Diversity in music: Samson’s journey into the industry

SAE is proud to celebrate Samson Hailu, a talented music student who has defied barriers and stereotypes. Living with cerebral palsy, Samson's journey at SAE highlights the Institute’s commitment to inclusivity and empowering individuals of all abilities.
Samson pictured outside SAE Melbourne

Samson enrolled in the Diploma of Music at SAE Melbourne last year. Despite the physical challenges, Samson’s passion for music remains unwavering. His dedication and resilience have not only impressed his peers but have also gained support from the wider SAE community.


SAE General Manager, Dr Luke McMillan, expressed his enthusiasm for Samson’s accomplishments: “At SAE, we believe in providing an inclusive and supportive environment for all our students,” Dr McMillan said. “Samson’s journey exemplifies our commitment to fostering creativity and education without limitation — we are proud to be part of his musical exploration.”

Samson has not only thrived academically but has also formed meaningful connections with fellow creatives at SAE. His experience goes beyond the technical aspects of music; it reflects the collaborative and welcoming culture that defines SAE. “I’ve always had a passion for music production, and being in a wheelchair and living with cerebral palsy hasn’t stopped me,” Samson said.

"SAE has provided me with the opportunities to learn and grow, through supportive staff and new friends who believe in my abilities."

“Having visited a couple of higher education providers, I felt SAE Melbourne could offer me more support with my education and accessibility,” he added. “Since beginning the course I’ve enjoyed the practical elements of it — as creatives we don’t like doing the academic parts so much!” Samson laughed.


On completion of the course, Samson has aspirations to open up a business and provide opportunities for people with disabilities to get into the music industry.“Studying at SAE has fuelled my passion not only for music but also for breaking down barriers in the industry,” he said. “I’m passionate about starting a business that goes beyond notes and beats – a business dedicated to providing opportunities for people with disabilities to thrive in the music industry.”

Samson’s carer, Matthew Akpan from JP’s Disability Support, also commented on the transformative impact of SAE on Samson’s life.”SAE have been fantastic,” Matthew said. “The inclusive atmosphere at SAE has allowed Samson to pursue his dreams. Even down to the accessible toilet, SAE and the lecturers have been very supportive.”

SAE remains committed to championing inclusivity and empowering individuals of all abilities, just like Samson, so they can create successful and lasting careers in the creative industries.  

Sound student working on sound project

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