Reference Group To Make Help Hills More Inclusive

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Image Caption: Mayor Dr Peter Gangemi, Belinda Colombrita, Peta Kennedy, Julie Charlton, Eve Foxman, Ellen Witzlsperger.

A passionate group of seven Hills Shire residents with professional or lived experience of disability have been chosen to form Council’s first-ever external Disability Inclusion Action Plan Reference Group.

Council adopted the Disability Inclusion Action Plan in 2022 which included an action to form a reference group to support the implementation of the plan.

Mayor of The Hills Shire Dr Peter Gangemi said he was delighted to see such a dedicated group of Hills residents come together to advocate for a more inclusive Shire.

“I am so proud to see the formation of the Disability Inclusion Action Plan Reference Group, and I am excited to see what this group will achieve for the community”.

“The Disability Inclusion Action Plan Reference Group will provide recommendations to ensure Council’s services, infrastructure and community facilities are accessible to people with disability,” Mayor Gangemi said.

“Council has already taken steps to make our community more inclusive, including the introduction of Sensitive Storytime and Sensitive Library at Council’s libraries and separate sensory sessions for neurodivergent children at the Mayor’s Christmas Party.

“We’ve also sponsored the Disability Inclusion Award category at the Sydney Hills Local Business Awards and we are in the process of extending Livvi’s Place Playground at Bernie Mullane Reserve.

“We’ve made great progress but there’s so much more to do, which is why this group will have such a vital role to play in shaping Council’s DIAP actions.”

Members of the Disability Inclusion Action Plan Reference Group include Belinda Colombrita, Ellen Witzlsperger, Sarika Shasidharan, Julie Charlton, Laura Mallison, Eve Foxman and Peta Kennedy.

Members applied to be part of the group through an Expression of Interest process and were assessed using the four pillars of Council’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) 2022 – 2026.

For more information, visit and search for ‘Disability’.

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