2021 Victorian Disability Awards winners announced


The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing celebrated the achievements of Victorians making a difference for people with disability, with the virtual 2021 Victorian Disability Awards ceremony taking place today.

The Victorian Disability Awards recognise the hard work and efforts of Victorian individuals and organisations who have gone above and beyond to foster inclusion, participation and equality for people with disability in our state.

The celebration was led by Paralympic swimmer and emcee, Sam Bramham, OAM, while Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Luke Donnellan, delivered an impassioned speech thanking Victorians for their significant contributions and handed out awards to the winners.

“I am so proud to see the outstanding efforts made by Victorians with disability, community members and organisations, as they strive to build a more inclusive society that is fair and equitable,” Minister Donnellan said.

The winners and inductees, chosen from eight categories, include:

  • Emerging leader award – Llewellyn Prain, WaterAble
  • Excellence in promoting health, housing and wellbeing – Narelle Fairweather, Nextt
  • Excellence in employment outcomes – Rise Program, Department of Health
  • Excellence in creating inclusive communities – Zoos Victoria, Zoos Victoria
  • Excellence in promoting rights, fairness and safety – NDIS Access Team, Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service Inc.
  • Volunteer award – Thi Duong, Vietnamese Families with Special Needs
  • Lifetime achievement honour roll, Maurice Gleeson OAM, Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria
  • Lifetime achievement honour roll, Noel Bates, Colanda Parents and Friends Association
  • Lifetime achievement honour roll, Margherita Coppolino, National Ethnic Disability Alliance
  • Minister’s award for outstanding leadership, Rocco Salcedo, Dance & Roll

This year’s event also recognised the incredible work of those Victorians who strove for inclusion and improved responses for people with disability during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Congratulations to all the winners and inductees!

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