WA Disability Support Awards 2020 – Our Winners

June 24, 2020
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We are incredibly honoured to announce the Interchange Winners of the 2020 WA Disability Support Awards.

All of us at Interchange would like to congratulate Support Worker Mark White, Winner of the Excellence in Advocacy and Rights Promotion Award, and Support Worker Joy Rotairo, Finalist of the Excellence in Improving Employment Opportunities Award, on their outstanding achievements.

WA Disability Support Awards

The WA Disability Support Awards celebrate the significant contribution of individuals and teams who support people with disability to achieve their goals. The Awards recognise and reward people who go beyond ordinary standards of service and provide the highest standard of individualised support to increase the quality of life and inclusion of people with disability in Western Australia.

Now in their 12th year, the WA Disability Support Awards, hosted by National Disability Services WA in partnership with the Department of Communities, have been recognising and celebrating the achievements of disability support workers since 2009.

Excellence in Advocacy and Rights Promotion Award

Winner WA Disability Support AwardsMark White, Winner WA Disability Support Award

Support Worker Mark White from our Spearwood Neighbourhood won the Excellence in Advocacy and Rights Promotion Award for his advocacy work and support of Michael to overcome his social anxiety and regain his independence. Before Mark met Michael and his family, Michael had barely left his house for many years and was socially isolated and anxious. The pair gradually established a relationship based on trust which gave Michael the confidence to take his own steps towards independence.

With Mark’s support, Michael is now able to do the family’s food shopping, manage his own finances, and has overcome his social anxiety around meeting new people and developing friendships.

Being around people, going to the gym, the library, even shopping – it was all new to me. It was scary at first but now I am getting used to it and feel more comfortable and also a bit proud. – Michael

The judges also commended Mark’s advocacy and perseverance in sourcing legal representation for Michael which ultimately led to a positive outcome after an intense and stressful situation.

I am glad that this award recognises the need for advocacy for people living with disabilities. It is important to stand up for people who might not be able to do so themselves and encourage them along the way so they can build the confidence to eventually speak up and stand up for themselves. – Mark

Excellence in Improving Employment Opportunities Award

WA Disability Support AwardsJoy Rotairo, Finalist WA Disability Support Award

Support Worker Joy Rotairo from our Rockingham Neighbourhood became a finalist in the WA Disability Support Awards category Excellence in Improving Employment Opportunities.

Joy has been nominated by Interchange Customer Dean for her efforts supporting people with disability to find great jobs. After losing his job 7 years ago, Dean had lost his confidence and the hope of ever regaining employment. – until Joy came along. With Joy’s guidance and support, Dean has recently re-entered the workforce and says working with Joy has truly changed his life.

Driven by a belief in the benefits of meaningful work, Joy has been described as an “absolute superstar” when it comes to helping the people she supports discover their own unique skills and talents, then identify the right job or micro business that suits them best.

I already feel like a winner for achieving our customers goals and helping them find meaningful work. There were 160 incredible nominations and I feel extremely blessed to have even made it this far. – Joy

Being a finalist in this very competitive category is an absolutely amazing achievement. And even though Joy did not win she is definitely a winner to all of us.

We feel honored to have people like Mark and Joy amongst us. Only through their passion, commitment and dedication to their vital roles can we strive as an organisation to make a real difference in the lives of the people we support. Thank you, Joy and Mark for the incredible job you have done to ensure people with disability are loving their best lifes. – Interchange CEO Justin O’Meara Smith

Our Nominees

Obviously, the best feedback is always the one coming directly from the people we support. Together with our valued Customers, Interchange submitted six nominations for the 2020 WA Disability Support Awards. 10 People who demonstrated excellence, passion, vision and commitment to supporting people with disability and have gone beyond ordinary standards of service.

Interchange’s Nominees for the 2020 WA Disability Support Awards were:

Thank you everyone for all your hard work, dedication and passion in supporting people with disabilities to live a great life. We are incredibly proud of you, your amazing achievements and the profound impact you have on the lives of the people we work with and support.

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