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MIRA 2014 Group Winners and Commended

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 2015 Nominations are now open!

Do you know a person, group, business or not-for-profit agency who has made an outstanding contribution to improving the quality of life for people with disability?

MIRA Awards recognise contributions in arts, business, recreation and sport, youth and volunteering.

Awards will be presented at a special IDPWD celebration on Friday 4 December 2015, 3.00 to 4.30pm in the Reception Room, Town Hall, Maribyrnong City Council.

The Nomination Guide and Form can be downloaded below or call 9688 0342 and ask for a Nomination Guide and Form to be posted to you. Nominations close 5pm Friday 30 October 2015

  • Arts Award (Individual) Winner - Patrick Francis
  • Arts Award (Group) Winner - Arts Access Western Edge (AAWE) Collective
  • Inclusive Business Practices Award Winners - Love Luvo and Pompello
  • Volunteer Award Winners - Lawrie Horner and Kirsten Armstrong
  • Youth Achievement Award Winner - Alex Wardell

MIRA Award Winners 2014

The 2014 MIRA awards were presented by the Mayor, Cr Nam Quach and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Wall at a celebration coinciding with International Day of People with Disability on Friday 5 December 2014 in the Bluestone Church Arts Space.

2014 Winner Profiles

Arts (Individual) Winner - Patrick Francis

Patrick Francis

Patrick Francis is an enthusiastic, emerging Australian artist with autism and an intellectual disability. Patrick endeavours to communicate through his paintings which explore aspects of his personal experience, resulting in distilled images that represent various portraits and still-life. Patrick Francis was the only disabled artist selected for SafARI 2014 national exhibition coinciding with the opening weeks of the Biennale of Sydney. He was also the youngest artist and only one of three disabled artists selected for the Melbourne Now national exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square. He was also a featured artist at the Melbourne Art Fairs in 2012 and 2014 (international exhibitions).

Arts (Group) Winner - Arts Access Western Edge (AAWE)

AAWE Collective

AAWE Collective is a collaborative group of artists from Western Edge Youth Arts and Arts Access who create new original works through different art forms including theatre, film, visual art, animation, poetry and music. AAWE is a diverse ensemble from multicultural backgrounds and of different ability. AAWE Collective is a unique group which has turned ‘disability arts’ on its head by no longer having a company style hierarchy but a group that work together collaboratively. In their first two years AAWE created monologues, songs, narratives, a short animation film Installation, Boxed (Big West Festival 2013) and spoken word film (currently in post-production).

Inclusive Business Practices Winner - LoveLuvo


LoveLuvo is a social enterprise retail outlet in Seddon providing high quality, locally sourced, eco-friendly and fair trade products for the home and body. Launched in 2010 by Westgate Community Initiatives Group (WCIG), LoveLuvo provides opportunities for women living with a mental illness to re-engage with the community in a direct way. All staff are employed under an industrial award and provided with ongoing support. This provides employment pathways by allowing participants to enter into viable employment markets at entry levels and build on their employment options.

Inclusive Business Practices Winner - Pompello


Pompello seeks satisfaction from being an inclusive business which achieves meaningful engagement with customers and stakeholders, most importantly those who are disadvantaged or have some form of disability. Over the past 2 years staff at Pompello enjoyed getting to know Kane Garner, a Year 12 student at Rosamond School and local Seddon resident. The relationship with Kane was first founded upon haggling for discounted juices, free bananas and endless football banter. During 2014 Kane worked one day a week learning customer service skills, the art of visual merchandising, quality control, cleaning as well as spending time on the road doing deliveries.

Volunteering Winner - Lawrie Horner

Lawrie Horner

Lawrie Horner has been contributing to our local community for many years in a volunteer capacity. He has been a member of Council’s Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) spanning over a decade. Lawrie was instrumental in elevating the significance of DAC’s work within Council, establishing a strong foundation for its continued support and growth. As a DAC member Lawrie participated in the All Abilities Events Team, Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee, hosted a Mental Health event and served as DAC Deputy Chair. Lawrie also volunteered at Footscray Community Arts Centre assisting with production work for the Amplified Elephants, the animators and FCAC’s 40th Birthday celebrations. He is passionate about the arts and the inclusion of people with disability, and is an all round good bloke! \

Volunteering Winner - Kirsten Armstrong

Kirsten Armstrong

Kirsten Armstrong has volunteered at Scope Chislom’s Lifestyle Options in Maidstone for 2 years. In 2013 as part of her community studies for school, she worked with a group of adults with physical and multiple disabilities, supporting people with disabilities to actively participate in all aspects of their lives. When Kirsten finished her placement she opted to continue to attend Chislom on a voluntary basis, and has taken the time to spend a few hours before school each week at the Centre. Kirsten has made a significant difference in the lives of people with disability in Maribyrnong through her energy, enthusiasm and patience. Her efforts to communicate and advocate for people with very limited communication ability shows great maturity for such a young person.

Youth Achievement Winner - Alex Wardell

Alex Wardell

Alex Wardell has volunteered with Maribyrnong Freeza for over a year. He is passionate about local music and dedicated to every task from moving equipment to booking bands. Alex is also committed to creating high quality art pieces and developing his skills as an artist. He is supportive of other young people in the Phoenix Youth Arts program and helps to increase their confidence in art creation. Alex is shy about his talent and is not aware of how big an impact he has made at Phoenix Youth Centre.


For more information, or if you would like this information in an alternative format please contact:
Liz Wright
MetroAccess Officer
9688 0200


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