The Inspiring Internationalists Project

Arcadea & Philip Patston

Philip Patston

Philip Patston is a disability arts practitioner from New Zealand. He will be visiting the region in 2008. 

“As a gay, disabled, white man,” Philip reflects, “I know the strength that comes through recognising the dichotomy of diversity. Diversityworks is the vehicle for my purpose in life – to find extraordinary potential, even within fear and limitation.”  Philip describes himself as a creative philanthropist. He works as a consultant, comedian, columnist, recovering social worker and human rights activist, among other things. He is gay, vegetarian, English and has unique function.  Currently Philip is a NZ Social Entrepreneur Fellow and an ArtVenture Creative Entrepreneur (ArtVenture is a project of the Auckland Arts Regional Trust). He is most well-known for his live and broadcast work, particularly on the stand-up comedy television show Pulp Comedy (1997-2003), and vaguely remembered for his brief heterosexual role on Shortland Street (1999). In the same year he was named inaugural “Queer of the Year” by television show Queer Nation and was awarded a Billy T James award for commitment and contribution to the industry by the NZ Comedy Trust. Philip lives in Auckland and travels regularly in New Zealand. His work has taken him to Australia, the US, Canada, the UK and Belgium.  Philip is also Founder and Director of the International Guild of Disabled Artists and Performers, was the Chair of Touch Compass Dance Trust until July 2007 and is a founding trustee of Diversityworks Trust. He was the instigator and Creative Director of Giant Leap, NZ’s first international disability arts festival held in March 2005, and is currently leading a team scoping an international symposium on disability arts to be held in Auckland in


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