Join Communities Of Collaboration host Fi Peel and journalist Zoe Simmons as they explore all things challenging and inspiring in crafting lived experience words. Learn why Zoe is committed to drawing on dark times to increase representation of disabled perspectives, and raising awareness about ableist attitudes and societal stigma. Hear why Zoe is passionate about storytelling, and its ability to break through loneliness and foster community connections that bring hope for a better future for us all.
Zoe Simmons writes to make a difference, smash stigma, and create change.
As an experienced journalist who’s been published hundreds of times around the globe—including by News.com.au, Daily Mail, Kidspot, POPSUGAR, Mamamia, the Sydney Morning Herald, the New York Post and That’s Life and New Idea magazines—Zoe knows how to captivate audiences through the raw power of storytelling. Alongside her journalism, Zoe runs her own copywriting and editing business, where she helps businesses small and large to find their perfect words—particularly in the health and disability space, where Zoe also works as a speaker and a lived experience advisor.
Zoe has words on ethical journalism published in Kathy Divine's 2019 Amazon best-selling book Golden Age Politics, and has two poems on chronic pain and mental illness in Tea with my Monster, a 2022 mental health anthology by Beyond the Veil Press. She has a chapter on how journalism helped her community in the Black Summer Bushfires in Occupational Therapy Australia’s 2022 book Doing Our Best: Individual and Community Responses to Challenging Times. She’s also writing a book about her experiences as a disabled journalist—and her hometown’s survival—in the Black Summer Bushfires.
After her national speaker debut at the 2021 National Young Writers’ Festival, where she spoke about journalism and trauma, Zoe now regularly speaks to media—including podcasts, and local and national print, radio and TV—about disability, chronic pain, and bushfire recovery. She’s also spoken at the 2022 National Youth Disability Summit, a 2022 headspace panel on mental health and disability allyship, and the 2022 National Young Writers’ Festival on trauma and storytelling, gaming journalism, and ethical journalism.
Zoe was also the winner of the Silver Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the 2021 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, winner of the 2021 Clever Copywriting School Member of the Year Award and has had one of her poems about chronic pain and medical trauma listed as Highly Commended in the 2022 Pocketry Prize for Unpublished Poets. She was also a finalist for the Clever Copywriting School’s Diversity and Inclusion Champion of the Year Award.
You can learn more about Zoe's work via her website and you can reach out to her via LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
For a call back from someone with a lived experience of suicide please call Roses In The Ocean's SP Care Connect on 1800 777 337
For a chat with a peer work about mental health in the workplace please call Neami National's Hear2Talk
on 1300 428 255
For current and former members of the Australian Defence Force and their families and loved ones you can call Open Arms
on 1800 011 046
Or you can always call Lifeline who are available 24/7
on 13 14 11