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Hornsby Volunteer Takes Out Top Disability Award

26 November 2014 at 9:41 am
Xavier Smerdon
A former lift attendant and a rugby league enthusiast, struck down by polio at the age of fourteen has won the major award at the annual 2014 National Disability Awards Ceremony in Canberra overnight.

Xavier Smerdon | 26 November 2014 at 9:41 am


Hornsby Volunteer Takes Out Top Disability Award
26 November 2014 at 9:41 am

A former lift attendant and a rugby league enthusiast, struck down by polio at the age of fourteen has won the major award at the annual 2014 National Disability Awards Ceremony in Canberra overnight.

Bill Bradly from Hornsby in NSW was awarded the Lesley Hall Award for Lifetime Achievement in Disability for his outstanding commitment and achievement to volunteer community work over his lifetime.

The award cites Bradly, now aged 79, as working and living with significant disabilities himself and as being a leader and role model reaching out to create opportunities for other people with disability to actively engage in community life, particularly in a range of inclusive sports.

In 1955 Bradly helped establish the Belrose Rugby League Football Club (now the Belrose Eagles) and was an elevator attendant at Sydney department stores McDowell’s and Waltons.

Bradly has played a key role in a number of community campaigns around women’s shelters, youth issues and homelessness. In 2008 he won another National Disability Award in the community contribution category.

Earlier this year Bradly received the Lions Club International Presidents Award for services to his local Hornsby Lions Club.

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield hosted the Awards for the second year. Some 23 finalists took part in the seven categories promoting a more inclusive society and breaking down the barriers for people with disability including the major award.

The Lesley Hall Award for Lifetime Achievement in Disability is in honor of disability advocate Lesley Hall who died suddenly in October 2013, who had been Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations.

Group photo of winners.jpg

The other category winners were:

Emerging Leaders Award in Disability

Jordanna Smith, New South Wales

As a finalist with lived experience of disability, Smith’s contributions include participation in a number of voluntary and paid positions that support her efforts to achieve equality for people with disability, particularly for the deaf community.

Improving Inclusive and Accessible Communities Award

Rebecca Ho / Touched by Olivia, New South Wales

One of Touched by Olivia Foundation’s goals is creating inclusive play spaces across Australia, giving children living with disability the opportunity to play, participate in their community, and build relationships, thereby creating more inclusive communities.

Improving Advocacy and Rights Promotion Award

First Peoples Disability Network, National

The First Peoples Disability Network is a unique organisation. It is the only nationally constituted organisation governed by Indigenous people with disability in the world, and has been integral in raising the profile of the unmet needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability.

Improving Employment Opportunities Award

Joint winner – John McDonald, Queensland

John McDonald is co-owner of a gym in Browns Plains, QLD called Lifestyle Health along with six other gyms. He is a strong supporter of disability employment services, hiring five individuals with severe disability and mental health illnesses. McDonald has introduced training and support, including flexible work and career development opportunities, ensuring his employees retain employment and succeed.

Joint winner – Saronbell, New South Wales

Saronbell’s ongoing relationship with Job Centre Australia Ltd. has resulted in Saronbell being the largest employer of people with a disability on the Central Coast. Ron Mussali and his team are strong and committed advocates for employing people with disability.

Improving Personal and Community Support Award

Technology Assisting Disability WA (TADWA), Western Australia

TADWA’s purpose is to improve the quality and enjoyment of life for people with disability, the frail aged and those caring for them through the application of technology and the skills of volunteers and staff, and has been actively pursuing this worthy goal since 1984.

Improving Education Outcomes Award

Joint winner – Everyone Everyday Project Team, Disability ACT, Community Services Directorate, ACT Government, Australian Capital Territory

The Everyone Everyday Project Team developed and launched the Everyone Everyday Disability Awareness Program, a comprehensive teaching resource for mainstream primary schools that promotes the concept of inclusion. The program equips all students with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take personal and collective action to enhance the inclusion of people with disability, especially children, in everyday life.

Joint winner – Stirling Community Early Learning Centre, South Australia

Stirling Community Early Learning Centre leads by example to model best practice across early childhood and school education in terms of inclusion. The centre has a standard practice of including children with disability in every activity without question or stigma.

Improving Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Award

Vicdeaf (SLC VIC)/Emergency Management Victoria, Victoria

To ensure safety for deaf and hard of hearing citizens throughout Victoria, Vicdeaf (through their Auslan interpreting service, SLC VIC) partnered with Emergency Management Victoria to improve fire safety information and awareness. As a result, 21 Auslan videos were posted on the Country Fire Authority website during the 2013 bushfires.

Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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