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2018 Victorian Disability Awards
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Please note: the 2018 nominations are now closed.

The Victorian Disability Awards recognise and honour the achievements and contributions of individuals, teams and organisations that provide support, leadership, advocacy, service and education to improve the lives of people with disability living in Victoria. The awards are an opportunity to highlight the achievements of people with disability.

The department partners with National Disability Services to run the awards which are now in their eighth year. Nominations can be made by members of the public and organisations, across seven categories.

Congratulations to all the nominees for 2018. DHHS would like to thank each and every nominator for taking the time to nominate and recognise people who are making an outstanding contribution to empower and include people with disability.

2018 award recipients

Congratulations to our 2018 Victorian Disability Awards recipients.

There were many outstanding nominations this year.  We appreciate the work that has gone into these amazing nominations.

This year’s award ceremony took place on 16 August at Zinc, Federation Square, Melbourne.

2018 Victorian Disability Awards recipients (Word)

Award categories

The 2018 Victorian Disability Awards recognised excellence in seven categories.

The Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing also recommended a recipient for the Minister’s Award for outstanding Leadership, from the pool of finalists.

Emerging leader award

This award recognises an outstanding individual as an emerging leader who has made a significant contribution to improving outcomes for people with a disability, by raising awareness and influencing others to shift community attitudes, creating cultural change or transforming services. Nominations of people with a disability in this category are strongly encouraged. Examples of work may include:

  • a person who through leadership and/or self-advocacy has influenced the practice of others to increase the inclusion of people with a disability
  • development of new and innovative programs, or strengthening of existing programs, to promote the inclusion of people with a disability in the community
  • a person who advocates, creates social enterprise or strategic partnerships to increase employment and economic opportunities for people with a disability
  • someone who embeds sustainable change within organisational practices to create more social, economic and civic opportunities for people with a disability.

This category relates to pillar four of Absolutely Everyone: state disability plan 2017–2020, which is ‘contributing lives’. This has a focus on leadership and representation of people with a disability. Visit the State Disability Plan website to read the plan.

Excellence in creating inclusive communities

This award recognises the contributions of an individual or group towards building an inclusive community that improves the lives of people with a disability. This could be in the areas of changing community attitudes, improving buildings and infrastructure, enhancing communication (for example, access to the internet) or increasing the active participation of people with a disability in the communities with which they identify such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse and intersex (LGBTI)Victorians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Examples of work may include:

  • stand out efforts to promote positive attitudes and challenge negative stereotypes about people with a disability, for example awareness campaigns and media
  • improving buildings and infrastructure such as schools, shopping centres or recreational facilities so that they are more inclusive of all people with a disability
  • increasing the active participation of people with a disability within the community that they identify with. This may include initiatives which have influenced the practice, policy or programs of community organisations providing services to diverse groups.

‘Inclusive communities’ is pillar one of the Absolutely Everyone: state disability plan 2017–2020. The experience of inclusion is central to social interaction, sharing information and having everyday experiences. Visit the State Disability Plan website to read the plan.

Excellence in employment outcomes

This award recognises excellence of an individual’s or group’s contribution to improving employment outcomes resulting in economic independence and inclusion for people with a disability.

Examples of work may include:

  • business and community leaders who have championed positive change within their organisations which has led to significant employment and career development opportunities for people with a disability
  • initiatives which have resulted in raised community awareness of the benefits of employment of people with a disability, for example media campaigns, partnerships with local businesses and employers
  • innovative programs or initiatives to assist people with a disability to gain and maintain meaningful paid employment and develop their careers.

Pillar four of the Absolutely Everyone: state disability plan 2017–2020 is ‘contributing lives’. This has a focus on people with a disability as active participants in the economy including as employees and employers, and recognises that the participation rate of people with a disability in the economy is significantly lower than for people without a disability. Visit the State Disability Plan website to read the plan.

Excellence in promoting health, housing and wellbeing

This award recognises excellence of an individual’s or group’s contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of people with a disability. Examples of work may include:

  • increasing the participation of people with a disability in sport, recreational or leisure, for example tailoring sporting clubs and activities so that they are accessible for people of all abilities
  • promoting better health outcomes for people with a disability, for example as an advocate or a health provider, shifting the way services are delivered to be more inclusive of people with a disability
  • influencing and/or increasing the provision of housing so that it is more accessible to people with a disability and promotes choice and inclusion within the broader community. 

Health, housing and wellbeing is pillar two of the Absolutely Everyone: state disability plan 2017–2020. Having a stable home is key to health and wellbeing. This pillar of the plan focuses on making sure that health and community services meet the needs of people with a disability, and enhancing the wellbeing of people with a disability through sport and recreation and other activities. Visit the State Disability Plan website to read the plan.

Excellence in promoting rights, fairness and safety

This award recognises excellence of an individual’s or group’s contribution to assisting people with a disability to speak up for their rights, prevent family violence, safeguard people with a disability from abuse and neglect, and make the community a safer and fairer place for people with a disability.

