Birthday party part of the search for inclusivity

December 7, 2023 BY

Honoured: Akii Ngo said helping Lifely to celebrate 40 years of supporting the disabled community in regional Victoria is an honour. Photo: SUPPLIED

LOCAL disability service provider Lifely is celebrating forty years of providing support to people with special needs living in the Loddon Mallee.

To mark the occasion’s staff are hosting a party and all abilities scavenger hunt at the Garden of the Future in White Hills this weekend.

CEO of Lifely, Janette Martin, said the event would be a token of appreciation for the local community who have made the milestone possible.

“Our journey began with the grassroots efforts of Bendigo families,” she said.

“With the unwavering support of our community, families, and businesses we’ve evolved into a leading provider of disability support and children’s services in regional Victoria.”

The event will feature free entertainment for all ages and is set to be hosted by disability advocate Akii Ngo, who comes from a refugee background and identifies as disabled, non-binary, trans, and queer.

“Their ethos at Lifely is ‘make every day better’, and ‘do better’,” Mx Ngo said.

“That includes not just for participants but for the community, to break down the stigmas and to make people with disabilities feel more included and valued.”

Mx Ngo will share their lived experience as a member of intersectional communities and facilitate a Q&A session where they will answer questions from the audience.

“Disabled people are more than just a disability as well, we can be queer, we can be people of colour, we can be X, Y ,and Z,” they said.

The theme of the event is ‘40 years making the everyday better’ which Ms Martin said is about drawing attention to essential rights that can be overlooked such as safety, self-expression, and freedom of choice.

“Positive events like this are one way we can work together to build a future with more choice, independence, and opportunities for people living with disabilities,” she said.

Teams can sign up for the scavenger hunt at lifelychallenge.eventbrite.com.au and can donate an amount of their choice upon registration.

The celebration will take place on Saturday 9 December from 10am to 2pm at the Garden of the Future in White Hills.