Hard-working gardener wins on International Day of People with a Disability
Jake Stewart and Community Living Australia have been recognised with awards from the Murray Bridge council in 2021.
This story was originally published behind Murray Bridge News’ paywall. Paywalled stories are unlocked four weeks after publication. Can’t wait that long? Subscribe here.
Between running his own gardening business and working at the Brinkley Reuse Centre, for Orana, and as a footy goal umpire, Jake Stewart is a busy bloke.
Now, thanks to his workmanlike attitude, he’s an award-winning bloke, too.
He was named the winner of an individual recognition award in Murray Bridge on Friday, the International Day of People with a Disability.
He thanked the people dearest to him in a quick speech, including his Brinkley colleague Rebecca Page and his mum: “I love you mum”.
Murray Bridge Mayor Brenton Lewis described Mr Stewart as a hard-working, friendly, reliable and well respected community member.
“Jake has faced many learning and physical barriers in his life ... with determination and persistence,” Mr Lewis said.
“Jake’s ability to work with others and not let his disability stop him from achieving his goals and ambitions make him a role model for others.”
The other finalists for the award were artist Bruce Weber and long-serving Orana employee Kingsley Jones.
Community Living Australia social club recognised
A second award, for a disability-friendly program or organisation, went to service provider Community Living Australia for its social club program.
The program, open to anyone in the community with a disability, began in April in response to the isolating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CLA’s intention was to improve participants’ mental and physical health by bringing them together to socialise, do activities and go on outings.
Employment support agencies Community Bridging Services and Employment Options were also nominated in the category.
Mr Lewis said it was important to recognise the achievements of people living with disability, and the value they provided to the community.
Each award winner received a trophy, certificate and $200 Wish voucher.