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news National Disability Awards Award winners Sarah Houbolt (left) and Rosemary Kayess (below). By Carole Lander Sponsorship went towards promotion, live captioning and trophies. The result was a highly successful event watched across the world. Social media statistics indicate 100,000 people were engaged. Viewers in houses, nursing homes in the news T he first National Awards for Disability Leadership have honoured seven people with disability who are leaders in their field. The awards, held on December 3, were organised by the Disability Christina coordinated it all from her living room using the latest video conferencing software. “It was a steep learning curve and a great technical mastery moment!” she said. This news led to the disability The judges selected recipients community running the awards and in seven categories from a highly changing the format. competitive list of nominees. The Their main goal was for everyone categories embraced contemporary involved – organisers, nominated issues and nominees also represented award recipients and judges – to be members of the LGBTQIA, Indigenous people with disability. and CALD communities. They had just four months to One category retained from People’s Organisations Australia and do it – initially without government previous years was the Lesley Hall the Australian Federation of Disability support, however Assistant Minister Award for Lifetime Achievement. This Organisations. for Disability Services, Hon Sarah went to Janice Slattery, a tireless and Henderson MP, came on board committed advocate for and with run by the Australian Government providing $30,000 sponsorship closer people with intellectual disability for and formed the main celebration to the event. over 30 years. Leadership Institute (DLI), Disabled Previously, these awards were of International Day of People with Disability. However, last year, all this changed Christina said a webcast format Other recipients were: Anthony was chosen because a virtual event Mulholland (Change Making), Sexual does not require an expensive venue. Lives & Respectful Relationships by sheer coincidence, according to (Inclusion), Client Voice Project Group DLI’s Christina Ryan. (Innovation), Rosemary Kayess (Rights “In mid-2018, one of our colleagues looked at the website to find out about nominating Activism), Jessica Walton (Social Impact), and Sarah Houbolt (The Arts). Christina and her collaborators somebody and discovered a are determined to repeat and statement from the government improve the event this year, saying that the awards were no building on the 2018 success. longer running,” Christina said. 8 and offices watched on YouTube and news www.disabilityleaders.com.au linkonline.com.au