We Think You Are Awesome – Miriam Rystedt

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I want to give people with disability a voice by telling your stories.

Communications and Engagement Officer Miriam Rystedt joined Interchange in August 2019, bringing 15 years of knowledge and experience in communications, marketing and videography. Miriam seeks to share people’s experiences – whether they are achievements, strengths, or even struggles – her aim is to deepen our understanding and appreciation of others. She wants to give people with disability a voice by telling their stories. 

There is no greater disability in society, than the inability to see a person as more. I would love for society to see what amazing value people with disability bring to our world – focusing on and celebrating their incredible abilities and achievements. 

Miriam knows everyone has value. And this is what attracted her nominee’s eye – her passionate inquisition about the support we deliver, the integrity of our support workers, and the capabilities of the people we support.  

Miriam made a huge impact from the moment she walked in the door. With her contagious smile, larger-than-life German personality, and optimist aura, she brightens up any room, and our organisation.

Within her role, Miriam brainstorms innovative communication strategies, as well as creating and implementing ways to engage our staff, the people we support, their families and guardians, and key stakeholders through different channels. In the short time Miriam has been with us (honestly feels like she’s always been a part of the team) Miriam has been taking the lead on our internal newsletter iChat, the iThink You Are Awesome campaign, which recognises our amazing staff, revamped our website and made our social media channels thrive. It has been great to see these projects take off and we feel blessed to have someone like Miriam who goes above and beyond her role to share the stories of Interchange with the world. 

Miriam’s motto in life is:

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

It’s easy to see why. Miriam came to Australia in 2010 as a backpacker with a mission to write a travel book, though, that never quite worked out as she planned. Instead, she met her now-husband on an apple farm in South Australia, and they fast decided Australia was the place for them. It hasn’t always been easy to find their feet but the pair was determined to build a life on the other side of the world.

Miriam says

If someone tells me you can’t, well I prove to them I can.”

Many of our staff, alongside Miriam, share this ethos when it comes to supporting others, as well as internalising this perspective themselves. It is the people, and the people we support, who make Interchange. 

In her “downtime”, this amazing lady loves to socialise, often hosting big German dinners, and entertaining guests. Miriam loves to indulge in nature, painting, poetry, photography, as well as getting to the beach alongside her husband, two young boys, and niece. With a big heart, she opens her home to others, truly embodying “everyone belongs”. 

Thank you for being you, Miriam. Interchange wouldn’t be where we are today without your vision. 


Check out some of our Stories of Interchange

If you would like to share your story with Miriam please get in touch with her by emailing m.rystedt@interchangewa.org.au