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Awards Celebrate Innovative Ways of Living for People with Disability

19 September 2013



Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka has congratulated the winners and finalists of the 2013 NSW Disability Industry Innovation Awards presented at a ceremony in Sydney last night.

“Innovation and creative thinking make a real difference to the lives of people with disability and lead to greater community inclusion,” Mr Ajaka said.

“The awards celebrate a wide range of programs including Youth Connections on the North Coast for its commitment to independent living.”

Scott Holz, State Manager National Disability Services said the applications for the awards was highly competitive.

"It is great to see such a diverse range of service providers and individuals coming up with a whole host of new ways to support people with disability to live the life they choose."

Mr Ajaka presented the Minister’s Award for Excellence in Organisational Development to the Redfern Transition to Work (TTW) program, a post school initiative for young people with disability to prepare them for the workforce.

“This program has demonstrated leadership and innovation in developing a program which is person-centred and reflective of an environment which supports the objectives of the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” he said.

The NSW Disability Industry Innovation Awards is an initiative of the NSW Government in partnership with National Disability Services.

Mr Ajaka said the awards demonstrate what can be achieved through partnerships forged between disability and other mainstream organisations.

“Innovation and creativity is evident in the way in which some of the nominees have displayed their personal commitment to person centred practice in working with people with disability.

“It is this kind of practice that can enable people with disability to live their own lives, as determined by them,” he said.

The winners and finalists are:

Category: Excellence in promoting community engagement and employment opportunities Award (Individual or Organisation)
Winner: Disability Services Australia, Transition to Work Redfern
Finalists: Muscular Dystrophy NSW & Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Category: Innovation in independent living Award (Independent or Organisation)
Winner: Youth Connections North Coast
Finalists: Evolve Housing & Northcott Lifebridge, a disability support service, housing developer KO:HO and North Coast Community Housing

Category: Excellence in promoting the inclusion of children and young people with disability and their families Award (Individual or Organisation)
Winner: Ruby Wright, Connect Child and Family Services
Finalists: Wheelchair Sports NSW & Girl Guides NSW

Category: Excellence in regional innovation Award (Organisation)
Winner: Kurrajong Waratah, Lifestyle Services Performing Arts Program
Finalist: Challenge Community Services

Category: Excellence in the use of technology Award (Organisation)
Winner: The Disability Trust, ‘My Voice, My Choice’ website
Finalists: Camp Breakaway & ParaQuad NSW

Category: Excellence in workforce development Award (Organisation)
Winner: Cerebral Palsy Alliance, disability Quotient (DQ)
Finalists: The Flagstaff Group, Life Without Barriers & The Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Category: Innovative Partnerships Award (Organisations)
Winner: Meals on Wheels, Evergreen Lifecare and Coastlink Respite
Finalists: Windgap, Greystanes disability services, Childrenfirst & Mission Australia

Category: Emerging Leader Award (Individual nominated by their Organisation)
Winner: Matthew Spence, Essential Personnel
Winner: Kylie Wicks, ParaQuad NSW
Finalist: Sonya Fowler, a regional manager for Sunnyfield

Category: Distinguished Service Award (Individual)
Winner: David Pescud, Sailors with Disabilities (SWD)
Finalists: Joanne Trebus, ParaQuad NSW, Alex Traill of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, Mark Wynen of Greenacres Disability Services, Ewa Geba Manager of specialist intervention services for Disability Services Australia, Amanda Calwell-Smith CEO of Essential Personnel, Liz Foy, General Manager Client Services for Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Category: People’s Choice Awards (Individual or Organisation nominated by service users and their families)
Winner: Jason Howard nominated for his respite support work

Category: Minister’s Award (Individual or Organisation)
Winner: Disability Services Australia (DSA) – Transition to Work Redfern

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