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Maribyrnong Inclusive Recognition Awards (MIRA)

These awards are given each year to individuals, clubs, groups, businesses and not-for-profit organisations that have contributed to improving the quality of life of people with disability in the City of Maribyrnong.

MIRA 2016 Winners

MIRA 2016 Group Photo

Winners of the Maribyrnong Inclusive Recognition Awards (MIRA) 2016 were announced at the award ceremony held at the Town Hall on Friday 2 December 2016 to celebrate International Day of People with Disability. The winners were:

  • Arts Group Winner - Create and Connect Arts Group, Carers Victoria
  • Arts Individual Winner - Teagan Connor
  • Inclusive Business Practices Winner - WCIG Social Enterprise Group
  • Recreation and Sports Group Winner - Yarraville Club Cricket Club
  • Recreation and Sports Individual Winner - Jessica Gallagher
  • Volunteering Winner - Pamela Debrincat
  • Youth Winner - Patrick Francis

Arts Group Winner - Create and Connect Art Group with Carers Victoria

Create and Connect Arts Group Carers Victoria - Winner MIRA 2016 Arts Group Award

In 2014 a group of carers attending an art workshop with Carers Victoria, decided to set up an ongoing peer support art group. Since then it has continued to grow, and in 2015 their art was displayed throughout the City of Maribyrnong as part of the Big West Festival. The greatest success of the group is how the engagement of peer support has significantly improved the member’s social inclusion, self-worth and ability to manage their own health and their caring role through using art as a medium. The group fosters a sense of hope, a belief in a better future, and that there is a life and sense of identity for carers beyond the caring role. The group are now working towards creating artworks that can be sold at festivals and markets to generate income for future peer support programs.

Arts Individual Winner - Teagan Connor

Teagan Connor - Winner MIRA 2016 Arts Individual Award

Teagan is an artist with Footscray Community Arts Centre’s Artlife program. She is inspired by the imaginations of children, and has a strong aesthetic for animation and illustration that combines her passions for history, archetypal characters and the ultimate battles between good and evil. In 2014 she began designing the labyrinth and over the next 7 months she and a team of 5 others developed the project which became the stand out event of the Artlife artistic program in 2015. For one night the evening projection that included a centre piece made from ice, saw over 200 people come to Footscray Community Arts Centre to walk the labyrinth, meditate on its meaning and to “see like a child”. Designing for inclusion is a fundamental part of her artwork and resulted in a highly successful winter labyrinth.

Inclusive Business Practices Winner - WCIG Social Enterprise Group

WCIG Social Enterprise Group - MIRA 2016 Winner Inclusive Business Practices Award

In 2005 WCIG launched a Social Enterprise Group providing transitional employment in cleaning and maintenance for people living with mental illness. In 2010 they launched a new retail outlet in Seddon providing locally sourced, eco friendly and fair trade products for the home and body. This social enterprise provides supported employment for young women living with mental illness. In 2011 following the success of the first two social enterprises, they further expanded with an outdoor social enterprise providing asset maintenance, landscaping, tree management and rubbish removal services. With both private and public contracts, this enterprise provides staff with disability with much needed on-the-job work experience and recognised Horticulture training. Social Enterprise Group staff are employed under industrial award wages, and are provided with ongoing support and training to enter employment in viable retail, horticulture and cleaning markets. The Group’s goal is to challenge established negative perceptions and educate the community around mental health by customers engaging with supported employees to form strong professionally based relationships.

Recreation and Sports Group Winner - Yarraville Club Cricket Club (YCCC)

Yarraville Club Cricket Club - MIRA 2016 Recreation and Sports Club Award

In 2015 the Yarraville Club Cricket Club made a decision to become an “all inclusive” club. Their achievements in mainstream cricket had been strong, but they wanted to develop in other areas given their commitment to cricket. They resourced the club and brought in Hussain Hanif who became Cricket Victoria’s Coach of the Year for his work with the club’s All Abilities Team. The club worked closely with Loraine Woodman who runs programs for people with disability. In their first season they entered a Superleague Team and Ten Over Tonk Team, and provided the players with uniforms and transport to ensure the players could just focus on playing and having fun. The Superleague went on to win a Grand Final, and it was wonderful to see the support given to both teams from the mainstream players and supporters. This year the club have another Superleague Team and hope to develop a program for higher needs players as they are the only club in the west. They are excited to have new people around the club and being able to provide an all-inclusive environment for players and supporters is a priority.

Recreation and Sport Individual Winner - Jessica Gallagher

Jessica Gallagher - MIRA 2016 Recreation and Sports Award

Jessica Gallagher is the first and only Australia athlete (Olympic and Paralympic) to win medals at both the summer and winter Paralympics. She has represented Australia in three sports – alpine skiing, athletics and most recently track cycling. She lost her vision when she was in Year 12 at school and is now classified as legally blind. In 2010 in Vancouver she was the first Australian woman to win a Winter Paralympics medal winning bronze in the slalom. She won her second Paralympic bronze medal in the Giant Slalom at the 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic Games. And at the Rio Paralympics in 2016 she won bronze in the one kilometre Time Trial tandem track cycling event. Outside of her sporting activities, she is a qualified and registered osteopath, Board Director and global ambassador for Vision 2020 Australia, ambassador for Disabled Wintersport Australia and Vision Australia / Seeing Eye Dogs Australia.

Volunteering Winner - Pamela Debrincat

Pamela Debrincat - MIRA 2016 Volunteering Award

Pamela Debrincat loves volunteering. In her own words she says it shows people that having a disability is enjoyable and fun, and it doesn’t matter if you have a disability because everyone is always different and difference is cool. She works at Toddler Music and Toddler Circus where she assists the children to play safely, learn new motor skills and have fun. She has been a member of Council’s Disability Advisory Committee for the past 3 years. In 2016 she also volunteered for 6 months providing administrative support at Victoria University. She is now keen to do more work with Women with Disabilities Victoria to bring more of her encouragement, ideas and exploration to the community.

Youth Winner - Patrick Francis

Patrick Francis - MIRA 2016 Youth Award

Patrick Francis is a young, enthusiastic, emerging Australian artist. He communicates through his paintings and is noted for his vibrant kaleidoscopic effects and strong sense of colour and patterning. He has successfully exhibited in both Australian and overseas galleries and won numerous awards. During 2016 he exhibited widely throughout Victoria including the Splash Gallery at Phoenix Youth Centre in Footscray, the Linden Gallery, Clocktower Centre, Incinerator Gallery, Smorgan Gallery, Coburg Town Hall and Federation Square. Among his many achievements other recent artworks include the United Nations IDPWD Exhibition in New York, the Darebin Art Salon 2016 and Art Prize 2015, and the Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2016. In 2015-2016 he was selected for the Tirpur Art Fair Chennai and Bangalore Art Exhibitions in India, and he has commissioned artwork at the National Gallery of Victoria and VCAT. He is an exceptional young man providing a role model for other creative young people.

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