Local theatre company recognised as finalist in National Disability Awards

Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird today congratulated Merrigong Theatre Company on being a finalist in the National Disability Awards.   Ms Bird said Merrigong Theatre Company had been recognised for their valuable contribution in improving the lives of people with disability in Australia.

national-disability-awards.jpgThe Theatre group is among 27 finalists across the nine award categories in the National Disability Awards, now in its seventh year, which build awareness of disability issues.

“Merrigong Theatre Company manages one of Australia's busiest regional venues - Illawarra Performing Arts Centre. This fantastic company has committed itself to ensuring those with a disability have equal access to their shows through a number of access services and facilities”, Sharon Bird said.

“Merrigong Theatre Company demonstrates the spirit behind the awards, which this year has been marked by people and organisations finding creative solutions to achieve inclusivity for people with disability.

“The finalists are made up of individuals who are passionate advocates for people with disability, small organisations, right through to big businesses which have changed their work practices to be more inclusive.”

Ms Bird said this year’s awards come at an exciting time for people with disability, their families and carers, following the launch of DisabilityCare Australia on 1 July.

“Under DisabilityCare Australia, Australians with significant and permanent disability will for the first time have the power to choose the support they need and how that support is provided,” Ms Bird said.

“I’m extremely pleased that the first weeks of DisabilityCare Australia have been a success with many people with disability across the launch sites already receiving support under the new scheme.”

The 27 finalists were chosen from almost 200 nominations for the awards against nine categories, which closely align with the NATIONAL DISABILITY STRATEGY’S KEY AREAS FOR ACTION to improve participation for people with disability.

“The National Disability Awards will be held on 26 November as a special celebration leading up to International Day of People with Disability on 3 December,” Sharon Bird said.

“I invite schools, communities, organisations and businesses in the Illawarra to stage their own local events to celebrate the 21st anniversary of International Day of People with Disability.”

For more information on the awards and the International Day please visit www.idpwd.com.au or call 1800 440 385. TTY users please phone 1800 555 677 and ask for 1800 440 385.