Today’s 2022 Carnival of Fun saw two outstanding Darwin residents recognised for their contributions to the lives of people with a disability.
The Carnival of Fun celebrates the International Day of People with Disability.
Paul Johnes and Abigail Maralngurra received this year’s Lord Mayor’s Awards at the Carnival.
Abigail is the youngest member of the Freespace Public Art Collective, a group of exceptional artists operating out of Darwin Community Art’s Free Space Studio. Her artwork is featured at City of Darwin’s Jingili Water Gardens all-access play space and on infrastructure along the Rapid Creek and Nightcliff foreshore.
Her significant contribution to the vibrancy of Darwin at such a young age earned Abigail this year’s Rising Star award.
The 2022 Champion Award went to Paul Johnes. Paul has facilitated vegetable gardens at his supported independent living accommodation and at Darwin’s Inclusion Centre. In addition to taking on a mentoring role at the centre, Paul also educates others about their rights and the services accessible through the NDIS.
Deputising for Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis at the awards ceremony, Councillor Amye Un said 4.5 million Australians are recognised as living with a disability, meaning it was important the broader community understood the challenges facing their fellow Australians.
“We must learn from people with a disability so our community can work to make life better and fairer for everyone,” Ms Un said.
“Our 2019 Access and Inclusion Plan commits City of Darwin to work towards equal access to all our facilities and programs.”