Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Lake Macquarie school wins national disability inclusion competition

Cardiff High School in Lake Macquarie has won the Morrison Government’s Grow Inclusion schools competition that was held to mark International Day of People with Disability.

50 schools entered the competition nationally across every state and territory by registering events that celebrated the achievements of people with disability.

Cardiff High School’s winning event involved local police, parents and community members as well as school staff and students. All worked collaboratively to create a morning tea designed to grow inclusion through coffee, food, dance performance, sporting activities and an awards presentation.

The morning tea displayed the catering and barista skills that students with disability have gained through the BusyBeans program, designed to give people with disability specialised skills to become baristas.

Principal at Cardiff High School Gareth Erskine said the award recognises dedication to inclusivity in the school and community.

“The $3,000 prize towards accessible resources for our school’s existing programs will be tremendous in supporting the students to continue to develop life skills and be an integral part of the life of the school,” Mr Erskine said.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston congratulated Cardiff High School and said that teaching young Australians about the importance of inclusion is invaluable.

“It was great to see so many schools across the country getting involved and celebrate this fantastic initiative,” Minister Ruston said.

“We need to provide people with disability every opportunity to contribute and thrive in the classroom, workplace and community.”

The schools were required to register their events prior to International Day of People with Disability on December 3 last year. Nationally, more than 670 overall events were held to celebrate the day.