Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Australian actor named Patron for International Day of People with Disability

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

Aboriginal television and film actor, Aaron Pedersen, has today been named Patron for International Day of People with Disability and the National Disability Awards for 2012.

The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas, congratulated Mr Pedersen.

Mr Pederson is well suited to take on the role as 2012 patron, having taken care of his younger brother, who has cerebral palsy and a mild intellectual disability.

He is a passionate advocate for people with disability, showcasing his experiences in the documentary My Brother Vinnie, which follows Aaron’s journey as a carer and the extraordinary relationship he has with his brother.

“Aaron has a wealth of knowledge on what it’s like to be a fulltime carer. In his 20’s, Aaron became his brother’s carer for a number years,” Ms Macklin said.

“We know everyone has a story to tell, we just have to be ready to listen. It not only gives us an insight into the experiences and challenges people face but it also gives us a better understanding of the kind of support and care people with disability need and deserve.

“Aaron is a fantastic advocate for people with disability, their families and carers and I congratulate him on his new role.”

The National Disability Awards recognise organisations and individuals who make positive contributions to the lives of people with disability.

Nominations for the sixth annual National Disability Awards are still open until Friday 20 July 2012.

“We encourage people to get their nominations in – there’s still time,” Senator McLucas said.

“The call for nominations comes at an important time for the disability sector, following the announcement of the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, which will provide support to thousands of people with significant and permanent disabilities across the country from July 2013.

“A National Disability Insurance Scheme will transform the way services for people with disability are funded and delivered, ensuring that people are better supported and giving them more have choice and control in their own lives.”

The award recipients will be announced at a gala dinner in Canberra on 28 November 2012.

The awards are part of the Australian Government’s celebration of International Day of People with Disability, celebrated on 3 December each year.

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

To nominate for the National Disability Awards visit or call 1800 440 385, TTY users please call 1800 555 677 and ask for 1800 440 385.