According to the Australian Human Rights Commission having access to paid work and being active in sport are two of the most important ways that we find meaning and connect with others in the community. Yet for many people with disabilities meaningful participation in sport and work is not always something that is available and accessible. Latrobe City, VALID, the Moe Peer Action Group and Disability Sport and Recreation held an event in Traralgon on Thursday 14th June to address these issues.
The Traralgon Event included a Business Sport Breakfast; AFL Wheelchair Football Come and Try for local businesses, Latrobe City Councillors and sports clubs, Wheelchair Football Clinic with Grey Street Primary School and a Community Football Clinic at the Traralgon Sports Stadium.
Once the physical activities concluded it was followed by the Why Community Matters Forum which focussed on some of the possibilities and challenges associated with engaging communities and planning for more inclusive community participation and membership in the new NDIS environment. Presenters included Peter Ogunyemi, Captain, Hawthorn Wheelchair Football Team & Richard Amon, CEO, Disability Sport & Recreation; Donna Faulkner, CEO, Work Solutions and Craig Hardy, Youth Services Officer from Workways.
The Breakfast ended with presentations from Mainstream and Me Community Educators Luke Nelson & Sampson Hailu, and Moe Peer Action Group member Georgia Green. They focused on their experience of trying to access paid work and the contribution they make to their local communities through their volunteer work. They also had some very useful tips for some of the local businesses about ways that they can work to develop more inclusive employment opportunities. A big thank you to all, our presenters and to Latrobe City and Disability Sport and Recreation for the work they put in to make the day such a great success.