Leading disability advocates from across Victoria have been recognised at an awards ceremony in Melbourne yesterday.
The Victorian Disability Awards formally recognise individuals, teams and organisations that make a difference in the lives of people with disability and who champion equality for all Victorians.
Presenting the awards, Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley congratulated all 29 finalists on their achievements and thanked them for their tireless efforts to improve outcomes for people with disability.
The inaugural Minister’s Award for Outstanding Leadership is given to an awards finalist who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership as a disability advocate. Dylan Alcott received this award as an elite athlete and media commentator who has recently established an accessibility and training company, Get Skilled Access.
Three people were inducted into the Lifetime Achievement Honour Roll, which recognises exceptional individuals who have made a significant contribution to the disability sector for 20 years or more.
The youngest award winner was Year 12 Brauer College student, Bryce Pace who won the Emerging Leader Award for outstanding work advocating for young people on the autism spectrum – encouraging them to embrace their abilities as well as promoting community inclusion of all people with disability.
This year’s awards had a renewed focus on inclusion, in line with the Andrews Labor Government’s Absolutely Everyone: State Disability Plan 2017-2020, to break down barriers for people with disability, in partnership with business and the community.
The plan also ensures the one million Victorians living with a disability can maximise the benefits of the National Disability Insurance Scheme – Australia’s largest social policy reform since Medicare.
The awards are a joint initiative between National Disability Services and the Department of Health and Human Services, with the finalists selected by a judging panel drawn from Victoria’s disability services.
For the full list of awards recipients, visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/disabilityawards.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley
“There have been many outstanding achievements by those nominated this year and it’s important that we recognise how hard they’ve worked to empower people with disability and create a more inclusive community.”
“These awards recognise the real and profound impact these individuals and organisations have made on the lives of people with disability.”
“All of the nominees can be tremendously proud of their efforts to make our communities more inclusive and to bring about change for people with disability.”