Shari Parker was born with albinism and its typical traits: white hair; blue eyes, extremely pale skin and limited vision.
Broadcast date: Wednesday 23 October
Shari is a doctor and says the congenital disorder of albinism is so poorly understood it was barely touched on during her medical training.
Realising the knowledge of most people is informed by pop culture, in which albino characters are generally cast as demonic or sub-human, she decided to open up to others about her condition.
To better educate the public, she joined the Albinism Fellowship of Australia.
Albinism: genes and discrimination
Thursday 10 October 2013 9:05AM
In some of world’s communities having pale skin places you at great risk, and not just from sun damage alone. Last month a United Nations Human rights report was published that exposed to the world the murder and mutilation of hundreds of people with albinism in at least 15 African countries. Albinism is a genetic condition and those born with it have little or no melanin, which is a chemical that colours our skin, eyes and hair. It affects people of all races and ethnicities but in Africa particularly the lack of understanding of Albinism has meant it has become bound up with deadly and cruel superstition.
This Friday to Sunday Sydney hosts ‘Fair Go’ – The Albinism Fellowship of Australia Conference. Dr. Murray Brilliant is a Geneticist and Director at the Center for Human Genetics at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Wisconsin and Peter Ash is CEO and Founder of Under the Same Sun, a charity based both in Canada and Tanzania.
Women’s Day – The amazingly talented Lauren Dawes, friend of the AFA, who made it to the second round in “The Voice” was featured in this Women’s Day article in April 2013. The AFA was referenced as their source for information about albinism.
The Age – “Albinos think it’s time the world played fair” (8th October, 2011): Article in The Age newspaper, featuring Dr. Shari Parker and the AFA 2011 Conference in Melbourne.
Channel 7 Sunrise (8th October, 2011): Elizabeth Beales and Dr. Shari Parker talk about the 2011 Spectacular Platinum Festival despite the interviewer asking questions to the wrong person. Watch here.
Channel 10 National News (8th October, 2011): News story about the 2011 Spectacular Platinum Festival and people with albinism. It features several white haired people who happen to be full of awesomeness. Watch here.
ABC George Negus Show (26 September, 2011): Zara Perry features with her cane. The force is strong with this one. Watch the video here.
ABC 7:30 Report – Albinism Special Feature: AFA Members appeared in a feature about albinism (aired on Wednesday, 13th January 2010). This feature was to raise awareness of life with albinism in Australia. The story shows a direct comparison with people with albinism living in Tanzania, who are frightened for their lives due to ongoing horrendous human rights violations. AFA was running our Tanzania Charity Drive at the time collecting donations to send to those people in Tanzania to show our fellowship and compassion for their plight.
You Tube Clip: ‘Melanin – Understanding Albinism‘
Channel 7 ‘Sunrise’ – Albinism Special Feature: AFA Secretary Dr Shari Parker was interviewed LIVE by Mel & Koshie on Sunrise (aired on Monday, 14th September 2009). This was the morning after the 2009 ‘Shining the Light on Albinism’ national conference hosted by Brisbane. This feature provided education about albinism and also discussed the national albinism conference.
You Tube Clip – ‘Albinism Interview on Sunrise‘
Karmichael plays ball on albinism: Article in ‘Courier Mail‘ (published Saturday, 28.08.2009) written by Mike Colman, Sports Reporter. Photograph by Annette Dew. Karmichael Hunt donated a team signed Broncos jersey to help raise funds for the AFA national albinism 2009 conference. Karmichael Hunt has Pacific Islander heritage and he showed his support for Pacific Islanders with albinism.
Sunscreen for Tanzania: Radio interview on ‘612 ABC Brisbane ’ (broadcast Tuesday, 18.08.2009). Then Vice President of AFA, Rachel Perry, was interviewed on Breakfast with Spencer Howson. Link takes you to the blog archive containing a short written overview of the interview discussing the AFA Tanzania Charity Appeal and an audio file (7mins 33 sec) of the interview.
Radio Interview – ‘Sunscreen for Tanzania‘
Albinos now say white is alright: Article in ‘Courier Mail‘ (published 11.06.2008) written by Janelle Miles, Health Reporter.
Article: ‘Albinos now say white is alright‘
Living with Albinism: Article published in ‘Australian Doctor‘ (published 06.04.2007) written by Dr Shari Parker. Shari has Oculocutaneous Albinism. This is an informative article where Shari discusses the clinical features of albinism, alongside the practicalities of living with albinism including the everyday challenges and solutions.
Article: ‘Living with Albinism‘