Farewell but not goodbye

Stories | September 19, 2023

Stevie Wills, CBM’s Chief Poet Advocate expands her horizons.

Stevie Wills is a poet with a mission. She wants to ensure that all people with disabilities have a voice and has devoted herself to that cause with passion, grace and imagination as a loved member of the CBM team.

Mariska, Stevie and Joe sitting together and praying
Image: Stevie and colleagues working on the human-centered design project Luke14.

Stevie joined CBM 13 years ago, spending two years in the volunteer team before joining as a permanent employee.

“I first started volunteering for Luke14,” Stevie remembers. “When I heard about CBM’s work overseas I was gutted that many people with disabilities don’t have access to school, employment and healthcare. I was compelled to advocate.”

One of her personal passions that has intersected with her working career at CBM has been creating and performing thought-provoking spoken word poetry that invokes empathy and compassion.

Stevie says some of the biggest memories that she keeps close to her heart have been the many performance poetry pieces that she has created and performed at conferences, events and lobbying trips.

Stevie started her advocacy through the lens of Luke14, a program that brings church leaders and people with disabilities together to create resources and advice on how to ensure more welcoming communities. She has run workshops with Veta Youth and delivered at Voices for Justice and Surrender and The Justice conferences.

Later, when she joined the Advocacy and Community Engagement Team, she further developed her advocacy, regularly representing CBM on a national stage and in Parliament House, speaking to those in the highest positions of power in Australia to amplify the voices of the most marginalised.

Stevie Wills with Langthom
Image: A life changing moment for Stevie when she met Langthom, who also had cerebral palsy, when she visited CBM projects in Zambia as a volunteer in 2011.

That is not to say she turned her back on Luke14. Stevie was a key contributor to the human-centred design project that saw Luke14 reimagined recently and which will be further developed over coming years.

As Stevie prepares to embark on an exciting new career, she departs as a permanent CBM employee. But this is not goodbye. Her heart will remain with the organisation’s mission, and she will continue as an associate of CBM, still advocating and representing CBM on the political and artistic stage wherever possible.

“I remain passionate about CBM’s cause, which is why I’m very keen to continue to be an Ambassador,” she says.

Stevie Wills with Jane Edge
Image: Stevie with CBM CEO Jane Edge at the Micah Women’s Delegation to Canberra in 2023.

Stevie’s next adventure is to The Difference Collective, an Australian-based not-for-profit organisation that strives to create “a future where workplaces are communities of compassion, and everybody thrives in their true calling”. Her role will be advocacy and content production, focusing on workplace justice for those who are marginalised here in Australia.

Do you have the time, ability and enthusiasm to support CBM and our cause? By volunteering with CBM, you help us strive towards our mission — to fight to end the cycle of poverty and disability. Register now to become a volunteer

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