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Media Releases

Posted on: 12 December, 2018

International Day of People with Disability 2018 – Celebrate Ability Festival

Snowy Monaro Regional Council was pleased to once again partner with local community organisations to celebrate International Day of People with Disability, with the Celebrate Ability Festival held on Friday 7 December in Centennial Park.

International Day of People with Disability is a day to break down disability barriers and celebrate abilities. It is marked around the world with celebrations on or around 3 December.

The event featured live entertainment from the award-winning Cooma Challenge Ukulele Band, party rocker Josh Pavese, and the first ever public performance of the Daytime Singing Group, supported by Ability Links NSW and Carers ACT.

Snowy Monaro Regional Council’s Community Development Officer, Kristy Harvey, said “A highlight of the day was a wheelchair basketball demonstration by Darren Skuse and members of the Canberra Chargers / ACT Wheelchair Basketball. Darren is a world class athlete whose right leg was amputated following treatment for cancer when he was 16. Keen to get back into sport, Darren found wheelchair basketball and has been travelling the world sharing his passion with others”.

“Darren wowed the crowd with tricks and tips before encouraging everyone to jump in one of the specialised wheelchairs to have a go. Mini-games were played well into the afternoon as participants learned new skills and got more and more competitive”.

The day also included guided all-abilities stretching activities facilitated by LNH Physiotherapy, a demonstration by the Cooma Bocce Club, and the 2018 Celebrate Ability art exhibition.

The 2018 Celebrate Ability Awards were presented in the following categories:
• Community Participant of the Year – Andrew Burgess. Andrew was nominated for his long term radio show on 2MNO, Andrew’s Rock Mix, and for being involved with activities with The Disability Trust. Andrew is always helping out other people and keeps himself very busy out and about in the community.
• Volunteer of the Year award - Tammy Bailey. Tammy was nominated for sharing her love of books with the community through her volunteer work at Dorothy Dickens Bookstore, and for taking on a new volunteer role with the Salvation Army.
• Community Activity of the Year – Snowy’s Place. Snowy’s offers a free or low cost meal to people who are hungry, lonely or looking for a nice place to have a meal and a chat. Snowy’s Place is completely run by volunteers and with donated goods, and supports a number of volunteers who have a disability.
• Community Champion – Tracy Crompton. In her role as an Ability Linker, Tracy connects individuals with opportunities in their community. She also works hard to encourage the broader community to make changes which have a positive impact on people with disability.
• Employee of the Year – Patrick Kelly. Patrick was nominated in recognition of his ability to adapt when a change at work was thrown his way. Patrick took advantage of this opportunity and has become a role model for others in his workplace. He is now showing others how to operate the radios, and has shown that sometimes a change is a great opportunity.
• Fletcher Lee Shield for Employer of the Year – Birdsnest. Birdsnest employ a number of people with disability who have support in the workplace, as well as a number of others who do not need support. Their values allow for a supportive, safe workplace which allows everyone to grow as people and to know that they are valued as employees.

The organising committee wish to thank all of the organisations who supported the day; Cooma Challenge, NSW Dept. of Education, IDEAS, Monaro Early Intervention Service, Ability Links NSW, Snowy Monaro Regional Council, The Disability Trust, Uniting, Lightning Mobility, Katie Phillips Art Therapist, Wellways, The Rehabilitation Specialists, ACT Wheelchair Basketball, Anytime Fitness, LNH / Just Right, Ian Ware from APA, Monaro Meats, Cooma Woolworths, Cooma Bocce Club, Monaro Family Support Service, the Cooma Youth Hub, Monaro High School Leos.

Thank you to business supporters; Artisan Café, Australian Hotel, Cooma Ex-Services Club, Cooma Indian, Cooma’s Original Hotbake, Courtyard Café, Kettle and Seed, Namaste Cooma, Rawsome Earth Café, The Lott Foodstore, Under the Elms, and Whisk & Cocoa Berridale.

For more information about Celebrate Ability Festival contact Kristy Harvey on (02) 6455 1934 or

The theme for International Day of People with Disability for 2018 is ‘Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’.

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