Tony McRae

Tony McRae

Former Minister for the Environment; Climate Change; Disability Services

    Reward for people who make a difference

    7/09/2006 12:04 PM

    The celebration of people and organisations that have made a difference to people living with disabilities has been held at Parliament House today.

    Disability Services Minister Tony McRae presented a total of 21 individuals and six organisations with ‘Making a Difference’ awards, to volunteers who have made a substantial contribution to the community by assisting people with disabilities.

    “For these people, volunteering is not an altruistic act but part of what it means to be a member of our community,” Mr Mc Rae said.

    “Today's recipients represent the very best our community has to offer by helping to create stronger, more inclusive communities and providing a fair go for people with disabilities.

    “Everyone wins when volunteers are valued - our community is enriched by their efforts and their own lives are richer through a sense of purpose and fulfilment. I am particularly pleased to see so many people who have disabilities themselves volunteering their time and skills to support others.

    “People with disabilities, so often the recipients of support and assistance, are frequently keen to give something back to their community and show that they can also make a valuable contribution.

    “Volunteering their time and skills is an excellent way for them to make a difference.”

    This year’s recipients include:
    • Brian Cosgrove of Wembley Downs, for his work with i.d.entity.wa over five years, supporting people with disabilities within the School Holiday program and the Social Club;
    • Dr Greg Brotherson of Booragoon, a strong advocate on behalf of people with multiple sclerosis;
    • John Trewehella of Parkwood, a taxi-driver who provides excellent support and service to customers with multiple sclerosis;
    • Neville Coombs of Beechboro, a volunteer advocate and friend to a young man with severe multiple disabilities for 12 years;
    • Wilhelmus (Bill) Michels of Bassendean, who began volunteering at the age of 86 and two years on continues to advocate and support a young man with intellectual disabilities;
    • Sean Healy of Osborne Park, for supporting people with disabilities attending the Valued Independent People centre in Nollamara through regular music and dancing sessions;
    • Wayne Robins of Hamersley, for his long years of services with the WA Disabled Sports Association across a range of sports and administrative positions;
    • Andrew Goldswain of Claremont, for more than 10 years of support to the WA Disabled Sports Association, particularly in the areas of junior sports development and State championship events;
    • Ardis Hood of Como, for creating and tending Headwest’s garden at its Alfred Cove centre;
    • the late Kay Evans, for a lifetime of work on behalf of people with disabilities and in particular for Recreation and Sport Network;
    • Brian O’Hart of City Beach, for his work at both a State and national level on behalf of families who want to make financial arrangements for their child with a disability;
    • Wendy Hodgkinson of Shelley, who volunteers her time with Headwest’s Nutcracker Social Group, Royal Perth Hospital, the Women’s Information Service and Mercy Hospital;
    • Danny Harrison of East Fremantle, for volunteering his personal experience in road safety talks organised by WA Police for schools in Mandurah;
    • Brian (Lucky) Fanciulli of Lockridge, for volunteering his time to do odd jobs for Headwest and also supporting people through the Nutcracker Social Group;
    • Marjorie Etrelezis of Duncraig, who, at the age of 82, continues to provide support to people with acquired brain injury through Headwest;
    • Peter Anderson of Doubleview, for almost 20 years of support and friendship to a man with disabilities and his family;
    • Nicole Abbott of Heathridge, for her work with the children who attend Granny Spears Community House;
    • Deb Young of North Fremantle and Kim Gilbert of Osborne Park, for using their business skills and contacts to organise Nulsen Haven’s biggest-ever fundraiser and link the organisation to businesses and corporate leaders;
    • Bob Davis of Joondanna, one of the driving forces behind Technology Assisting Disability WA (TADWA) which uses volunteer skills to provide customised aids and equipment and computer services to people with disabilities;
    • Alex Watt of Midland, for 10 years of service with the organisation Crosslinks Inc including acting as treasurer and ensuring the organisation remained financially viable;
    • South Lake Ottey Family and Community Centre, for ensuring that it welcomes and supports people with disabilities and their families in all its activities;
    • Midland Brick, Middle Swan, for its strong partnership with the Hills Community Support Group through its facilities at the old Middle Swan School and the Studio;
    • Mandurah Nutcracker Social Group, for the fun and support it gives people with acquired brain injury in Mandurah;
    • Melville Nutcracker Social Group, a peer support group run by people with acquired brain injury for people with acquired brain injury;
    • Ballajura Indoor Cricket centre, for encouraging and supporting a group of boys with intellectual disabilities to practice their cricketing and social skills free of charge; and
    • Dardanup Butchering Company, for supporting a former employee who received life-threatening injuries in a car accident; assisting him with his rehabilitation and re-employing him following retraining.
    Minister's office - 9213 7150