Awards Winners Break Barriers

Date posted: 
24 November 2011

Cutting edge ABC investigative journalist Nance Haxton; a kinetic stander made by volunteers; a park with all terrain access equipment; a leading advocate who worked on the UN Convention of People with a Disability; a 100 strong housing project; a young deaf Australian working with Deaf people from Samoa; and leading employers are among the outstanding winners in this year's National Disability Awards.

Awards were presented by the The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister including Senator the Hon. Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers and Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and other Ministers.

The winners show the breadth of achievement in the disability sector:

  • Prime Minister's Outstanding Achievement Award- Mr John Walsh AM in recognition of his  pivotal role as an Associate Commissioner in preparing the Productivity Commission's report to Government on long-term disability care and support which recommended the establishment of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • Frank Hall-Bentick (Minister's Lifelong Achievement Award).  Frank played a pivotal role in the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Katrina Lancaster (Young Disability Challenge Award). Born Deaf, Katrina won the 2011 Parramatta Lord Mayor's Youth Award, completed a Bachelor of Community Welfare in 2010 and was named Deaf Australia's 2009 Deaf Youth of the Year. 
  • Alcoa Aluminium Smelter (Business Award). Alcoa Point Henry provides supported employment for over 30 people with disability and in April 2011, Alcoa teamed up with Rainbow Riders: an Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Centre.
  • City of Mandurah (Local Government Award). Mandurah is working closely with Intework to create jobs for 44 young people with intellectual disability in areas and were recognised in the 2010 "Count Us In" Awards.
  • Technical Aid to the Disabled ACT (Social Inclusion Award). TADACT specialises in creating or modifying equipment for people with disability.
  • Housing Choices Australia (Inclusive and Accessible Communities Award in the National Disability Awards. Housing Choices Australia has delivered 100 high quality units for people with disability.
  • Parks Victoria (Health and Wellbeing Award).  Parks Victoria has embraced universal design and access including: all terrain wheelchair equipment; a "Sailability" program; an accessibility guide for park rangers and have offered grants to community organisations to help improve park visitation and participation.
  • Nance Haxton (Yooralla Media Award).  Nance is a cutting edge ABC journalist recognised for relentless, powerful and timely coverage of people with an intellectual disability fighting for their rights. This passion builds on personal knowledge as her brother has an intellectual disability. 

Please see a release from Senator McLucas here: The National Disability Awards are part of the celebrations for International Day of People with Disability.

Nican would like to congratulate all finalists at this year's awards and acknowledge the work they do in making our society a better place.