Winners of International Day of People with Disability recognition awards announced
The Murray Bridge council has presented recognition awards at a fun and colourful event to mark International Day of People with Disability.
Stories create community – that’s why this recent story is now free to read. You can help Murray Bridge News tell our community’s stories by subscribing today.
The Murray Bridge council has celebrated International Day of People with Disability with a free barbecue and inclusive sports and activities at Sturt Reserve, followed by the presentation of recognition awards.
The free activities on offer outside the 1924 Riverfront Steakhouse included sailing, adaptive rowing, face-painting, croquet and a special visit by a well-fed gentleman with a white beard and a bright red suit.
Murray Bridge CEO Heather Barclay and deputy mayor Andrew Baltensperger presented the awards, with Cr Baltensperger speaking about the meaning of International Day of People with Disability.
“International Day of People with Disability demonstrates and celebrates what people with disability can achieve when they have the same opportunities to pursue their dreams and to reach their full potential,” he said.
“It seeks to remove barriers for people with disability and create inclusive communities, and it celebrates and recognises the achievements, contributions and abilities of people with disability.”
As part of that recognition, the Murray Bridge Council gave out recognition awards at the Sturt Reserve event in two categories:
the individual award to a person who has contributed to the disability sector through personal achievement(s) or a significant contribution to the community
an organisation or a community program which has contributed to the disability sector or improved access and inclusion within the Rural City of Murray Bridge.
This year, there were a total of 11 nominations, with each winner receiving a glass-etched award and a voucher for $250.
Stories create community. You can help Murray Bridge News tell our community’s stories.
The winner of the 2023 Individual Recognition Award was Caderyn Smith.
Cr Baltensberger praised Mr Smith for his active participation in Genuine Support Services activities and his involvement with Fresh Perspective Photography, which led to starting his own photography business.
Mr Smith explained why his nickname was Mr Smiley.
“Because I’m always happy,” he said.
“I’m always having a good day – today’s a really good day.”
For the second category, the council decided to award a commendation in addition to an award winner.
The winner of the commendation certificate for an organisation or program was the Playing for All program, delivered by Ashleigh Goode on behalf of Special Olympics South Australia and the Murray Bridge Wellbeing Hub.
The winner of the 2023 Disability Recognition Award for a disability-friendly organisation or program was Fresh Perspective Photography.
Fresh Perspective Photography has a Murray Bridge News connection, as the person behind it is none other than our Tailem Bend correspondent, Glenn Power, who delivers his inclusive photography services through Genuine Support Services.
Cr Baltensperger said that the Genuine Support Services Australia Fresh Perspective Photography enthusiastically engages people with disability.
“The program places genuine importance on inclusivity, which generates an atmosphere where everyone, regardless of their ability, can actively participate and bloom,” he said.
Mr Power explained what he loved about working in disability.
“I got into this industry because it’s a loving industry,” he said.
“I’m very honoured to work with so many caring people, especially the Genuine Support Services Australia.”
Congratulations to all winners and nominees for this year’s awards.