In the same week the nation celebrated wheelchair tennis champion Dylan Alcott being named Australian of the Year, the East Kimberley held its own party to celebrate its community of people living with disability.
Dozens of people gathered at the Kununurra Leisure Centre on Friday for the region’s first International Day of People with Disability event, which aims to challenge the way people think about disability and help grow a more inclusive Australia.
Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service support coordinator Tobi Macnamara said the event was building on the region’s growing efforts to provide a more inclusive community, with more consideration for the almost 200 people living with a disability.
This included the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley’s updated Disability Access and Inclusion Plan, released last year.
“There’s been more talk in the Kununurra community about people with disabilities in terms of access, inclusion, and acceptance,” she said.
“There are lots of grants around that different organisations have that are helping people with a disability do the same sorts of things people without a disability can do — whether it’s getting out and about in the community, going fishing, catching up with friends, going downtown, or involving themselves in community groups.”
While International Day of People with Disability is celebrated on December 3, Kununurra service providers joined to put on their own event on January 28 after receiving a $1000 grant to mark the occasion.
Patches Therapy Service, Far North Community Services, Wayfinder, East Kimberley Job Pathways, and OVAHS were among the services involved in the celebration.