Red Nicholson - Year 9 Dean, Onehunga High School

Profile photo of Red Nicholson"I believe that everyone deserves to live a rich, fulfilling life. Some of us are fortunate enough to be able to live like this fairly organically, however for many of us, improving accessibility is a really crucial part of making this sort of life possible. I'm proud to be a member of the Fab 50, a community of individuals working every day to change mindsets, remove barriers and fighting to make Aotearoa the most accessible, inclusive country in the world."

This month, we're delighted to share how Fab 50er Red Nicholson is shaping the access conversation in Aotearoa!

Red is a high school dean and master's student who is leading new disability-focused discourse. In 2017 he created 'Conversations with Crips' – a podcast exploring the intersection of disability and identity. Earlier this year, Red's Twitter commentary led him to write this brilliant article for the Spinoff – 'Writing about disability? Here are five tips to get it right.' And just last week, Red was interviewed for a piece by Re: on how media narratives and language contribute to attitudes towards people with disabilities.

Over the last few years, Red's support of Be. has taken many forms. Soon to be launched is our first collaborative project – an as yet un-named podcast where Red will interview leaders from Aotearoa's access community. The podcast will lead new conversations – exploring a world of possibilities for access and Access Citizens. Red's first guests are Thought Wired co-founders Sarvnaz Taherian and Dmitry Selitsky – and the episode features a mind-bending chat about the future of innovation and access, ethics of being, radicalism, and imagination.

Late last year, Red took part in Be’s Future Scenarios Project – the future-focused research project which is underpinning the direction and purpose of our Be. Lab. As one of more than fifty thought leaders from around the globe who contributed to the project, Red discussed the shape our future world may take, and how he envisions communities may respond to the rapid pace of change.

Additionally, Red is a long-standing supporter of our Be. Leadership programme. Himself a member of the 2016 cohort, Red has spoken to our participants in 2015, 2017, and 2018 – discussing his role as an educational leader, and sharing the complexities teachers, students and schools face due to New Zealand’s social landscape.

Our CEO, Minnie, shares her perspective on Red's contribution to access-focused social change in Aotearoa…

"Red is someone who cannot help but constantly challenge the edges of convention. He is a fierce champion of a more accessible world and I have the utmost respect for him and his unwavering commitment to leadership and social equity!"

Minnie Baragwanath - CEO, Be. Accessible