Honoured: Matt Mattson’s son, Kyran Hughan, Ballarat Wildlife Park’s Jared Mulholland and Sue Mroczkowski with Shane Everard’s brother, Jim Everard. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

Park awarded for giving wildlife access to all

December 3, 2019 BY

THE Ballarat Wildlife Park received the annual Shane Everard and Matt Mattson Trophy during International Day of People with Disability celebrations this week.

Awarded by the Ballarat Peer Action Group for their inclusivity and easy access for people of all abilities, the park’s Sue Mroczkowski said the Parker Family and broader team were honoured to be recognised.

“We’re very proud that people feel that we have a very accessible attraction at the Wildlife Park,” she said.

“When the Parkers were first planning the park, that was foremost in their planning, to have animals that could be viewed with all access in a very small area.

“There’s a lot of animals near the entrance, but we’ve always got accessibility in our minds when we design new enclosures,” Ms Mroczkowski said.

Other businesses receiving High Recommendation awards for their accessibility and inclusivity included I Made It Creative Café, Ballarat Oz Tenpin Bowling, the Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre, and the Ballarat Leagues Club.

City of Ballarat Deputy Mayor, Cr Belinda Coates said Shane Everard and Matt Mattson were positive disrupters in the disability accessibility space.

“With their visibility, advocacy and persistence, they did ground-breaking work,” she said. “To be a successful advocate you need to disrupt the status quo, but in doing that for accessibility and inclusion, we’ll create a better place for everyone.

“The theme for International Day of People with Disability this year is around empowerment, and if we empower people with disabilities to feel included and welcome, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, we’ll make a better world for everyone.”

Entertainment was provided by the Ballarat Ukulele group.