Examples of work may include:

  • Initiatives or individual actions which make Victoria a safer place for people with disability, such as those related to community safety or prevention of violence against women with disability
  • Advocacy initiatives including individual, self and systemic advocacy which reduce barriers to social, economic and civic participation and promotes the rights, fairness and safety of people with disability
  • Initiatives or individual actions to promote right, fairness and safety within the justice system including policing, the courts and prisons
  • Significant changes in organisational policy and practice to create cultural change and provide a safer and fairer service for people with disability, for example, human rights training, zero tolerance training or positive behaviour support programs that significantly reduce the use of restrictive practices.

‘Fairness and safety’ is pillar three of the Absolutely Everyone: state disability plan 2017–2020. See the State Disability Plan website and read the plan.

Volunteer award

This award recognises an individual or group working in a voluntary capacity who demonstrate exceptional skill and commitment that significantly contributes to improving outcomes for people with a disability.

Definition: Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain. Volunteering is considered as contributing to community wellbeing and volunteering activities cover all sectors of society, leisure and hobby areas.

Volunteers are not remunerated but can receive reimbursement for out of pocket expenses or can receive gifts or honorariums.

Examples of work may include:

  • a volunteer with a disability, or a group made up of volunteers with a disability, who have achieved significant contributions to advance the rights and inclusion of people with a disability
  • a group of volunteers who coordinate a social enterprise initiative for or with people with a disability
  • a volunteer who designs, adapts or modifies individual equipment for or with people with a disability.
  • a volunteer who mentors or supports people with a disability to be active contributors to their community, for example assisting people with a disability to umpire football matches
  • a volunteer who serves as a board member and promotes change, best practice, and systemic advocacy for people with a disability.
Lifetime achievement honour roll

The Lifetime achievement honour roll recognises exceptional individuals who have made a significant contribution over the past 20 years and demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the rights, participation and inclusion of Victorians with a disability. People with a disability are strongly encouraged to be nominated for this category.

Examples of work may include:

  • a person who has championed the rights of people with a disability and promoted their inclusion in the community, perhaps by establishing disability advocacy networks and implementing disability awareness training at local institutions such as universities or schools
  • a person who has worked with local businesses to successfully promote employing people with a disability in sustainable employment
  • a person who has founded a not-for-profit disability support agency or agencies that is recognised for its successful promotion of systemic change within the sector towards individualised and rights-based support for people with a disability
  • a person who has demonstrated outstanding leadership of a campaign or initiative to support sustained improvement in the lives of people with a disability
  • a person who has worked across a variety of roles within the sector, as a leader, manager, influential thought leader or researcher, advocate and/or frontline worker, and who has an exemplary track record of empowering people with a disability and improving outcomes for all people with a disability in Victoria.
Minister’s Award for outstanding Leadership

Since 2017, the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing has chosen a winner for this award from all the finalists.

The award will go to someone who has demonstrated immense leadership skills and has been a driver of change.

The inaugural winner of the Minister’s award for outstanding leadership in 2017 was Dylan Alcott OAM from Get Skilled Access.

This category is not open for nominations as the winner is decided from the pool of finalists.

Step 1: Read the nomination guide

Read the 'Nomination Guide: 2018 Victorian Disability Awards' located in the How to nominate section on this page. Note the terms and conditions, and review the submission requirements of entry for the awards.

Also read ‘Tips for writing your nomination’ in the same section.

Allow up to two weeks to collect the information you will need.

Step 2: Determine who to nominate

Determine who to nominate – an individual or team. Discuss the nomination with the nominee’s superior or equivalent, you are required to get their endorsement for all nominations. 

Step 3: Register your details on the online submission system

Register your details on the Victorian Disability Awards online submission system.

Note: Submissions can be accepted in other formats. To discuss this further, please contact the awards secretariat by telephone on 03 9096 8057 or email awards@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Step 4: Log in to the online submission system

Log in to the Victorian Disability Awards online submission system and prepare the nomination form by typing directly into the electronic form making sure you keep within the total 900 word count.

Step 5: Complete your online nomination

Complete your online nomination(s) by midnight, Sunday 8 April 2018, using the Victorian Disability Awards online submission system.

Step 6: Accept your nomination (shortlisted nominees only)

Shortlisted nominees will be contacted in mid to late May and asked to accept their nomination. Each Individual nominee will be required to submit a National Police Check Consent Form. A copy of the National Police Check Consent Form can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. Teams are not required to complete national police checks.

Judging panel

Judges for the Victorian Disability Awards are drawn from Victoria’s extensive disability services sector. They bring a range of skills, experience and enthusiasm for improving the lives of people with a disability, to their judging. The judges generously volunteer their time to assess the nominations and make final recommendations.

The judges will review the nominations to consider the nominee’s relative merits in relation to their commitment, level of service and how their work benefits people with a disability. The judges will then make their recommendations to the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing.

Contact

Victorian Disability Awards Secretariat

Phone:+ 61 3 9096 8057

Email: awards@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Mail: GPO Box 4057, Melbourne 3001, Victoria, Australia

2017 award recipients

Videos - 2018 Victorian Disability Awards

Nazim Erdem OAM, Spire

Nazim Erdem OAM - Video transcript (Word)

Arts Project Australia

Arts Project Australia - Video transcript (Word)