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Jess Cochran - new pic.jpeg

Jess Cochran (they/them)

Disability & Multiple Chronic Illnesses


Place of Birth: Sunbury, VIC, Australia
Current location: Sunbury, Victoria, Australia
Age: 33 years old
Language/s: English only
NDIS Participant: Yes
Diagnoses: Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Autism, Pituitary Adenoma, Gastroparesis, Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, Migraines, Depression, Anxiety, C-PTSD, ADHD, PCOS, Dysautonomia, Scoliosis, Endometriosis, Raynaud’s
Healthcare Access: Primary Health Care, Mental Health, Allied Health, Secondary and Tertiary care


Jess Cochran is a queer, non-binary, disability advocate, talented performing artist, model, writer, public speaker and carer. Jess' health deterioration landed them in the paediatric system, as they faced challenges with their mental and physical health, before they condition worsened in their early-20s. Jess now uses a wheelchair for mobility, portacath for vascular access and a PEGJ for nutrition. Jess also has an Assistance Dog who supports them with their physical and psychosocial disabilities and the trauma from multiple instances of abuse throughout their teens and 20’s. Passionate to raise awareness, create positive change in the health system and promote authentic representation of people with disability in performing arts, Jess has been able to use their lived experience to be a voice for their community. 

Their experiences have been given meaning through their work and achievements within health and acting, where they have been able to work with key stakeholders in health and government to improve access, navigation and support for people with disabilities. 
On a society level, Jess strives to advocate for accessibility, safety and respect for those within the disability, neurodiverse, LQBTQIA+ and gender diverse communities.

Jess has incredibly diverse lived experiences and is available to speak, engage and consult on a range of additional topics including; being a victim survivor of abuse, experiencing homelessnessongoing abuse, neglect and manipulation from primary support systems, attempting to access housing that is safe, accessible and available in a timeframe that wasn’t (10+ years), the effects of being an NDIS participant and having the Disability Support Pension as a primary income .

They hope that sharing their experiences will help with the disassembling of ableist constructs and lead to a wider understanding of how intersectionality affects the care and experiences of those who access healthcare and support systems.


  • Extensive experience as a writer across multiple publications

  • Chief Investigator on MRFF Consumer-Led Grant application 2022

  • Peer Advocate for CoHealth Diversexy Program (creation and presentation) 2020-current

  • Co-Lead creation and implementation of CoHealth Disability Inclusion Plan 2020-2024

  • Performer in Award-winning show "Qualia" at Melbourne Fringe Festival 2019 (with ongoing projects)

  • Disability Consumer Consultant for the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria in the creation of 'My Allied Health Space'

  • National Disability Services peer advocate for ProjectABLE and Practice Support Network member

  • Focus group participant and content creator for 'Giving it a Go' app and website (resource for people living with musculoskeletal conditions)

  • Engaged as a consumer representative/lived experience consultant for government, organisation and research-led mental health and disability projects

  • Blogger for Invacare Australia and New Zealand

  • Multiple media interviews live, in print and radio including The Age, ABC, Triple J, Life Matters and more


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