The Power of Expectation — 2021 Reddihough Symposium


Sophie Deane is a 20-year-old young woman with some pretty big ideas about what she would like to do with her life. She has just finished school and is keen to get on and find a job, move out of home, travel – and maybe even get married. She would like the chance to tell you more about those hopes and dreams.

Kirsten and Joel are Sophie’s Mum and Dad. Since Sophie’s diagnosis 20 years ago, they have heard many predictions about what their daughter’s life could and would be like. None bear much resemblance to the life Sophie is going to tell you about. So, they would like the chance to tell you how and why those predictions missed the mark – and why they think expectation is far more powerful than prediction.




Kirsten Deane is the General Manager at the Melbourne Disability Institute. An interdisciplinary institute based at the University of Melbourne, the work of MDI is focused on providing much needed evidence, data and research to address the complex problems faced by people with disability in this country. Prior to joining MDI, Kirsten was the Campaign Director for Every Australian Counts, the grassroots campaign that fought for the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). She has a long-standing interest in disability research, policy and advocacy and in 2015 was awarded an OAM for her services to the disability community.

Joel Deane is a poet, novelist, journalist, and speechwriter. His most recent poetry collection, Year of the Wasp, was written in the aftermath of a stroke — and was a finalist for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. His non-fiction debut, Catch and Kill: The Politics of Power, was a finalist for the Walkley Book Award. His third novel will be published in 2021.

Sophie Deane

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