Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Strong field for National Disability Awards

Twenty-one of Australia’s most inspirational citizens and organisations have been nominated for the Australian Government’s National Disability Awards to be announced on 22 November.

Senator McLucas said the Awards highlight some amazing stories and recognise outstanding contributions that individuals, organisations and businesses make to the community and to the disability sector across seven categories.

“We want to show Australia that people with disability have an enormous amount to contribute to our society.”

Finalists have been named across seven award categories that are aligned with the National Disability Strategy. They are:

Minister’s Lifelong Achievement Award – recognises people who have advanced the rights of people with disability over a prolonged period of time.

  • Frank Hall-Bentick – Richmond, Victoria
  • Michael Simpson – Enfield, New South Wales
  • Marelle Thornton AM – Sydney, New South Wales

Young Disability Challenge Award – recognises young people aged 12-25 years who have advanced the rights of people with disability.

  • Elisha Bramhall – Glenlee, Queensland
  • Peter Hall – Ocean Reef, Western Australia
  • Katrina Lancaster – Parramatta, New South Wales

Business Award – recognises organisations that have improved access to employment, or created increased employment opportunities for people with disability.

  • Ai-Media – Macquarie Park, New South Wales
  • Alcoa Aluminium Smelter, Point Henry – Geelong, Victoria
  • Woolworths Ltd – Baulkham Hills, New South Wales

Local Government Award – recognises work in a community that has provided opportunities for full inclusion of people with disability.

  • City of Canada Bay Council – Drummoyne, New South Wales
  • Lismore City Council – Lismore, New South Wales
  • Mandurah City Council – Mandurah, Western Australia

Social Inclusion Award – recognises schools, universities, employment and training providers, and advocacy services that have enabled equal participation of people with disability in a range of areas in life.

  • BRACE Education Training Employment – Ballarat West, Victoria
  • Personalised Lifestyle Assistance – Boronia, Victoria
  • Technical Aid to the Disabled (ACT) Incorporated – Holder, ACT

Inclusive and Accessible Communities Award – recognises work by developers, builders and others in the building sector to create accessible building or facilities for people with disability.

  • Housing Choices Australia – Melbourne, Victoria
  • Touched by Olivia Foundation – Drummoyne, New South Wales
  • Travability – Cardinia, Victoria

Health and Wellbeing Award – recognises health and wellbeing services that are creating equal access for people with disability.

  • City of Bayswater – Morley, Western Australia
  • Growing Towards Wellness Pty Ltd – Hilton, Western Australia
  • Parks Victoria – Melbourne, Victoria

Senator McLucas said the awards were an important way of changing community attitudes about people with disability.

“Too often we focus on the negatives, when there are so many amazing stories like those of our finalists.”

“They are role models for all Australians, not just those with a disability.”

“The contribution of all our award finalists cannot be underestimated,” said Senator McLucas.

The National Disability Awards will be announced at a gala dinner in Parliament House Canberra on 22 November and are part of the Australian Government’s celebration of International Day of People with Disability.

For more information visit the International Day of People with Disability website or visit the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs website