Living with Dwarfism in Australia and the UK in the 1990's - 2020's, a witness testimony

Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

11th, October 2022

Journalists often ask me what it's like living with Dwarfism. They want salacious details of prejudice so they can shake their heads and tut at the state of the world.

I won't go into details during interviews about the abuse or prejudice I frequently experience. To adequately describe the discrimination people with dwarfism experience in everyday life would take too long and distract from the purpose of the interview - shameless self-promotion.

For anyone genuinely interested in what living with dwarfism in Australia and the UK is like, I recommend reading my sister's written testimony to the Royal Disability Commission. It's a compelling read; Eloquently written, radically honest and a little sad.

Read Peta's witness statement

Snow White Controversy


2nd, Feb 2022

Kiruna responds to Peter Dinklage's remarks about the Disney live action remake of 'Snow White'

Peter Dinklage is right

a live-action Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a fundamentally awful idea

The Guardian

27th, Jan 2022

Kiruna responds to Peter Dinklage's remarks about the Disney live action remake of 'Snow White'

Read the full article


JMacqueen Media

1st, Dec 2018

I'd like to share this great video about my sister Melanie and her passion for adventure.

Like me, Melanie has Dwarfism. This means that participating in her sports of choice (generally extreme) requires a massive amount of ingenuity and drive. Melanie has both.

This film has recently been accepted into the 2019 Gutsy Girls Adventure film tour.

My open letter to all ABC Parents and Australians

Open Letter

9th, Sept 2018

Kiruna addresses some of the questions raised by her being cast for ABC's Play School.
Read the letter

Play School


1st, Sept 2018

Actors Kiruna Stamell, Hunter Page-Lochard and Kaeng Chan have made their debut on the long running show via a super cute welcome video on Facebook.
Watch The Play School 'hello' video introducing the new presenters
Watch Kiruna Stamell introducing herself to the Play School audience


Remix Summit

1st, Sept 2018

The Ugly Duckling and How the Pretty Kids Got All The Cake
“Artists can play important roles as game changers, telling stories that challenge society. I am often disappointed though that too frequently, they just reinforce the status quo, particularly when we are talking about what is and isn’t beautiful, sexy or acceptable as a body. Even when they tell stories about people who are ‘others’ – disabled, have an impairment, or even just a big nose – the truth of the story is undercut because so much praise is heaped on the non-disabled actor, who we all know to be a super-hottie, for playing someone considered undesirable.” – Kiruna Stamell.
Join performer Kiruna Stamell for a discussion about the importance of ‘truth’ when producing work about disability and the disabled experience.

Australian Story


Monday 18 Sept 2017

All the World's a Stage
Born with a rare form of dwarfism, actor and dancer Kiruna Stamell has faced ridicule and discrimination all her life. But her determination to be a performer has never wavered and she has overcome every hurdle with dignity and grace.
Watch Episode
Watch Kiruna's facebook followup special

Question Time


Monday 5 June, 2017

Panellists: Christian Porter, Minister for Social Services; Anthony Albanese, Shadow Infrastructure Minister; David Leyonhjelm, Liberal Democrats Senator for NSW; Judith Brett, Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University; and Kiruna Stamell, Actor, dancer & advocate.



Kiruna’s self-choreographed tap dance audition for Got to Dance.

Kiruna began with an interest in performing as a dancer from the age of three. She faced prejudice early with many dance schools just not thinking it was worth training a little girl with dwarfism to dance. Eventually, her mother found Ultimate Dance/Beryl Ellis Dance Studios and from the age of eight Kiruna had found a place to dance.

As Kiruna got older she continued to dance but realised she wanted to explore the human experience and tell stories in other ways. She discovered her voice at high school, where she was an avid public speaker but her speeches and debating arguments were beginning to turn evermore into performances, which lead her closer to acting. However, Kiruna still loves to dance.



Pirate and Parrot was produced by A Little Commitment (ALC), a production company run by Kiruna and her husband Gareth Berliner. ALC is a producing and touring company, with an interest in comedy and theatre for children and adults.

The show was a family friendly romp for ages 4+. Co-devised by A Little Commitment and Red Earth Theatre and Text by Wendy Rouse. Directed by Amanda Wilde. Design by Laura McEwen. Starring Gareth Berliner as Parrot and Kiruna Stamell as Pirate.

With thanks also to Mac Birmingham and Arts Council England.


Stephen Nolan interviews Kiruna Stamell

Kiruna Stamell successfully sued the Post Office for discrimination because she could not reach the chip-and-pin machines at the counter. Kiruna was born with a rare form of dwarfism.


Podcast 28 05 Jun 08

Presented by Kiruna Stamell and Mat Fraser. Changing the rules of disability talk, this month Kiruna tries to work out why she was refused Disability Living Allowance by going through the forms on air for all to hear. Playwright Donna Franceschild talks about the DVD release of her '90s BBC2 drama Takin' Over the Asylum. Opinionated news from Rob Crossan and a Vegetable, Vegetable or Vegetable contestant who isn't disabled! Huh? Find out how that'll work by downloading the show now...


Podcast 26 03 Apr 08

Guest host Kiruna Stamell joins Mat Fraser for April's podcast, featuring disabled UK rapper MC Wheelz talking to US hip hop combo 4 Wheel City in New York. Chat includes: anaesthetic, surgery, assistance dogs, wolves and much, much more. Heck, it looks really crap written down, but trust us it's very entertaining!