Caption: Matt Iversen, Akii Ngo (guest speaker), Tara Daniel, Donald Hughan, Anita McKenzie and Llewellyn Prain
WaterAble has had a huge month of celebrations and the organising committee are energised heading into 2024 about the support we have seen this year from the sector. In August our members voted to become a VicWater program and since then we have had 18 water corporations become partners including two from interstate. This is great as it provides WaterAble resources to run programs and events that support people who identify as having a disability in the sector to thrive and feel a sense of belonging.
One such program is the Leadership Program which was held for the first time this year. This program was facilitated by Llewellyn Prain and there were four participants in this initial cohort. They laughed, cried, shared stories and found their true north as part of this journey. They graduated on 28 November 2023 with a special congratulatory video from the Minister for Housing, Water, and Equality, Harriet Shing.
We also held a celebration for International Day for People with Disability on 5 December and it was fantastic to see over 50 people in person and over 100 attend online. We were honoured to have the Minister Shing attend in person and inspire us. Leadership comes from the top and we are fortunate to have Minister Shing in this role as she clearly passionate about having a truly equitable and diverse sector. This was followed by the incredible Akii Ngo, who spoke with raw honesty about their lived experiences and challenged all of us in the room to do better. We were fortunate to have such an incredible guests to be part of our celebrations, but the true highlight was that this is the first time that the WaterAble organising committee were in the room together! What an incredible milestone!
The final highlight for WaterAble was being finalists for the Disability Leadership Awards in the category of Innovation. Although we did not win, being nominated and a finalist shows what we are doing is worthwhile and making change in the sector. If you are interested in finding out more about WaterAble head to our website for more information. https://waterable.com.au/
WaterAble would not happen without the organising committee of Donald Hughan, Matt Iversen, Llewellyn Prain, Anita McKenzie and Tara Daniel, and our volunteers, Tania Beer, Alice Milner and Nigel Egan. We look forward to doing great things with you in 2024!