NDIS group shotThe National Disability Awards is the biggest event on the calendar for the disability sector. Held at Parliament House, on November 25, the awards recognise individuals and organisations from around the country doing their bit to improve the lives of people with disability.

It is also a night that assistant minister for Social Services, Mitch Fifield said clearly showed that disability is one policy area that is beyond partisanship with the Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Green Leader, Christine Milne attending the presentation.

There were 23 finalists chosen from more than 200 nominations across eight award categories. While many would agree that all could be described as winners there could only be 10 recipients on the night and the awards went to:

  • Bill Bradley (The Lesley Hall Award for Lifetime Achievement). Bradley has made an extraordinary contribution to his local community despite living with significant disabilities.
  • Jordanna Smith (Emerging Leaders Award in Disability) Smith works relentlessly to achieve equality for people with disability, particularly those who are deaf.
  • Rebecca Ho (Improving Inclusive and Accessible Communities Award). Ho’s goals have been to build more inclusive communities in her work with the Touched by Olivia Foundation.
  • First People Disability Network (Improving Advocacy and Rights Promotion Award). The only nationally constituted organised to be governed by indigenous people with disability.
  • John McDonald and Saronbell (Joint recipients of Improving Employment Opportunities Award). Lifestyle Health gym for its disability employment services while Ron Mussali and his team is the largest employer of people with disability on the NSW Central Coast.
  • Technology Assisting Disability WA (Improving Personal and Community Support Award). How technology can improve the quality of life for people with disability and the frail aged.
  • Everyone Everyday Disability Awareness Program and Stirling Community Early Learning Centre (Joint recipients of Improve Education Outcomes Award). The EE program is a comprehensive teaching resource for primary schools that promotes inclusion while Stirling leads by example to model best practice across early childhood and school education.
  • Vicdeaf Emergency Management (Improving Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Award). Has partnered with Emergency Management Vic. to improve fire safety info and awareness.

For more information visit: www.idpwd.com.au/awards/2014-award-winners