The #DisabilityAwards2023 is proudly supported by Team DSC, Australia’s leading training, conference and consulting group specialising in the NDIS.
Lesley Hall Award for Lifetime Achievement – Ben Clare
Rights Activism – Heidi La Paglia Reid
Inclusion – Akii Ngo
Innovation – Robert King
Social Impact – James Parr
Change Making – Sarah Joyce
Arts – Natalia Stawyskyj
Ben Clare – Lesley Hall Award for Lifetime Achievement
The Lesley Hall Award for Lifetime Achievement – awarded to an individual who has shown commitment to the disability rights movement and worked over time to achieve significant outcomes for disabled people.
Ben has worked for over 20 years throughout Australia & the Pacific. He worked and volunteered to teach children braille literacy and how to use computers with JAWS and NVDA. Ben advocates for and provides advice on disability inclusion and inclusive education to government bodies.
Heidi La Paglia Reid – Rights Activism
Rights Activism – advancing the status of disabled people by using human rights mechanisms, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Heidi has worked tirelessly to advocate for and represent the rights of Autistic and disabled people and is currently working on Australia’s first National Autism Strategy. Heidi has also led and contributed to numerous initiatives which aim to prevent violence against disabled women, including Our Watch’s Changing the Landscape framework and Women With Disabilities Australia’s Our Site website.
Akii Ngo – Inclusion
Inclusion – illustrating the intersectional diversity of disabled people by designing processes, systems or programs.
They have actively & passionately brought awareness & inclusion to the LGBTIQA+ disability community as the inagural Sydney WorldPride Accessibility Manager focusing on all things inclusion & accessibility for all Queer, disabled people. Also leading the LGBTIQA+ Intersectional Strategy at NDIA.
Robert King – Innovation
Innovation – achieving outcomes to the status of disabled people by working outside the box, developing new systems, technology or tools.
Rob lived in institutions for 50 years. Now Rob lives by himself in his own accessible apartment with a life filled with love and connection. He has done this by having an unyielding vision, creating new support systems, grasping the opportunity of technology for freedom and a support circle. Rob is non verbal with significant physical disability and proved the idea that he couldn’t live safely on his own after institutionalisation as false & ableist.
James Parr – Social Impact
Social Impact – achieve visibility of disabled people by using mainstream or social media, or other digital interfaces.
James Parr is a Melbourne-based right below-knee amputee, sharing his story, and lived experiences to champion inclusion and representation for the disabled community within mainstream media/fashion industries. James has worked hard to change the sad narrative or sad stigma that having a disability has to a new narrative. He has done this by increased visibility and representation through modelling for: Champion, lululemon, Stellar Magazine, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and walking multiple runways for Melbourne Fashion Week, Melbourne Fashion Festival and Australian Fashion Week.
Sarah Joyce – Change Making
Change Making – achieving greater equality for disabled people by changing policy, programs, or legislation.
Sarah’s dedicated advocacy played a pivotal role in the recognition of World Meningitis Day in Australia by health ministers and significantly boosted meningococcal vaccination rates and access. As ambassador for Meningitis Centre Australia and CoMO, she has featured in media, on buses & billboards.
Natalia Stawyskyj – Arts
The Arts – advancing the status of disabled people through artistic expression.
Natalia Stawyskyj, MAICD is a filmmaker and founder of Two Shoes Films, known for the Screen NSW-funded film ‘All Silent Dogs’. She was in AICD’s Disability Leadership Program and nominated for Young Australian Filmmaker of the Year. She is a fierce advocate for improving accessibility in the arts. Her acclaimed films novelly explore disability through genre. She has used them to broaden the definition of a disabled story and increase understanding of her lived experience.