Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Australians encouraged to nominate for National Disability Awards

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Australians are being encouraged to nominate individuals and organisations that make a positive contribution to the lives of people with disability for the fifth annual National Disability Awards.

The Awards give recognition to the remarkable achievements of the disability sector and the role models with disability who inspire all Australians.

The Minister for Community Services, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, have announced Australian of the Year Simon McKeon as Patron of International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) and the National Disability Awards for 2011.

“Simon has a wealth of experience in working with the disability sector in his role with MS Research Australia,” Ms Macklin said.

“Simon is a passionate advocate for people with disability and as Patron will have a strong voice in promoting the Awards and International Day of People with Disability.”

Senator McLucas said the call for nominations comes at an important time for the disability sector, following the endorsement of the National Disability Strategy by all Federal and State government leaders at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in February.

“The National Disability Strategy provides a ten year reform plan for all governments to ensure that mainstream services and programs including healthcare, housing, transport and education, address the needs of people with disability.

“The Australian Government is working hard to ensure people with disability have the same opportunities as other Australians to fulfill their potential.

“The Awards recognise organisations and individuals from many sectors that provide opportunities for full inclusion, access and participation for people with disability.”

Nominations close 30 June 2011 and award recipients will be announced at a gala dinner held at the Great Hall in Parliament House, Canberra on 22 November 2011.

There are seven Award categories:

  1. Minister’s Lifelong Achievement Award
  2. Young Disability Challenge Award
  3. Business Award
  4. Local Government Award
  5. Social Inclusion Award
  6. Inclusive and Accessible Communities Award
  7. Health and Wellbeing Award

The National Disability Awards are part of the Australian Government’s celebration of International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), which occurs on 3 December each year.

The annual event aims to build awareness of disability issues and of the important role people with disability have in their local communities, their country and internationally.

To nominate for the National Disability Awards, visit or call 1800 440 385.