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2019 Nominees for the Chief Minister’s Inclusion Awards

This year, the nominees for the Chief Minister’s Inclusion Awards are being announced gradually. 

Submit a nomination for the 2019 Awards now!

Bonnie Millen

Bonnie is the Senior Policy Advisor at Advocacy for Inclusion  (AFI). Bonnie joined AFI in 2016 and manages AFI’s systemic policy work. Bonnie draws on her knowledge of social policy and human rights, and her experience being a woman with a disability to write submissions to ACT and national, and international inquiries and to advocate for positive change for all people with disability in Canberra.

Business Boost Centre

Business Boost Centre is Canberra’s own, national award-winning Bookkeeping practice providing Business Support Services to businesses throughout Australia. With a small team of five employees, they have created a supportive and inclusive workplace, wanting to set an example to other businesses in the professional services area by showing them that inclusion is a normal and standard business process.

Hands On Studio

CatholicCare’s Hands On Studio is a space in which people with an NDIS plan can come for art classes that span a three hour period. It is not an Art Therapy environment – instead each student is approached about their goals as an art maker and these goals shape what they do during class times. Students are listened to, respected and encouraged to produce the art they want to make, and this art is then given a platform to be seen and appreciated.

Ikea Canberra

Sharon attended an event at Ikea Canberra, with her Assistance Dog Mia and two friends with disability. Prior to and throughout the visit, Sharon found the Ikea staff members to be exceptionally responsive to customer needs, and exemplary in disability awareness and respectful attitudes. “From the moment we to entered the store, to the moment we left the store the the staff at Ikea Canberra really went above and beyond…”


In 2018, Independent employed Timothy Cologon as their Office Assistant. Tim has had positive impact on work culture and is recognised as vital member of the team.  Tim and Independent have become partners in promoting employment for people with a disability, undertaking media appearances on radio and in print to ensure other companies appreciate the positive and genuine contribution people with a disability make to a business.

Jamelle Boettcher

Jamelle Boettcher is the Senior Individual Advocate at Advocacy for Inclusion. In the last 10 years she has supported many clients with disability to work through complex issues, including housing, guardianship, NDIS, Care and Protection and justice. In her role, Jamelle places the inclusion of people with disabilities first in every instance, ensuring that decision-making processes are provided to the person for themselves and for her to be their support. Jamelle has a great passion for justice and inclusion and advocates that everyone should have the opportunity to have a fair go and not be penalised for having a disability.

Learning Support Team, St Michael’s Primary

The Learning Support Team at St Michael’s Primary School in Kaleen are dedicated to their role of guiding, supporting and empowering all the students they work with. Their passion for overcoming barriers for and with students with disability ensures that these students thrive in an inclusive environment with their peers. All of this builds a culture of open mindedness and equality, within classrooms and across the wider school community.

Malcolm Brown, Denis Donoghue, Neville Gathercole, Gareth Dear and Kerry Atkins

This group of volunteers have been instrumental in supporting the Golf program of Special Olympics ACT managed by Joyce and Albert Green.  They have provided the guidance, training and support for the people with intellectual disability to develop their golfing skills, engage with other Special Olympic Athletes and other golfers in the area, and access opportunities to represent their state and country. With their supports each athlete builds confidence, friendships and community spirit.

Seeing Machines Ltd

Seeing Machines Ltd is a global technology company headquartered in Canberra Act that monitors drivers to detect fatigue and distraction in order to prevent road accidents. Seeing Machines introduced Project Embrace – an initiative to create targeted opportunities in Canberra for the local community of neurodiverse candidates, including people on the autism spectrum. Following a focus group, the company adapted the interview process to ensure accessibility to people with a disability and improve the overall candidate experience.

Sharon Ding

Sharon Ding joined the ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations executive committee in late 2014 and immediately became involved in representing the Council on disability and special education needs. Sharon is also an active member of the Disability and Wellness Network, the ACT Disability Reference Group and the Marymead Autism Advisory Group. Sharon brings lived experience as a person with a mobility disability and carer experience as a parent of a young child with disability.

Sharon Kensell

Sharon Kensell is the Senior Inclusion and Awareness Advisor (previously Training Officer) at Advocacy for Inclusion – bringing to this role the lived experience of being a health care professional, a carer, and a person with disability. In addition to delivering disability, human rights and inclusion training and Supported Decision Making training, Sharon has been instrumental in creating best practice information guides and resource guides for people with disability.

Shay-Leigh Willis

Shay-Leigh Willis is the President of Diversity ACT, the Youth Leader of Queer Youth Together (a group for LGBTIQ+ young people) and a member of the ACT Youth Advisory Council. Living with a number of disabilities, Shay encourages others to work towards inclusion. In her role as a Youth Group leader, she has provided and participated in multiple education sessions with young people around understanding ability, and universal design thinking.

The Disability Trust Score Raiders

The Disability Trust has worked closely with the Canberra Raiders and Canberra Junior Rugby League to establish this new program. The Score Raiders league program has been designed to enable people with disabilities in the ACT regions to play Rugby League in a supportive environment with the long term goal of having a team play in the local junior rugby league competition. The collaboration is focused on creating opportunities for players to showcase the skills they are learning and be seen as active members of the local rugby league community.

Tilly Davey

Tilly Davey is a Canberra based community arts program manager and creative project producer. Tilly has built partnerships with museums, galleries, non-profits, and other institutions stressing inclusion and arts advocacy. Over the past 3 years Tilly has been the program manager of Hands On Studio, a disability arts program run by CatholicCare.

Wayne Herbert

Wayne Herbert is an accomplished writer, public speaker, presenter and advocate. His passion for human rights is evident in his demonstrated and ongoing commitment to raising the profile of people with disability and members of the LGBTIQ community. He has served on the LGBTIQ Ministerial Advisory Council and the ACT Disability Reference Group, and remains an active board member of the AIDS Action Council.

Women with Disabilities ACT

Women With Disabilities ACT (WWDACT) is a systemic advocacy and peer support organisation which works to improve the status and lives of the 33-thousand women, girls, non-binary and feminine identifying people with disabilities in the ACT. Women* with disabilities are often isolated as a result of their disability. WWDACT is providing a series of peer-support get-togethers. These 6-weekly Social Drop-ins are designed to minimise barriers to participation and promote peer support