Greater Geelong residents awarded for perseverance and commitment
GEELONG residents living with a disability have been celebrated as part of the 2021 Geelong Awards for People with Disability.
The awards recognise the efforts made by Greater Geelong community members living with disability who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in advocacy, leadership, empowering others in the workplace or in a voluntary capacity.
The awards were delivered by the City of Greater Geelong for its sixth year and are considered an important part of the city’s work in building an accessible and inclusive community for all.
Councillor Anthony Aitken, chair of the Volunteering and Disability portfolio, said the awards continue to build inclusivity throughout the region, while highlighting the amazing accomplishments of community members.
“This year’s recipients showcase the incredible contributions of our community, their work in supporting others and in pursuing their passions,” Cr Aitken said.
“The Geelong Awards for People with Disability are a highlight each year and help progress our goal of creating an inclusive, diverse, healthy and socially connected community.”
The 2021 award recipients are Justine Martin (Achievement Award), Brooke Boyle (Leadership and Advocacy Award), Brooke Greenhalgh (Employment Award) and Bradleigh Hudgell (Volunteering Award).
Justine Martin was told she would never work again after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, three primary cancers and a long list of serious medical conditions, but she continues to fight.
Ms Martin is a published author, runs a resilience consulting business, and is an award-winning professional artist who provides art wellness classes for other people living with disability.
Brooke Boyle is an ongoing leader for the Geelong and Bellarine Peer Action Group for Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability and now facilitates a monthly event called the Social Sunday Lunch that brings together both her peers and their families.
Brooke Greenhalgh’s parents were told she would struggle with milestones such as walking and attending a mainstream school.
Today, she has pursued a career in food at Dial a Lunch (DAL), where she worked for 19 years and now has an open employment role at Bon Appetit in Highton where she continues to excel in the industry.
Bradleigh Hudgell has been a committed and reliable full-time Victorian State Emergency Services (VICSES) volunteer for the past 12 years, assisting in emergency situations such as road crashes and urban search and rescue.
The awards form part of the city’s program leading up to International Day of People with Disability next Friday, December 3.
For the full program of free events visit geelongaustralia.com.au/idpwd.