Awards winners a shining light in community

November 26, 2020 BY

Tegan Whitten

FOUR inspiring Geelong residents have been recognised in the 2020 Geelong Awards for People with a Disability.

The awards celebrate individuals who are doing outstanding work in advocacy, leadership and empowering others through their contributions to volunteering, at work or in the community.

The awards form part of the City’s celebrations in the lead-up to International Day of People with Disability on Thursday, December 3 and are a partnership with genU, supported by the Barwon Disability Resource Council, Leisure Networks and the Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with a Disability (VALiD).

The 2020 recipients include:

Michael Chan (Achievement Award) – Michael sits on numerous committees and uses his personal story and the challenges he faces of living in his own world, brought by a diagnosis of high-functioning autism. He believes that through a shared experience of art, we can unlock the power of our differences to create a world where we all reach our full potential.

Tegan Whitten (Leadership and Advocacy Award) – Tegan has consistently fought for the equal treatment and access of all with a disability. As the Geelong Accessibility and Services Representative of the Deakin University Student Association, she has been a driving force behind a number of initiatives that ensure equality, inclusion and accessibility.

Ainslee Hooper (Employment Award) – Ainslee has her own consultancy business which helps businesses identify opportunities to remove invisible barriers through a holistic approach to accessibility – helping make their business more inclusive and increase profitability.

Jake Anderson (Volunteering Award) – Jake is a volunteer at genU GAMER, a youth-focused support service that uses gaming as the vehicle for self-development. Jake has assisted many others to feel safe, part of “the tribe” and enabled them to achieve their own goals.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, celebrations will take place online with a video of each winner shared on the City of Greater Geelong’s social media accounts.