Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Jacqueline Freney Patron for National Disability Awards

Paralympian and Young Australian of the Year 2014 Jacqueline Freney will be the official Patron of International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) and the National Disability Awards in 2014.

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield, said Ms Freney is an outstanding young Australian who will help raise awareness of the significant contribution made by people with disability to our community.

“International Day of People with Disability is a day to celebrate the many contributions people with disability make to our community,” Senator Fifield said.

“As an elite athlete Ms Freney is one such example, having won eight medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.”

“There are many other Australians across all fields who prove each day that disability doesn’t have to be a barrier to achieving at the highest levels.”

Ms Freney said she was honoured to be chosen as Patron of IDPwD and the National Disability Awards.

“I’ve always believed having a disability should not stop anyone capable from achieving greatness, whether in the sporting arena or any other area of life,” Ms Freney said.

“My work in the wider community and working with Swimming Australia as a motivational speaker to help other people with disability reach their potential shows me every day that anything is possible.”

IDPwD is a United Nations sanctioned day that occurs annually on 3 December that aims to break down barriers and open doors to ensure people with disability have the same opportunities to achieve their goals as any other Australian.

To nominate for the National Disability Awards, go to or call 1800 672 682. TTY users please call 1800 555 677 and ask for 1800 672 682.