourne Town Hall.

In true Stella style, the dress code at the service is “fabulous” with little to no black.

Here are some memorable moments from the moving ceremony.

Waleed Aly’s beautiful eulogy.

In his eulogy, Aly remembered Young, who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta — a genetic disorder that causes bones to break easily –as a fierce advocate for people with disabilities.

“She made the world change for you. She changed your mind,” Aly said.

“She’s made the world a different place for you and for me and for everybody in this room.”

 Screenshot via ABC.

“She was better than you in almost every single way.”

Grame Innes’ voice breaking.

Screenshot via ABC.

Former disability discrimination commissioner Graeme Innes’ voice broke, and he had to pause for several seconds to compose himself, during his heartfelt speech.

“Your stories of ordinary life as a person with a disability were funny, poignant but always contained a powerful message,” he said in his tribute to Stella.

Stella, you strong energetic, charming, funny woman, who said that you could break a bone just by breaking wind — you’ll be sadly missed.”

Kelly Vincent’s call to “stop apologising”.

Screenshot via ABC.

Kelly Vincent, Dignity for Disability representative in SA parliament, remembered Stella as “outspoken, funny and fearless”.

“Stop apologising to yourselves and then stop apologising to others. Something that Stella did extraordinarily well. Learn how to spot room for change, room for improvement, and then fill that space with the people who will help you make that change,” Vincent said.

“We must continue to make these arguments clearly, loudly and without fear.”

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Year 9 student Stella Barton reflecting: “it may take many of us to fill her red, spotted shoes.”

 Screenshot via ABC.

Stella Barton from the Youth Disability Advocacy Service is only in year nine, but her eulogy poignantly remembered Young as an inspirational mentor.

“Thank you Stella, for being my friend, and for showing me how to live with pride as a young disabled girl,” she said.

“It may take many of us to fill her red-spotted shoes but we can all use our own individual style, passion and ambition to show the world our humanity and our right to be seen and heard and to live as we choose with support and freedom that makes every one of our lives meaningful,” she said.

Nella Thomas describing what Stella’s future would have looked like.

 Screenshot via ABC.

Stella’s friend Nelly Thomas described Stella Young as a pocket-sized giant.

“But one that filled every room she was in, every stage,” she added.

“(W)e’ve lost a foghorn, a true agent of real change.”

Thomas went on to imagine (hilariously) what Stella’s future probably would have looked like.

“By 2035, everyone has seen how well she’s done with Australia and she’s running the world! Carpenters and brick layers from all the lands rejoice. All public buildings in the world are made accessible!,” she said.

Ramp up [the ABC site dedicated to Australia’s disability communities] is reinstated,” Thomas added — a suggestion met with huge cheers from the crowd.

Stella’s friend Bryce Ives remembering her mantra: “You get proud by practicing.”

 Screenshot via ABC.

Stella’s close friend Bryce Ices recalled her mantra: “you get proud by practicing”.

“Stella means star – outstanding and immense. Perhaps the choice of name by Greg and Lynne says it all,” he said. “By naming their daughter Stella, Greg and Lynne were practicing getting proud from day one.”

He’s reciting Young’s mantra: “You get proud by practising”

Mamamia’s Out Loud podcast:The Episode Dedicated To Stella Young:

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