Opening addresses for IDPwD

Addresses by the Governor-General David Hurley and Minister of Disability Suzanne Orr.

His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the new patron of People With Disabilities ACT Inc. He is the 27th Governor-General.

International Day of People with Disabilities is an annual opportunity to focus our attention on people with disability, to celebrate their achievements and recognise their enormous contribution to our community.

It is one day of special focus - but the message is one we can all embrace every day of the year.

I am delighted to have been asked to `serve as Patron of People with Disabilities ACT.

I've become their patron because I believe that we should all share their vision - that people with disabilities are respected, valued and empowered to reach their full potential both as individuals and as contributing members of society.

Since 1982, People with Disabilities ACT have made a tangible difference by providing a collective voice for people with disabilities.

I look forward to supporting and working with them as patron over the next five years.

On International Day of People with Disabilities, I encourage all Australians to get involved. Be considerate - imagine if you couldn't see, hear or walk?

Minister Suzanne Orr, MLA

Supporting people with a disability to participate fully within our community is critical to the ACT being the most inclusive city in Australia.

To truly achieve this, we all need to understand the barriers faced by people with disability and what we as a community can do to overcome those barriers.

As newly appointed Minister for Disability, I am pleased to be part of Canberra's celebration of the International Day of People with Disability - marked on December 3 each year by people around the world.

I encourage people to explore the range of I-Day activities on offer this week.

A number of these have been made possible through the ACT Government's 2019 I-Day Grants and aim to raise awareness and understanding of disability issues and encourage support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of people with disability.

The annual Chief Minister's Inclusion Awards on December 5 acknowledge the outstanding achievements of individuals, teams, organisations and businesses to progress inclusion of people with disability in the Canberra community.

In 2019, we have a record breaking 102 finalists to select the 14 award winners.

This year, the ACT Government has continued to build on our commitment to remove barriers. Some key highlights include:

  • Launch of the ACT Disability Justice Strategy in August 2019;
  • Outstanding uptake of the Disability Inclusion Grants with 15 organisations funded to initiate a variety of projects;
  • Newly launched INVOLVED website - an adaptable and responsive interactive platform for the community illustrating the ACT's Disability Commitment to the National Disability Strategy.

Even though I-Day is one day of the year we can put inclusiveness into practice every day and I would ask each of us to think about what we can do every day to support everyone to participate fully in ````our community.

I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the community to build a more inclusive and accessible Canberra.

Governor-General, David Hurley.

Governor-General, David Hurley.

Minister of Disability, Suzanne Orr.

Minister of Disability, Suzanne Orr.

Think what you could do to make sure a person with a disability is truly included in Canberra life and society.

It could be as simple as reading some of the stories about what Australians with disabilities have achieved, raising awareness in your community or workplace, or having a conversation. Try to make it a starting-point and something to build on over the year to come to break down barriers to value, respect and empower people with disabilities.

This supplement is proudly supported by the ACT Government.