Emmanuel speaks about the following topics
Cultural roles and expectations at times come into conflict with understanding of disability. Rising above those expectations and challenges can come from harnessing the qualities within.
Emmanuel is a visual artist and humanitarian born in Ghana. He was inspired to become a lived experience educator after realising that sharing his own story and experience of mental health could be a useful learning tool for others.
He hopes in sharing his story, he will add value through providing a cultural perspective on how to seek help and how he used art to develop resilience.
Emmanuel migrated to Australia with his mother and siblings in 2015. His father was already living and working in Sydney and the family lived in South West Sydney. Emmanuel went to the local high school where art was his favourite subject. In his free time he enjoyed coaching kids’ soccer in the local park and spending time with his friend from Samoa who shared his interest in art.
When the family circumstances changed and they moved away from Campbelltown, Emmanuel’s relationships with his parents and siblings were strained to breaking point. His life became a daily struggle to maintain his connection to school and friends, and he became isolated, angry, deeply sad and unable to feel hope or see any future.
His recovery journey began with a conversation with one of his school teachers who advised him to channel feelings through art and assisted him to access to the school counsellor. This led to referral to Headspace, which led to referral to SSI programs.
Emmanuel has continued to develop his visual art skills and in 2016, he won the Art for Planet Award from Campbelltown Council and had has first solo exhibition in August 2019 sponsored by Inner West Council. His goals include studying fine arts at the National Art School and developing his public speaking, business administration and leadership skills.View all speakers Book speaker