Reflect, Respect, Celebrate

Written by Liz Reid AM

Happy 2021! It has certainly started with a bang. I would say many are more than happy to say goodbye to 2020. 

Some great things did however come out of 2020 for PDA with:

  • * the establishment of the Youth Alliance for young people with a physical disability aged 18-30 years to be the voice of young people
    our membership increasing significantly
  • * our social media presence growing to exceed our expectations
  • * the appointment of PDA’s Inaugural Ambassador, Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM
  • * establishing regular online social hours for members to connect during COVID-19
  • * and the PDA Self-Management project’s how-to website – to be launched soon. 
  • * PDA making submissions to many government consultations
  • * our reaching out to members to identify gaps, facilitate solutions and provided advocacy for members individually and systemically to ensure their human rights were being supported and protected. 

I would especially like to acknowledge the skills and talents of outgoing Director for Victoria, Elle Steele, and Associate Director for Western Australia, Matthew Lee, for their fabulous contributions and commitment to afford the rights and freedoms of people with a physical disability. Thank you both for all you have done! 

A big welcome to Tammy Milne, Associate Director for Tasmania, and Melanie Hawkes, Associate Director for Western Australia. We are thrilled that you have joined the PDA Board and look forward to a productive year ahead!
Thank you to also to our members who attended our AGM at the end of 2020. It meant and means a great deal.

As we start to think about PDA’s work plan for our members, valued partners/stakeholders and what is important to you in 2021, we need to hear your thoughts, issues, and priorities. I encourage you to email Simon, PDA Manager @ or Natasha, Promotions @ . If you know of people with physical disabilities and their supporters who would find value in being a member of PDA, please share the link to our website for free membership .

In 2021 we will continue to advocate for the many Australians with disability who are ineligible for the NDIS and the supports it provides. Therefore, it is extremely important to advocate for the new incarnation of the National Disability Strategy post-2020 that is robust, responsive, and effective as the Federal Government’s disability policy centrepiece – so that all Australians with disability can have their needs met.

Social Hour via Zoom will be returning with a new flavour on the first Monday of the Month and the Youth Alliance Social Hour will also continue to be run, but will be moved to a monthly slot on the third Thursday of every month. Stay tuned to our Facebook pages for more information.

Elle Steele in coming weeks will be hosting a webinar for our members about setting up and running a business. Please check our PDA socials for more information.

Reflect, Respect, Celebrate… these words have different meanings for so many people! As we approach Australia Day, we can reflect on our nation’s story knowing that it began more than 65,000 years ago. First Nations Australians are the foundation of our nation’s story and an important and empowering part of our shared history for the entire nation. It is important that we acknowledge our complete history, its impact on our first peoples and that we pay our respect to all those who sacrificed and paved the road to where we are today.

Australia Day is when we can all come together, acknowledging everyone’s personal journey, paying tribute to our diversity and celebrating us and the great country that we live in. It is important that in doing so we also continue to promote reconciliation and multiculturalism. Together celebrating our progress as a vibrant, united and progressive society – not just this day but every day.

The countdown is on for the Australian of the Year Awards. Congratulations to all the worthy 2021 nominees from all States and Territories. The Awards will be broadcast live on January 25 7:30pm (AEDT), 6:00pm (ACST); 7:00pm (ACDT) & 4:30pm (AWST) on ABC TV and iView. 

Starting in 1960, the Australian of the Year Awards has four categories; Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Local Hero – each recognising outstanding achievements and contributions to our nation. 

A big shout out for PDA’s Ambassador, Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, Advocate for Doctors with Disabilities and QLD Australian of the Year 2021. Our thoughts and well wishes are with you and your family at the awards. PDA is incredibly honoured and privileged that you are our Ambassador amongst your incredible support to many causes. To be a nominee and finalist is a huge accolade!

I would like to finally add a thanks to our part-time team made up of Simon, Trish and Natasha who are continually coming up with creative ways to support PDA and our members, putting in more hours than we are funded for in many instances!! Thanks also to all the Directors and Associate Directors who volunteer their time and passion for an equitable Australia!!

As always take care & keep safe.


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