National Disability Award Winners Announced
8 December 2009 at 10:12 am
Winners of the 2009 National Disability Awards were announced at an awards ceremony at Parliament House recently, as part of the lead up to International Day of People with Disability (Dec 3).
The awards celebrate and acknowledge the achievements and contributions that individuals with disability make to our community, and recognise individuals within our community who have contributed to the disability sector.
Six people were recognised for their contributions, with two people being awarded the Ministers’ Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 2009 National Disability Award Winners are:
Sue Gordon – Minister’s Lifelong Achievement Award
After her son acquired a sever brain injury, Sue Gordon has driven significant reform within the disability sector. Gordon has worked with The Advocacy and Support Centre (TASC) in Queensland, pioneered the award wining Disability Law Project, helped establish the Queensland Criminal Justice Centre (a web based resource for the legal profession on representing people with disabilities in the courts) and established the Disability Action Group Force.
Robert Strike – Minister’s Lifelong Achievement Award
Robert Sprike spent most of his young like in an institution, and has since worked passionately to empower individuals with intellectual disability. Sprike is one of the founders of the Self Advocacy movement in Australia, is the current Chairperson of the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability and an educator for the Intellectual Disability Rights Service.
Dudley Afford – Disability Rights Young Leader Award
21 year old Dudley Afford has been recognised for his work to improve the lives of people with physical disability in his own high school and across Adelaide. Afford’s Disability Access in Adelaide project identified areas across Adelaide where mobility was limited and access needed improvement. Many of Afford’s recommendations have since been implemented.
Tina Zeleznik – Business Award
Tina Zeleznik is a passionate advocate for equal rights and opportunities for people with disability. In 2003 Tina established the charity organisation Disability Works Australia Ltd (DWA), a single point of access for employers to recruit people with disability. Under Tina’s leadership, 85 large corporations have singed client agreements with DWA, helping more than 8,000 people with high support needs find sustainable employment.
Michael Taggart – Local Government Award
Michael Taggart is a disability advocate and leader, and was instrumental in the integration of assistive PC screen reader technology at the Salisbury City Council. Taggart led the development of the City of Salisbury’s first Disability Action Plan 1999-2003 and contributed to the Salisbury City Council’s first ‘footpath trading policy’ providing greater footpath access. Taggart was also the project leader of an extensive local government disability discrimination awareness training package 2000-20003.
Melissa Noonan – Social Inclusion Award
Melissa Noonan has worked tirelessly as a public speaker promoting community awareness about amputees. Noonan founded Limbs 4 Life in 2004, a Not for Profit organisation which provides information, knowledge and support to amputees, with the aim of preventing social isolation. Since then, Noonan has established the AMP-Link forum on the Limbs for Life website to reduce social isolation for amputees in rural and regional communities. Noonan also works to ensure no amputee goes through the trauma of limb loss alone through the Peer Support Program.
For more information about the award winners, and the fifteen finalists, www.idpwd.com.au/awards