Bob Kucera

Bob Kucera

Former Minister for Disability Services; Sport and Recreation; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests; Seniors

    Volunteers making a difference for people with disabilities

    28/09/2005 12:00 AM

    A law firm that created its own language to support a staff member with acquired brain injury is among 24 recipients of the 2005 Making A Difference Awards, presented by Disability Services Minister Bob Kucera today.

    The annual awards acknowledge volunteers from across the State who have made a substantial contribution to the community by helping people with disabilities.

    Mr Kucera said that in a highly pressured and sometimes negative world, it was very gratifying to have the opportunity to acknowledge people who took a positive approach to life.

    “Making A Difference Award recipients, are those people who often go above and beyond the call of duty to give a helping hand to people with disabilities,” he said.

    “Whether they are people who volunteer to work for others, or companies and organisations that assist by creating jobs, all the recipients of the awards are giving something extra to the community by making a very real difference to the lives of people with disabilities."

    The recipients are:
    • Zelie Farmer of Tuart Hill, for a lifetime of helping others, in particular residents from Adventist Residential Care Nollamara, who she entertains with sing-a-longs every Monday evening;
    • Jill Bennett of South Perth, for more than 25 years of commitment to people with disabilities, both professionally and as a volunteer, and giving her time and skills to countless Government and community groups, in particular, the Nulsen Haven Association;
    • James Wright of Koondoola, who has volunteered for six years with Valued Independent People as a handyman, groundsman and general assistant, helping out in any way that he can;
    • Jan Wakelam of Halls Head, who has provided support to the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Rockingham Outreach Group, that advocates for local people with MS;
    • John Robertson of Beckenham, who has acted as a handyman and gardener for the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Wilson Centre for more than seven years;
    • Barry Mori of Cannington, for providing substantial help to people with acquired brain injury who attend Headwest’s Nutcracker Social Group for community activities;
    • Christine Annison of Albany, a mother of five children including two sets of twin girls (two of whom have disabilities), for advocating strongly to get appropriate schooling for all her children, and supporting other families to do the same;
    • Kaye Sales of Australind, for providing friendship and support to a man with intellectual disabilities to help him gain dignity, independence and acceptance in the community;
    • Phyllis Alessandri of Daglish, for continuing the work of her daughter, the late Dr Louisa Alessandri, to achieve equity and access for people with disabilities through fundraising for the Dr Louisa Alessandri Scholarship and working with community groups and other agencies to promote the rights of people with disabilities;
    • Les Beaman of Inglewood, for continuing to help people with Alzheimer’s disease, following the death of his wife three years ago from that condition;
    • Malcolm Hancock and Bessie Height, both of Narrogin, for volunteering their time to drive patients to medical appointments in Perth and advocating strongly on behalf of their passengers;
    • Students from the Yandeyarra Remote Community School in the Pilbara, for providing a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for a little girl with disabilities who required significant support;
    • The Second Steps Support Group from Bunbury, for providing information, support, advocacy and friendship to parents of children with autism in the South-West region;
    • The Pink Pamperers, a group of pink-shirted volunteers who provide free beauty, hairdressing and other pampering services to mothers of children with disabilities attending respite camps;
    • Shann Family Lawyers of Subiaco, for adjusting many of their office procedures and work practices, such as developing a new ‘language’, pictorial cues and nicknames, to accommodate the needs of a new staff member with an acquired brain injury and cognitive disability;
    • Caversham Wildlife Park, for providing support and flexible employment opportunities to people with disabilities over the past six years, particularly for an employee with significant personal challenges;
    • The Easifleet Group of Victoria Park, for providing a positive, friendly work environment for a staff member with spinal muscular atrophy and encouraging him to expand his social networks;
    • Waverley Autoservice Centre of Maddington, for offering a supportive and inclusive work environment that has helped increase the self-esteem and confidence of a staff member with an acquired brain injury;
    • Citation International Importers from Osborne Park, for providing work and social support, and ongoing kindness for an employee with a disability;
    • The Churches of Christ Homes and Community Services of Hamilton Hill, for employing a woman with an acquired brain injury which allowed her to gain confidence and learn new skills;
    • Churches of Christ and Community Services of Port Kennedy, for creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for a new staff member with a disability;
    • The SEPG3 (Finance) Group from Chevron Australia, for helping the Noah’s Ark Toy Library for children with disabilities through volunteering their technical expertise and donating funds to support the Library; and
    • The Newman Recreation Centre in the East Pilbara. for developing an activity program specifically for young adults with disabilities and providing gym access at a reduced fee.

    Minister's office: 9213 7000