The Nepean Disability Expo has partnered with opera singer Yasmin Arkinstall as expo ambassador.

Arkinstall is an advocate for obsessive compulsive disorder and is calling for greater understanding of OCD.

Diagnosed at 21, the impacts of OCD led her to over practice and damage her vocal cords, forcing her to defer a degree at the Conservatorium of Music.  

“A lot of people tend to disregard the debilitating nature of it,” she said. “They associate OCD with cleaning and quirkiness, which is not true. I’m sure that there are many other disabilities getting the same treatment, doing a disservice to the disability community.” 

Now 27, she has since graduated with a Bachelor of Music and performed as an opera singer alongside British comedian Bill Bailey as the support act for his ‘En Route to Normal’ tour.

In 2020, Yasmin and composer Dr Eve Klein were awarded an Arts ‘Projects groups’ grant by the Australia Council for the Arts to create a new operatic, autobiographical work about Yasmin’s life entitled ‘OCDiva.’

As ambassador for the expo, she hopes to raise more awareness about OCD. “I don’t want to have lived with a disability without having contributed to a cause. I think that is part of my mission in life. I want other people to know that they’re not alone and we all have our struggles.”  

The free My Future, My Choice Nepean Disability Expo will be held from March 31 to April 1 at the Penrith Valley Regional Sports Centre and features more than 100 service and product providers from the disability sector.