Ten young South Australians living with disability have been recognised for their commitment to achieving their goals at the Novita 2020 Achievement Awards presentation ceremony.
The 2020 Achievement Award winners are:
President's Achievement Award
The President’s Achievement Award is presented to a Novita or scosa client of any age who lives with physical or intellectual disability and has made outstanding progress in their rehabilitation.
The 2020 Award goes to – Christopher!
21-year-old Christopher makes the most of his eye gaze system to communicate with his family and friends. He lives with cerebral palsy quadriplegia, and he’s had several health scares in recent times. However he always has a smile on his face, and his eye gaze skills have amazed his family and therapists, who are confident that he’ll continue to make significant gains in his therapy sessions. Christopher is also a participant in the Day Options program at our scosa Willaston hub.
Minister's Community Achievement Award
The Minister’s Community Achievement Award is presented to an outstanding Novita or scosa ‘all-rounder’ of any age who has demonstrated a commitment to personal independence and taking part in community activities.
The winner of the 2020 Award is – Tyreece!
17-year-old Tyreece lives with autism, and moved from his home at Sheringa on the Eyre Peninsula to Port Lincoln to attend school, where he’s made some great new friends. Tyreece has also joined the local football club, and has shown some good form in the local junior competition. Novita’s Port Lincoln therapy hub team says Tyreece has been succeeding on many levels.
Pauline McGregor Early Intervention Award
The Pauline McGregor Early Intervention Award commemorates the dedication and commitment of Pauline McGregor, a former Novita staff member who made a lasting contribution to the area of early intervention. The Award recognises the outstanding achievement of a Novita client under the age of eight.
The recipient of the 2020 Award is – Blake!
Three-year-old Blake lives with a rare condition which causes him to experience temporary paralysis in different parts of his body at any time. When the Novita therapy team first met Blake in 2019, he was unable to walk or talk, which was impacting on his ability to play. Today he can walk independently, and he is even practising his climbing skills during physiotherapy sessions. His upper limb function has improved significantly, and he can now join in play with his sister. Blake’s verbal communication is also constantly improving.
Communication Achievement Award
The Communication Achievement Award acknowledges a Novita kid or young person who has overcome considerable personal or environmental barriers to make significant progress in their communication, which has led to greater community participation and the creation of new circles of communication partners. The Award is sponsored by Novita member and past Board member, Dr Deborah James.
The 2020 Award goes to – Ehan!
Six-year-old Ehan is making huge progress with his communication. He lives with autism, and a year ago was non-verbal and used an Augmentative and Alternate Communication device to communicate. Today, Ehan can use his verbal speech using full sentences to communicate with the people around him. This has opened up his ability to participate in activities at school and in his community. He is also building relationships and making new friends.
Graham Nancarrow Achievement Award
The Graham Nancarrow Achievement Award is presented in memory of Graham Nancarrow, who was one of Novita’s most generous benefactors. The Award is presented to a Novita kid aged five-10 who has worked to develop a specific new skill – which may be related to sport, recreation, school or areas of self-care such as tying up shoelaces.
The 2020 winner is – Emily!
Eight-year-old Emily is very proud of how far she has progressed. She lives with a rare chromosomal disability which makes it very hard for her to write, causing her to significantly fall behind at school. However using a program called Clicker Writer on her iPad, Emily has been able to write a full A4-sized story. Her therapy team has been amazed by her positive attitude and persistence, and her pride in being able to write and produce work in the classroom.
Michael Wooley Recreational and Sporting Achievement Award
The Michael Wooley Recreational and Sporting Achievement Award is presented in memory of Michael Wooley, a past Novita client, Board member and Honorary Life Member, who had a passion for sport. The Award is presented to a Novita or scosa client of any age who has shown determination to achieve in a sporting or recreational capacity.
The 2020 Award goes to – Tyler!
11-year-old Tyler lives with an intellectual disability and cerebral palsy, and manual activities can be very challenging. However for the second year in a row he won a junior sport fishing championship. Tyler is also very committed to his therapy interventions, and never misses a therapy session. His therapists say he’s doing a fantastic job.
Wallmans Lawyers Academic Achievement Award
The Wallmans Lawyers Academic Achievement Award recognises the academic excellence of a Novita or scosa client over the age of 10.
The 2020 Award has been won by – Madison!
12-year-old Madison is a determined girl who is succeeding at school despite the challenge of her disability. Madison lives with muscular dystrophy and her hands fatigue quickly when she writes or types. She has also had spinal fusion surgery and often has to manage severe pain. Madison has not only kept up with her school work, but she is also getting top marks on assignments and tests.
Carol Dibben Encouragement Award
The Carol Dibben Encouragement Award is presented in memory of Carol Dibben, a former Novita client and long-term employee, and recognises a senior student who has worked diligently to achieve their personal goals.
The 2020 Award winner is – Ruth!
20-year-old Ruth has been knitting up a storm, making scarves for Novita donors, supporters and staff – and even South Australia’s Premier Steven Marshall. Ruth is a participant in the Transition to Work (TTW) program, which supports young people living with disability to find and maintain a job. Ruth is building her independence and capacity to achieve her employment goals, and has gained some work experience with the Novita Bingo team.
Margory Head Achievement Award
The Margory Head Achievement Award is presented in honour of the late Margory Head, who spent more than 40 years of her life dedicated to improving the lives of kids living with disability across regional South Australia. The Award acknowledges a regional Novita or scosa client aged 12 and over who has overcome significant challenges to be able to achieve their personal goals in order to participate fully in the community.
The 2020 Award goes to – Melinda!
31-year-old Melinda dreams about being a newsreader or a weather presenter, and creates short movies of herself reading weather reports. Melinda lives with autism and intellectual disability, and lives in her own unit in Murray Bridge with the support of Novita’s Supported Independent Living team. She volunteers in her community as a farm helper with Careship Coorong, a farm which supports people with social care needs. Melinda loves being outdoors at the farm.