Victorian Disability Awards

The Victorian Disability Awards honour the contributions of Victorians who support, lead, educate and advocate for people with disability.
2022 Victorian Disability Awards banner

2022 Victorian Disability Awards

The Victorian Disability Awards, now in their eleventh year, have a strong focus on recognising and honouring the achievements and contributions of individuals, teams and organisations that promote the rights and inclusion of people with disability.

Victorian Disability Awards finalists by award category

The nomination and judging period for the 2022 Victorian Disability Awards has closed, with the following people and organisations making the list of finalists:

Emerging leader award finalists
  • Abbey Dalton
  • Chloé Hayden
  • Emily Unity
Excellence in creating inclusive communities finalists
  • Lance Nilsson - Doncaster All Abilities Basketball Inc
  • Change Your Reactions - Autism Public Education Campaign
  • Mandy Hose, Too Peas in a Podcast
  • Frankston All Abilities and Walking Basketball Programs
  • Emma Dewhurst
Excellence in employment outcomes finalists
  • Where is My Coffee?
  • Northeast Health Wangaratta Tidy Team
Excellence in promoting health, housing and wellbeing finalists
  • Jane Tiller
  • Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria team
  • Western Health Vaccination Sedation Clinic
  • Disability Healthcare Access Service
  • Rosie's Love and Care
     
Excellence in promoting rights, fairness and safety finalists

Will be announced at the awards ceremony

Excellence in promoting disability pride finalists
  • Chloé Hayden
  • I CAN Network Mentoring Team
Volunteer award finalists
  • Blind Sports & Recreation Victoria Volunteer Ambassadors
  • Sandra Bennett
  • Marwa Mostafa
Lifetime achievement honour roll finalists
  • Effie Meehan
  • Nigel Caswell
  • Karen Underwood
  • Amanda Golding
  • Sue Dymond

Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a nomination for the 2022 Victorian Disability Awards – all the nominations were fantastic. 

Award categories

The 2022 Victorian Disability Awards recognise excellence in categories.

Many of these categories reflect the pillars of the new plan: Inclusive Victoria: State Disability Plan 2022–2026.

Categories include:

Emerging leader award

This award recognises an outstanding individual as an emerging leader who has made a significant contribution towards creating a more accessible and inclusive Victoria for people with disability. Nominations of people with disability in this category are strongly encouraged. 

The criteria for this award are:

  • a person who has made a significant contribution to creating a fairer, more inclusive Victoria for people with disability 
  • a person whose contributions align with one or more of the State Disability Plan pillars.
  • a person who is under the age of 30 or has been contributing to this space for under 10 years.

Examples of work may include:

  • successfully influencing community attitudes or practices to promote disability pride or the inclusion of people with disability 
  • development of new and innovative programs, or strengthening of existing programs, to promote disability pride or the inclusion of people with disability in the community 
  • helping make long term changes to the way organisations run so that more social, economic and civic opportunities for people with disability are created.
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 disability.

The criterion for this award is an individual or group who has contributed significantly to one of the following:

  • changing community attitudes
  • improving buildings and infrastructure
  • enhancing communication (for example, access to the internet) 
  • increasing the active participation of people with disability in the communities they identify with, like LGBTIQ+ Victorians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and young people. 

Examples of work may include:

  • stand out efforts to promote positive attitudes and challenge negative stereotypes about people with disability, particularly those with intersecting identities, for example, awareness campaigns and media
  • improving buildings and infrastructure such as schools, shopping centres or recreational facilities so they reflect universal design principals and are more inclusive for all people with disability
  • improving access to digital information and data for people with disability
  • increasing the active participation of people with disability in the community they identify with. This may include initiatives which have influenced the practice, policy or programs of community organisations providing services to diverse groups.
Excellence in employment outcomes

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

The criterion for this award is an individual or group who has:

  • championed positive change and taken active steps within their organisation or community, which has led to significant employment and career development opportunities and pathways for people with disability.

Examples of work may include:

  • initiatives which have resulted in raised community awareness of the benefits of employing people with disability, for example media campaigns, partnerships with local businesses and employers
  • innovative programs or initiatives which assist people with disability gain and maintain employment and enjoy long and successful careers.
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 disability. 

The criterion for this award is an individual or group that has contributed to one or more of the following:

  • increasing the participation of people with disability in sport, recreation or leisure
  • promoting better health outcomes for people with disability
  • leading or helping to make changes to the way housing is provided, so that it is more accessible to people with disability and promotes choice and inclusion within the broader community 
  • leading or helping to make changes to emergency health responses so they better meet the needs of people with disability during times of crisis
  • influencing the way that government or organisations provide health, housing, or wellbeing services so that they are more inclusive of people with disability and/or promote disability pride. 

