Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference 2023
Other lifeboats in the ocean

Mon 4 Sept 2023 | 10am - 4:30pm

Chris Varney

Photo of Chris Varney, Chairperson, Victorian Disability Advisory Council

Chairperson, Victorian Disability Advisory Council

Chris (he/him) is proudly autistic and is the Founding Director and Chief Enabling Officer of I CAN Network, Australia’s largest autistic-led organisation. I CAN employ 74 autistic adults and mentors over 2,000 young people through 130 I CAN School programs and I CAN Online.

Prior to founding I CAN, Chris was previously a Youth Representative to the UN and active with World Vision.

Chris was a 2018 Victorian Australian of the Year Finalist and 2017 recipient of the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Best Achievement in Human Rights Award. Chris is also a national patron of the Australian Association for Special Education.

Chris is passionate about disability job creation and employment and lives with his young family in Greater Geelong.


Shiver me timbers! Advocacy and inclusion

Monday 4th September, 2023: 10:15am - 11:10am

The systems juggernaut has been in dry docks for some time while inspection and investigation has been underway.  Unfortunately, too many rotting and split timbers were found, rendering her unseaworthy.  What repairs can be done to get her full steam ahead again?