Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Outstanding achievements recognised at National Disability Awards

Twelve individuals and organisations were tonight recognised for their outstanding work to improve the lives of people with disability at this year’s National Disability Awards.

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield, congratulated the winners at a ceremony at Parliament House.

“This year’s field was exemplary, with many committed recipients whose work has helped improve the lives of Australians with disability and their families,” Senator Fifield said.

“Congratulations to the award recipients and all of the finalists who were recognised for the outstanding contributions they make to our community.”

Minister Fifield said the awards had been impressive this year, with more than 200 nominations received across the nine categories.

“This year we have seen people who have dedicated more than 30 years to supporting people with disabilities,” Minister Fifield said.

“We awarded emerging leaders who are pioneering attitude change both domestically and internationally.

“These individuals and businesses exemplify the benefits to all of helping people with disability take part in all aspects of social, economic and community life.”

Media outlets were also recognised for their significant contribution through the Yooralla Media Award of Distinction.

“I’d particularly like to congratulate the winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for Outstanding Achievement, the late Lesley Hall. Lesley was an outstanding leader, a formidable advocate for people with disability, a strong advocate for the NDIS and a member of two of the expert groups set up to guide its development.”

The National Disability Awards form an important part of the Australian Government’s celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of People with Disability.

Media resources, including high-resolution images, will be available from 10pm at:

A list of the Award winners is below.

Lesley Hall Award for Lifetime Achievement in Disability
Ms Ann Procter
(Duffy, ACT)
Ann Procter has over 40 years of personal and professional experience in advocacy, training and service delivery for people with disability. As the mother of three children, one of whom has multiple and profound intellectual and physical disabilities, she is dedicated to pursuing the rights of people with disability to encompass physical, social and economic inclusion.
Mr John Moxon
(Northmead, NSW)
John Moxon has had a long and active history of involvement in advocacy and support services for people with disability for over 30 years. He has been involved in a range of organisations at the local, state and national levels including leadership positions.
Emerging Leaders Award in Disability
Mr Huy Nguyen
Huy Nguyen has pioneered many developments to improve the lives of people with disability. He developed the first official wheelchair basketball program in the Solomon Islands, is the founder of a social enterprise called Enable Development and led a highly motivated group of development organisations toward an inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene practice in Timor Leste.
Excellence in Accessible Communities
Western Desert Dialysis (Alice Springs, NT) Western Desert Dialysis is an Aboriginal Community controlled health service. With no government funding, the service has managed to procure and run a purple truck which travels widely to remote communities in the NT, WA and SA providing dialysis to those in need.
Excellence in Improving Social Participation Award
Penrith City Council (Penrith, NSW) In collaboration with others, Penrith City Council has produced No Boundaries, an exciting project that demonstrates the benefits of participation in art for people with disability, the capacity of technology to provide new opportunities for participation and the influence their creative contributions can have on social inclusion.
Excellence in Advocacy & Rights Promotion Award
Mr Robert Pask
(Bentleigh East, Vic)
Robert Pask is an advocate for people living with disability and chronic illness. He established a peer advocacy program for people living with MS that has developed over five years. This program uses a unique model of mentoring and networking that advocates use to progress their key issues.
Excellence in Improving Employment Opportunities
ABLE – Westpac Group Employee Action Group for Access Ability (National) Westpac Group’s proactive network of employees volunteer as advocates for people with disability. The ABLE (Assisting Better Lives for Everyone) Employee Action Group is working to make positive change for Westpac’s 12 million customers, 36,000 employees and the community more broadly.
Excellence in Improving Personal & Community Support
Hear for You (National) Hear For You, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2007 operates in several locations providing a mentoring program for deaf and hearing-impaired children and young people.
Excellence in Improving Education Outcomes Award
Down Syndrome Victoria (Fitzroy, Vic) The Down Syndrome Inclusion Support Service aims to ensure students with Down Syndrome reach their full potential by providing practical hands on support, resources and skills to teachers and support staff responsible for meeting their learning needs.
Excellence in Improving Health and Wellbeing Outcomes
Ms Susan Race
(St Albans, Vic)
Susan Race has led the development of an innovative hospital discharge planning process that aims to ensure individuals with disability and complex health needs successfully return to the community and avoid long stays in hospital.
Yooralla Media Award of Distinction
The Project, Network Ten (Victoria) Having won the award last year, The Project has continued to demonstrate fearless commitment to turning the spotlight on disability issues, and returning to a number of those stories for follow-up throughout the year.
Prime Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award
Ms Lesley Hall Over several decades, the late Lesley Hall fought for the equal rights of people with disability, and was a passionate advocate of the right of people with disability to be properly consulted in all decisions affecting their lives. Lesley was a key national Council member and CEO of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations. She was a strong advocate for the NDIS and helped ensure choice and control underpinned the scheme through her work in two of the expert groups set up to guide its development.