Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

2010 National Disability Awards finalists announced

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

Nine outstanding individuals were honoured today for their contributions to the disability sector at the annual National Disability Awards.

Among the award winners are educators, advocates, business people and public speakers who have all worked tirelessly to raise awareness of people with disability and make a real difference in the lives of others.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas, congratulated the award winners and the finalists on their achievements at the annual gala dinner at Parliament House in Canberra.

“Every year these awards encourage more people in our community to dedicate themselves to breaking down the barriers of access, discrimination and exclusion faced by more than one million Australians with disability every day,” Ms Macklin said.

“Congratulations to the 155 nominees for the awards, the finalists and the winners in each of the categories.

“Each and every one has shown great strength, resilience and determination. They are an inspiration to us all.”

Senator McLucas said the awards were an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the remarkable achievements and contributions of people with disability and those who support them.

“I join with the rest of the nation in celebrating the achievements of these remarkable individuals and all the quiet achievers who are helping to improve the lives of people with disability,” Senator McLucas said.

The finalists were selected from more than 155 nominations across a number of categories including the Minister’s Lifelong Achievement Award, Young Disability Challenge Award, Business Award – Lard Business focus and Small Business focus,
Local Government Award, Social Inclusion Award – Community focus and School focus, and Accessible Housing Award.

For the first time, the winner of the TAC Yooralla Media Award for Excellence was also announced at the National Disability Awards, with the winner Nic Falconer recognised for his outstanding work in the field of photojournalism.

The National Disability Awards finalists were selected by an independent judging panel including representatives from the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council and the Disability Council of New South Wales.

The National Disability Awards are held annually as part of the Australian Government’s celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of People with Disability which is held each year on 3 December.

2010 National Disability Awards recipients

Minister’s Lifelong Achievement Award
Mary Guy

  • Mary was instrumental in securing government in-home support for people with disabilities and new programs to enhance independence. Mary, a recipient of the 2001 Centenary Medal and placed on the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women, also led a whole-of-government approach for disability in Tasmania within the Premier’s Department.

Young Disability Challenge Award – Laura Miller:

  • A 25 year old social worker in Perth, Laura is a recognised leader in promoting the rights of people with disability as well as being the youngest Disability Services Commission (WA) Board member appointed since 2008.

Business Award – Large Business focus

  • Since 2004 Coles has implemented its Disability Employment Strategy to develop and implement long-term cultural change to improve employment prospects for people with disability. As one of Australia’s largest companies, Coles has developed several innovative initiatives to assist employees with disability.

Business Award, Small Business focus – Terence Cody, D.C.T. Associates Pty Ltd:

  • An engineer and MBA, Terence founded D.C.T Associates Pty Ltd to develop, design and manufacture aids to assist people with disabilities.

Local Government Award – Ian Ashley Chill, Cairns Regional Council

  • Ian is the Access and Equity Project Officer at Cairns Regional Council, where he has worked since 2005. Ian works with community groups, organisations, non-government organisations, schools and government departments presenting disability awareness sessions and undertaking access audits to ensure the provision of appropriate client service.

Social Inclusion Award, School focus – Dianne McRoberts:

  • As head of Learning Support at St James College for ten years and Equity Network Consultant for the Religious Institute Schools of Queensland, Dianne has implemented inclusive practices that have resulted in improved outcomes for children with disability, increased student enrolment for the school and developed a resource package called – Embracing Diversity.

Social Inclusion Award, Community Group focus – Sheila King and the Australia For All Alliance Inc:

  • Through her work with the ‘Australia For All Alliance Inc’, Sheila seeks out and lodges complaints of discrimination in areas of everyday life. The Alliance, made up of a group of people with disabilities and their supporters, help people with disability to overcome barriers that prevent them participating fully in community life. To date the group has taken up and resolved more than 100 problems bought to their attention by members of the community.

Accessible Housing Award – Angela Roennfeldt:

  • Angela is an honours graduate from the Architectures Melbourne University and was awarded the AV Jennings Churchill Fellowship which included overseas travel to study adaptable housing and small scale residential aged care. She is a strong advocate for fully accessible homes through her current role as in-house architect for Villa Maria Society, a not-for-profit organisation providing support for elders and people with disability.

TAC Yooralla Media Award for Excellence – Nic Falconer:

  • Nic Falconer is principal photographer at the Sunshine Coast Daily. His observation of people with disability through his photography poignantly encapsulates the essence of what these awards are striving to achieve – the portrayal of people with disability simply as people with their disability as part of the detail.