Community Inclusion Grant Recipients Named

A crowd of more than 60 people representing business groups, disability support services, and the Surf Life Saving community gathered at North Bondi Surf Club on Friday for the announcement of the Surf Life Saving NSW Community Inclusion Small Grant recipients.

Bondi Beach proved a picture perfect backdrop for the occasion with NSW Disability Minister The Hon John Ajaka on hand for the announcement.

Funded by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, the Community Inclusion Project has been a major initiative for Surf Life Saving NSW over the last 18 months with grants being administered to the three trial sites of Bondi, Pambula, and Newcastle.

CEO Phil Vanny AM is delighted that Surf Life Saving is embracing the project, believing that it’s an opportunity to create inclusive environments for everyone to enjoy.

“Surf Life Saving NSW looks forward to seeing the results in the trial sites and continuing to support the Government’s vision of inclusive coastal communities,” said Mr Vanny.

“It’s clear that the recipients have really thought about how to improve their communities in an inclusive way. From making beach safety programs more accessible to developing an app on inclusiveness, all these initiatives have the potential to make a positive impact on people living with disability,” Mr Vanny said.

“It’s clear that the recipients have really thought about how to benefit their communities in an inclusive way. From making beach safety programs accessible to developing an app that highlights inclusiveness, all these initiatives have the potential to make a positive impact on people living with disability,” Mr Vanny said.

As these projects are implemented in the trial sites over the next 6 months, it is hoped that beaches and the areas that surround them will become more inclusive and benefit families such as the Ryans.

Rosie Ryan, mother of Cormac, who at just eight years of age is the state’s youngest ambassador for the “Don’t Dis My Ability” campaign wants her children to experience the thrill of participating in Nippers together but knows in reality there will be a lot of challenges to overcome.

“I grew up on the beach and did Nippers and it’s such a fun part of life that I really don’t want my family to miss out on,” said Ms Ryan.

“We sometimes go to the pool rather than the beach as it is easier to access, but things are starting to change slowly, which is why we need to support any initiative that makes beaches more accessible.

“I would love to think that more young people in wheelchairs will be able to use beaches right across Australia and that it will be seen as part of everyday life by both their peers and other beach users.”

Cormac too wants that to happen.

“Going to the beach is a lot of fun but it is hard because of the distance to the water,” said the enthusiastic youngster.

“I really enjoy talking to people and being an ambassador. I like to tell people that it doesn’t matter if you have a disability we can do anything.”

And that is exactly the message that the Community Inclusion Project aims to promote.

2015/16 SLSNSW Disability Project Grant Recipients:

Bondi
Blind Sporting Association of NSW – Sand in Your Eyes Project
Centre For Disability Studies – Bondi Waves of Inclusion Project
One Wave Limited (Bondi) – One Wave Surfing Experience
Little Hereos Swim Academy – Mad About Inclusion Project
The Able Movement – Tell Your Story Film Project

Newcastle
Ability Links – Beach and Precinct Access Mapping Project
Aspect (Hunter School) – Autism Awareness and Beach Accessibility Project
One Wave Limited – One Wave Surfing Experience Project
Catholic Community Services – Wheelchair Purchase
Centre For Disability Studies – Newcastle and Nobbys – Waves Of Inclusion
Guide Dogs ACT/NSW – Touching The Breeze Project
House With No Steps – Walking On Water Project
Newcastle Now 1 – Nobby’s Lighthouse Project
Newcastle Now 3 – Access All Areas Project
Nobbys SLSC – Buddy Swimming and Charge Stations
The Northcott Society – Beach Communication and Safety Project
Octapod – The Storm; Theatre By The Beach Project
The Deaf Society of NSW – Deaf Friendly Surf Safety Children’s Information

Pambula/Merimbula
Adult Education (Auspice) – Communication Using iPads
Grand Pacific Health – Flouro Friday/Mental Health/First Aid Projects
Pambula Rotary – Leadership and Adventure Camp
Sapphire Support Services (Auspice) – Access Pambula/Merimbula App
Sapphire Support Services (Auspice) – Pathways for Inclusion Project
Tulgeen Disability Services – Beach Access Program

To read more about the grant program and the innovative new projects that will take place please click here

Photograph Top - Cormac Ryan poses with his mother and sisters at North Bondi on Friday 27 November 2015

Middle -Action from the on-water demonstration

Below - Minister Ajaka addresses the crowd

Fri 27 Nov 2015