Santiago was born with vision impairment. Diagnosed with glaucoma, sclerocornea and microphthalmia, his sight has slowly deteriorated, and he now only retains 1-2% vision in his right eye.
In 2008, believing there were limited opportunities for people with vision impairment in their home country Colombia, Santiago’s parents moved the family to Australia.
Having been encouraged by his parents that he could achieve anything, Santiago studied a Bachelor of Engineering degree at Queensland University of Technology, setting precedents as the first vision impaired student in Australia enrolled in electrical engineering.
Santiago is today a TedX speaker, UN panellist and Founder and CEO of EyeSyght and Hailos, technology companies focussed on addressing accessibility. Santiago is determined to influence the perceptions of people with disability through his diversity and inclusion keynote talks.
His last seen memory was at the age of nine, cycling with friends around his Colombian apartment complex. He remembers his blue bike, deep red bricks and the vegetation and greenery within the grounds. He recalls the sounds of friends’ laughter and the carefree feeling of riding a bike by himself which artist Kathleen O’Hagan has captured in the painting. Today he uses a tandem bike.
Kathleen O’Hagan is an emerging artist, arts writer, and educator in Meanjin (Brisbane). She graduated from a Bachelor of Visual Arts (First Class Honours and University Medal) at the Queensland College of Art in 2021. In 2016, her drawing, In the Zone, was exhibited in Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), as a recipient of the Creative Generations Excellence Award in Visual Art. She was one of 33 students selected for the award, from almost 200 schools and 522 nominated students across Queensland.
In 2022, she staged her first two solo exhibitions and her first exhibition as a solo curator in the Grey Street Gallery, Land Street Gallery, and POP Gallery. She currently works as a Sessional Art Theory tutor at the QCA.
Dr Catherine Likhuta is an Australian-based composer, pianist and recording artist. Her music exhibits high emotional charge, programmatic nature and rhythmic complexity. Her pieces have been played extensively around the world, including venues such as Carnegie Hall, Glyndebourne Opera House, the Midwest Clinic, six International Horn Symposiums and two World Saxophone Congresses. She is a two-time winner of the International Horn Society Composition Contest (virtuoso division) and a recipient of several awards, including two grants from the Australia Council for the Arts.
Catherine holds a five-year post-graduate degree in composition from the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine (Kyiv Conservatory) and a PhD in composition from the University of Queensland. She is an active performer, often playing her own music. She has performed as a soloist with the Cornell University Wind Ensemble and was the pianist on Adam Unsworth’s CD Snapshots. Her works can be heard on Albany, Cala, Equilibrium and Summit Records.