PDA’s Melanie Hawkes announced as a winner in Simply Open Awards

Earlier this year PDA promoted Open Inclusion’s exciting Simply Open Awards – an exciting competition where people with disabilities can share and showcase simple solutions and hacks they have created to overcome access or exclusion barriers.

In the lead up to this year’s International Day of People with Disability on December 3rd, the award announcement was live streamed on Friday night.

We are very excited and thrilled to announce that PDA’s very own Melanie Hawkes (PDA’s WA Associate Director) was revealed as the recipient of the Judges’ Wildcard for her stick hack, taking home £750 and the prestigious honour of being Australia’s first ever Simply Open Awards winner.

Big congrats to Melanie for her efforts. Congratulations too to the other Award winners.

You can watch the awards by going to:

Melanie features at around the 37:10 mark.

Additionally, PDA was recognised as the most successful charitable organisation in promoting the Simply Open Awards to their community, resulting in the most referred applicants sharing their hacks in the competition (watch from 35:02). We are humbled and grateful to the Simply Open Awards for being mentioned in this way and incredibly appreciative of our members, our supporters, our social media followers and Australia’s disability community who were inspired to enter this outstanding award and who mentioned PDA in their applications. Not only did this provide us with valuable recognition and a warm fuzzy feeling of community, but it also netted us a generous prize of £1,000 which will assist us in our organisation’s efforts. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

A big thank you to Josh Wintersgill, Christine Hemphill (Open Inclusion Founder) and everyone involved for bringing the Simply Open Awards to life, for fostering inclusion and for building a disability community united and supported on a global level.

We look forward to highlighting the Awards in 2024 and beyond.

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