International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) and the 2017 Mayoral Awards took place on Monday, 4 December 2017 at the Andy McNeill Room in the Alice Springs Town Council. Over 100 people were in attendance and The Mayor of Alice Springs Mr Damien Ryan was the MC of the celebrations.

The Guest Speakers, Cucu Saidah and Faisal Rusdi, are a married couple from Indonesia who currently reside in Adelaide, SA. They travelled to Alice Springs from Adelaide for the IDPwD and Mayoral Awards celebrations. Cucu Saidah is a well-known disability rights activist in Indonesia with over 15 years’ experience. Faisal Rusdi is a well-known member of the international organisation, Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA).

Cucu captured the audience with an empowering key note, sharing that Indonesia has very limited opportunity for people with a disability to live an inclusive, equal and accessible life. She shared her story of living with disability, the challenges she has had through her life journey and achievements.

Faisal Rusdi commenced working on a blank canvas at the start of the event, using his mouth to paint. Just one and a half hours into the celebrations, Faisal had produced an incredible painting of Uluru. The audience and the Mayor expressed enormous excitement as he finished his art piece whilst people lined up to speak to Faisal.

King Marong, a Gambian Master Percussionist, Singer, Composer, Teacher and Cultural Ambassador, gave a fantastic drumming performance, alongside the Life without Barriers Day Program participants putting on a dance off show for the crowd! King Marong’s website is http://www.kingmarong.com/ .

Annette Hiscox, who is from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), gave a brief information session about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

All were highly received by the Alice Springs community.

The Mayoral Awards acknowledge the contributions made by individuals with disability and by individuals for disability communities. The Noteworthy Award celebrates a person with disability who has made a noteworthy contribution to the community; The Champion Award celebrates a person with or without disability who has been an advocate for the rights and well-being of people with disability; and The Michele Castagna Medal is awarded to an individual that displays tenacity.

2017 Mayoral Awards Recipients:

Noteworthy Award: Royston Thompson
Champion Award: Tiffany Keane
Michele Castagna Medal: Karen Stewart

The event finished with delicious catering, which was organised by Life Without Barriers. The Alice Springs Town Council and Public Library, Life Without Barriers, Disability Advocacy Service Inc. and countless others came together to make this event a spectacular time for all.

More information is available from the Alice Springs Town Council website; links listed below.

Alice Springs Town Council Facebook (see Post from 5 December 2017) – https://www.facebook.com/AliceSpringsTC/?rf=180405232002352

Alice Springs Town Council Website – IDPwD and Mayoral Awards Information: http://www.alicesprings.nt.gov.au/events/2017-12-04/international-day-people-disability-idpwd-2017-mayoral-award-presentations

Copyright © 2016 DISABILITY ADVOCACY SERVICE INC. All rights reserved.