NSW disability sector awarded

On Thursday 19 November, the winners of the fourth annual NSW Disability Industry Innovation Awards were announced. The Awards, held at NSW Parliament House, recognise new and exciting initiatives developed by the sector to improve the lives of people with disability.

They also recognise efforts in NSW to better prepare for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Minister for Disability Services, John Ajaka, said.

“As the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme continues across the state, it is important for the disability sector to think outside the square to prepare for the changes and opportunities that the NDIS will bring.

“The winners of the Innovation Awards have successfully demonstrated how they are responding to change by developing adaptive, person-centred disability supports,” Minister Ajaka said.

The 2015 Awards, which are an initiative of the NSW Government in partnership with National Disability Services (NDS), include seven categories, plus a Minister’s Award for Excellence.

The 2015 winners and finalists

Minister’s Award for Excellence

Winner: Maria Katrivesis

Category 1: Leadership in community partnerships and transformation

Winner: Community Care Options

Finalists: Lifestart, Northcott Innovation and Northcott/ SpineCare Foundation

Category 2: Leadership in NDIS readiness

Winner: Kurrajong Waratah

Finalists: House with No Steps and Thorndale Foundation

Category 3: Excellence in individualised decision support and service provision

Winner: Susan Porteous, ConnectAbility

Finalists: Melinda Creamer and Jim Crookston 

Category 4: Leadership in community accessibility

Winner: NSW Rural Fire Service/ The Deaf Society NSW

Finalists: Family Planning NSW and Shopfront Arts Co-op

Category 5: Excellence in employment inclusion

Winner: Nathan Basha

Finalist: Key Employment

Category 6: Excellence in promoting cultural competency

Winner: Maria Katrivesis

Category 7: Excellence in Indigenous programs

Winner: Hastings Aboriginal Network for Disability and Mental Health (HANDMH)

You can visit the Disability Industry Innovation Awards website for more information and photos of the event. You can read more about the NDIS on the NDIS NSW website.