Examples of work may include:

  • tailoring sporting clubs and activities so that they are accessible for people with disability
  • an advocate or a health provider finding innovative ways to make services more inclusive of people with disability
  • a health provider providing exceptional service to people with disability during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to better health outcomes or supports for Victorians with disability
  • a public health organisation implementing innovative approaches to data collection and reporting that help improve the health of people with disability in the long term.
Excellence in promoting rights, fairness and safety

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

The criterion for this award is an individual or group who has contributed to one or more of the following:

  • making Victoria a safer and more inclusive place for all people with disability.
  • successfully advocating to reduce barriers to social, economic and civic participation and promote the rights, fairness and safety of people with disability
  • promoting rights, fairness and safety within the justice system, including policing, the courts and prisons
  • creating significant changes in organisational policy and practice that help create cultural change and safer and fairer services for people with disability.

Examples of work may include:

  • an education campaign that increases community safety, for example through the prevention of family violence 
  • implementing significant changes to a service or organisation to better support people from Aboriginal communities, LGBTIQ+ people and/or young people with disability 
  • implementing a co-design approach to training and education programs to ensure that people with disability are represented in the work.
Excellence in promoting disability pride

This award recognises an individual or group that has helped foster a sense of pride in being a person with disability. 

Examples of this may include:

  • calling out ableism and addressing persistent negative community attitudes about people with disability
  • increasing a sense of pride in disability identity
  • enhancing the voices of individuals and groups of people with disability, particularly those with intersecting experiences of discrimination
  • advocating to industry, government and broader society for better recognition and understanding of the social and human rights models of disability
  • creating spaces for the experiences, skills and talents of people with disability to be celebrated
  • broadening the engagement in democracy and active citizenship of people with disability.
Volunteer award

This award recognises an individual volunteer or group of volunteers who demonstrate exceptional skill and commitment to making Victoria a more accessible and inclusive place for people with disability.
 
Definition: Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain. Volunteering supports community wellbeing and volunteering activities cover all sectors of society, leisure and hobby areas. Volunteering can be done through a formal arrangement with an organisation, or it can be informal within the community.
 
Volunteers are not paid but can receive reimbursement for out of pocket expenses or can receive gifts or small payments (such as honorariums).

The criterion for this award is an individual or organisation who:

  • has made significant contributions to progress the rights and inclusion of people with disability or 
  • has shown a long term commitment to volunteering to support people with disability or promote disability pride or 
  • a volunteer who mentors or supports people with disability to be active contributors to their community. 

Examples of work may include:

  • a volunteer with disability, or a group made up of volunteers with disability, who work to raise community awareness of new and emerging issues that impact people with disability
  • a volunteer who designs, adapts or modifies individual equipment for, or with, people with 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 disability. People with disability are strongly encouraged to be nominated for this category. 

The criterion for this award is an individual who has:

  • demonstrated outstanding commitment to the rights, participation and inclusion of Victorians with disability for 20 years or more.

Examples of work may include:

  • a person who has championed the rights of people with disability and promoted their inclusion in the community, perhaps by achieving systemic change around a particular issue, contributing to significant policy change or taking a new approach to shifting community attitudes around disability
  • a person who has worked with local businesses to successfully promote employment pathways for people with disability
  • a person who has demonstrated outstanding leadership of a campaign or initiative to support long term improvement in the lives of people with disability
  • a person who has worked across a variety of roles within the disability sector, for example, as a leader, manager, influential thought leader or researcher, advocate and/or frontline worker, who has a strong track record of empowering people with disability and improving outcomes for people with disability in Victoria.
Minister’s Award for outstanding Leadership

Since 2017, the Minister for Disability (now the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers) 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 and the most recent winner was Rocco Salcedo, Dance & Roll in 2021.

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

Judging panel

Judges for the Victorian Disability Awards are drawn from Victoria’s disability community. They bring a range of skills, experience and enthusiasm for improving the lives of people with 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 disability. The judges will then make their recommendations to the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers.

Contact

Victorian Disability Awards Secretariat

If you have any questions, you can contact the Awards Secretariat:

Phone: (03) 8850 6164
Email: awards@dffh.vic.gov.au
Mail: GPO Box 1774, Melbourne 3001, Victoria, Australia

Downloads

Videos – 2021 Victorian Disability Awards

Rocca Salcedo

Rocca Salcedo video transcript (Word)

Maurice Gleeson – Lifetime achievement honour roll

Maurice Gleeson video transcript (Word)

Margherita Coppolino – Lifetime achievement honour roll

Margherita Coppolino video transcript (Word)

Noel Bates – Lifetime achievement honour roll

Noel Bates video transcript (Word)

Previous award winners