HON ALISON XAMON (North Metropolitan) [9.46 pm]: I rise because I want to acknowledge the WA Disability Support Awards for this year, which was held on Saturday night. I was very privileged to attend and in attendance was also the Minister for Disability Services, Hon Stephen Dawson, as well as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Disability Services, Reece Whitby, and Patrick Gorman, the federal member for Perth. It was a terrific night. The Disability Support Awards are hosted by National Disability Services WA in conjunction with the Department of Communities. It is a fabulous opportunity to recognise those disability support workers who go over and above working in partnership with the people whom they are there to support.

I want to acknowledge the people who won the awards: Anna Wright, from Senses Australia, won the excellence in home and family support award; the Valued Lives microenterprise project team, from the Valued Lives Foundation, won the excellence in improving employment opportunities award; the Child and Adolescent Health Service schools team, from the Independent Living Centre WA, won the excellence and innovation award; Janis Turnbull from One2One won the excellence in advocacy and rights promotion award; Tony Chorley, from Activ Foundation, won the excellence in leadership award; Ryan Honschooten from VisAbility won the excellence in supporting social inclusion award; and the excellence in regional support award was jointly won by the Carnarvon team of Avivo and Cyril Yeeda from Far North Community Services. I particularly want to acknowledge that one of the highlights of the night for me was watching Cyril Yeeda win his award. He is an Aboriginal man who had never been to Perth before and who made it clear that he was quite impressed with being in such salubrious surroundings, and it is fair to say that everyone was delighted with the way that he responded to receiving his award.

One of the things that I found encouraging about the night was that so many of the people who are providing support made a big point of ensuring that the people who they give support to, the people with disability, were there in partnership with them while they were lucky enough to be receiving those awards. I think that was really important. In a number of instances, the people with disability were able to accept the awards on behalf of their support workers and were also able to speak. That is a really important thing to note.

It was an absolutely lovely evening. There were 800 people there. It was a lot of fun. I want to acknowledge not just those people who ended up being recognised on the night and all the other people who were nominated as finalists, but also all the people who were nominated for these awards. I again thank National Disability Services and the Department of Communities for hosting such a fun event. I look forward to future events. I obviously went to last year’s event. Again, congratulations to the winners.


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