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Creative Director + Community Leader Grace Dlabik on Australia's Accessible Housing Crisis, On TDF Talks


Grace Dlabik is the founder of BE. ONE Creative (a creative agency) and BE. Collective – two hubs in the BE. ecosystem that exists to empower and platform young creatives, with a focus on championing people of colour. As well as being a creative director, community leader, mentor and advocate, Grace is also a mother. She and her son Elijah have a formidable partnership, and their relationship has been the guiding force in her life for nearly two decades. Elijah is a wheelchair user and in the 18 years of his life, they have never lived in a home that suits his accessibility needs.

Since we shared their story last year,  the collective effort for greater awareness and action around Australia’s accessible housing crisis has gathered momentum, speed and legions of people. Now it’s making its its way to the Victorian parliament with the intention to implement legislative change on a national level. In true Grace form, she’s taking a whole lot of people to fight this systemic issue!

In this episode of TDF Talks, Lucy talks to Grace about building a creative community, being vulnerable in the public eye and tackling the country’s accessible housing crisis.

20th August, 2021

Grace and Elijah. Photo – Nynno Bel-Air.

Grace is a creative powerhouse! At work at BE. One Creative. Photo – Nynno Bel-Air.

Sasha Gattermayr
Friday 20th August 2021

‘Elijah is my teacher and I am his student, and everything I know I learnt from him.’ – Grace Dlabik

Many of you may remember Grace Dlabik from the moving (and very popular!) story she shared in our ‘Family’ column last year. It was the first time she had spoken publicly about life with her partner Morganne and son Elijah, and the struggles they have faced to find a rental property to meet Elijah’s accessibility needs.

Since that time of generous sharing (a scary and vulnerable thing!), a group of friends rallied around her to organise a crowdfunding campaign. This sparked a community effort to try to remedy the issue, and Grace has been at the centre of a public campaign raising action and awareness around Australia’s accessible housing crisis. She does this all while full-time caring for Elijah AND running her creative business.

Grace has an infectious warmth and her loving energy is a vehicle for so many around her. From the creatives she manages (like artist Aretha Brown), the campaigns she creates and the community she is a part of, Grace brings generosity and care everywhere she goes.

Safe to say she’s a pretty incredible human!

This podcast conversation is a dive into her creative endeavours, her life with Elijah and the campaigning that is woven into the fabric of her everyday life. Watch this space for the crowdfunding campaign that is soon to roll out!

This episode of TDF Talks was brought to you by Printful. Printful allows you to create and sell custom printed products online, from art and clothing to accessories, stationery, homewares and more. All from your own online store!

Right now, you can also participate in Printful’s Ecommerce Prodigy contest — build your online store from scratch using their online tools, and you could win up to AUD$3000. Find out more here.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email