Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

National Disability Awards 2009 finalists announced

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Today Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, Bill Shorten, announced the finalists for the 2009 Disability Awards.

Fifteen finalists have been selected from more than 240 nominations.

The National Disability Awards are held annually as part of the Australian Government’s celebration of International Day of People with Disability.

Ms Macklin said the awards were an opportunity for Australians to reflect on and celebrate the remarkable achievements and contribution of people with disability and those who support them.

‘I congratulate the 15 finalists who were selected from a strong field of more than 240 nominees,’ Ms Macklin said.

‘Their lives are testament to their great strength, resilience and determination – the same qualities shown by hundreds of thousands of Australians who live, work and achieve with disability, every day of their lives.

‘This year we have five award categories: Minister’s Lifelong Achievement Award, Disability Rights Young Leader Award, Business Award, Local Government Award, and Social Inclusion Award.’

The independent judging panel included representatives from the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council, Disability Investment Group and the Australian Council of Social Services.

Mr Shorten said award recipients would be announced at an awards ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra on 23 November.

‘I have seen first hand the achievements of people with disability, and the efforts of people working to support them,’ Mr Shorten said.

‘All the nominees have shown tremendous enthusiasm and commitment to achieve and to improve the lives of people with disability.

‘These awards are an opportunity to recognise some of the people fighting to give people with disability the opportunities the rest of the community takes for granted.’

The finalists are:

Minister’s Lifelong Achievement Award – For a person, over 25 years of age, with or without disability who has demonstrated a sustained and extraordinary personal commitment to improving and/or reshaping the lives of people with disability.

  • Patricia Davies, Riverwood, NSW
  • Robert Strike, Merrylands, NSW
  • Sue Gordon, Toowoomba, QLD

Disability Rights Young Leader Award – For a young person, 12-25 years of age, with disability who has raised awareness and shown outstanding leadership in improving the lives of people with disability.

  • Amanda Wait,Port Lincoln, SA
  • Dudley Afford, Cowandilla, SA
  • Sereako Treloggen, Tully , QLD

Business Award – For a person with or without disability who has displayed an innovative approach and achieved substantial outcomes in advancing the lives of people with disability, such as transport, housing, communication and technology. No age limit.

  • Tina Zeleznik , Edwardstown, SA
  • Steven Farrugia, South Nowra , NSW
  • Suzanne Colbert, Sydney , NSW

Local Government Award – For a person who has challenged or lobbied, and has succeeded in implementing substantial change by breaking down barriers faced by people with disability. No age limit.

  • Jacki Greenow , St Marys, NSW
  • Dr John MacPherson, Brisbane , QLD
  • Michael Taggart, Salisbury North, SA

Social Inclusion Award – For a person who has worked towards a more inclusive environment by creating opportunities for people with disability to participate in areas such as sport, the arts, education and the wider community. No age limit.

  • Ann Slater , Narre Warren, VIC
  • Caroline Conlon, Botany , NSW
  • Melissa Noonan, East Doncaster, VIC