Empowering pop culture and digital inclusion at Supanova

Published on 21 Jul 2023


A man dressed as Superman, with APM staff member Ayesha

Pictured: Superman and APM Communities team member Ayesha

On the 24th and 25th of June, APM Communities partnered with Mission Australia to attend Supanova Comic Con & Gaming™, an iconic event celebrating pop culture fandom in Australia.

Supanova has been a place for fans of comics, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, gaming, and literature to come together since 2000.

It provides a platform for aspiring talent, artists, and creators to showcase their work, and encourages attendees to embrace their inner geek through cosplay and creative expression.

During the event, APM Communities had the opportunity to witness the empowering impact of pop culture and the digital world.

Interacting with 476 individuals over the weekend, it was inspiring to see how attendees, many of whom had disabilities or knew someone with a disability, embraced their differences and showcased their skills.

APM Communities aimed to gauge the accessibility of their digital platforms in a fast-paced community setting and successfully conducted a digital survey using a QR code, gathering valuable insights from 40 individuals, in regard to their experiences of living with disability.

The event founder, Daniel Zachariou, visited our stall and expressed admiration for APM Communities' presence at Supanova Event.

“The inclusivity that has developed at Supanova over the years is awesome” Daniel said. “It’s important to us to create a safe and supportive space for individuals to be themselves and embrace pop culture.”

He then asked for feedback to be shared with his team, so as to support an ongoing commitment to access and inclusion at his events.

Photo of the APM booth at Supanova with an APM team member standing behind the desk

The collaboration between APM Communities and Mission Australia at Supanova was instrumental in providing valuable information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to the pop culture community.

With 20% of event participants living with disabilities, the intersection between the target audience of NDIS partners and attendees made this event an ideal platform to connect and engage with the community.

One significant outcome of the event was the shift in the narrative around disability within pop culture.

Rather than being seen as something to be pitied, disability representation in pop culture is becoming increasingly positive and empowering.

Many attendees initially expressed surprise or confusion upon seeing APM Communities at Supanova, but once the purpose of APM’s presence was explained, their attitudes quickly changed.

People were eager to have conversations and share their stories of living with disabilities, highlighting the positive impact the NDIS has had on their lives.

The inclusion of rainbow shoelace beads at the Communities stall proved popular.

Attendees embraced these beads as a means of self-expression and a symbol of their feelings.

It was heart-warming to witness individuals finding creative ways to express themselves within the pop culture community.

Partnering with Mission Australia at this event was particularly advantageous due to the diverse regional representation of Supanova attendees.

APM Communities and Mission Australia were able to connect with individuals from various regions in Western Australia, forging valuable connections within the wider community.

Overall, the event was a resounding success, providing a fun and inclusive space for all attendees.

APM Communities and Mission Australia's presence at Supanova contributed to the promotion of digital inclusion, empowerment, and positive representation within the pop culture community.

APM Communities delivers NDIS Partners in the Community services in parts of Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory.

Our Local Area Coordinators (LACs) help people with disability, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants, families and carers to identify and access the support they need.