A junior football program assisting special needs children to participate in sports was one of eight winners at last night's 2016 Community Services Excellence Awards.
Community Services Minister Tony Simpson said the Coolbinia Bombers Junior Football Club's 'Starkick All Abilities Football' program was making a big difference in its local community by providing pathways for special needs footballers to play AFL.
"Whether large or small, all community service organisations provide vital support to some of WA's most vulnerable people," Mr Simpson said.
"There is an outstanding variety of community services represented at these awards - from the largest organisations operating at a State-wide level to the smallest groups working within their local community.
"What they have in common is their hard work and determination, and their combined efforts contribute to making Western Australia a better place for everyone to live."
The Community Services Excellence Awards are a partnership between the State Government and the WA Council on Social Service (WACOSS).
Other winners announced at the awards include CommunityWest Inc for its 'Act to Connect: Facilitating Community Connections' program, which was presented with the inaugural Local Government and Community Services Collaboration award.
The Zonta House Refuge Association was also recognised for its 'Positive Pathways to Safety for Women and Children' program which provides support services to women and families who have experienced family and domestic violence.
"I commend the efforts of all the winners and finalists and congratulate WACOSS for their hard work and advocacy, which has seen the partnership between the State Government and the community services sector go from strength-to-strength," the Minister said.
Minister's office - 6552 6600
Community Services Excellence Awards 2016 - Winners
Small Organisation - Coolbinia Bombers Junior Football Club, Coolbinia
The Starkick All Abilities Football program is an Australian first and provides the pathway for special needs footballers to play AFL in their community. With modified training and equipment, children with autism, cerebral palsy and vision impairment can play.
Medium Organisation - Zonta House Refuge Association, Canning Bridge
The Positive Pathways to Safety for Women and Children program was established in 2013. The program provides holistic support services to women and families who have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing, family and domestic violence, mental health and homelessness.
Large Organisation - Technology Assisting Disability WA Inc, Bassendean
TADWA provides specialised services to people with disabilities, older people and their carers by providing customised solutions to allow them to live happily and safety in their own home and community. In 2014-15, the organisation provided more than 6,980 services to clients in WA.
Regional Organisation - Youth Involvement Council Inc, South Hedland
Mingle Mob is a street patrol outreach program which operates from 6pm to 10pm, two nights a week, to reduce anti-social and criminal behaviour in youth. The program connects youth to youth workers and case managers who are equipped with the tools to help young people with the issues they are facing.
Outstanding Commitment to Citizen Empowerment - DADAA Ltd, Fremantle
The Access All Arts is a program of Audio Description and Access Tours to increase access to arts and cultural activities for people who are blind, vision impaired or deaf-blind. This is the first time this program will be taking place at close to 20 major festivals and theatre productions in Perth.
Outstanding Commitment to Reconciliation - Kaitijin Mia Mia Aboriginal Foundation, Malimup
The Healing Centre and Bush University program allows visitors to understand and learn about Aboriginal culture and ways of working. The foundation's sharing of information in this reconciliation space includes advice on how to engage and form relationships with Aboriginal people and contribute to a better future for all Australians.
Local Government and Community Services Collaboration - CommunityWest Inc, Woodvale
The Act to Connect: Facilitating Community Connections program responds to issues of loneliness and social isolation. The steering group comprised the City of Rockingham, Bethanie and CommunityWest Inc, and supports professionals working with people with disability and mental health issues.
Partnerships - Centacare Employment and Training, West Perth
Project Stepping Stones is a highly successful joint venture between Centacare Employment and Training, Police and Community Youth Centres and the Department of Education. It is an intervention and engagement program that aims to keep 'at risk' young people who have disengaged from mainstream schooling off the streets, out of trouble and ultimately out of the juvenile detention system.