Ten young South Australians living with disability have been recognised for their commitment to achieving their goals at the Novita 2021 Achievement Awards presentation ceremony.
The 2021 Achievement Award winners are:
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 winner of the 2021 Award is – PETER!
Two-year-old Peter is making great progress. He lives with right hemiplegia cerebral palsy, and when he first arrived at Novita last year he couldn’t sit, didn’t engage in play with any toys, had minimal use of his hands, and was non-verbal. Peter can now sit independently, can pull himself into a standing position, uses his right hand to stabilise himself and hold things, and is communicating with some words, key word signs and visual aids. Most importantly, he can now engage in play.
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 winner of the 2021 Award is – ELIZABETH!
Three-year-old Lizzy lives with the rare genetic condition Phelan McDermid Syndrome, and when she first arrived at Novita she was quite inactive, non-verbal, and showed little interest in toys or touching anything. Lizzy has shown remarkable progress, especially in her mobility and communication. After needing a walker to move, she can now do so unaided, and she has quickly learned key word signs by navigating her Augmentative and Alternative Communication – or AAC – device.
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 to 10 who has worked to develop a specific new skill. This may be related to sport, recreation, school or areas of self-care such as tying up shoelaces.
The winner of the 2021 Award is – RHIANNON!
10-year-old Rhiannon lives with Spinal Muscular Atrophy which affects the muscles in her spine, neck, arms and legs. Her health is very fragile. Rhiannon has a passion for music and the arts, and has taught herself digital art and has created some beautiful art works. During the past two years she has written 20 songs, as well as using her imagination to develop detailed stories and descriptions of the characters she includes in her art works. Rhiannon shows great resilience, patience and determination to overcome her many challenges.
Michael Wooley Recreational and Sporting Achievement Award
The Michael Wooley Recreational and Sporting Achievement Award is presented in memory of Michael Wooley, a past 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 winner of the 2021 Award is – KEIRA!
14-year-old Keira is a champion Para-athlete. She lives with left hemiplegic cerebral palsy, and has been supported by Novita since 2007. Keira continues to achieve significant gains in her everyday functions, as well as excelling at her chosen sport. She represented SA at the 2021 National Athletics Championships, where she won Gold medals in the 100-metres and 200-metres, and a Silver medal in the Long Jump – as well as setting new National records in her events. Keira capped off a successful para-athletics season by being named the under-16 Female Athlete of the Year.
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 2021 Award is – DEBRA!
41-year-old Debra made an important leap of faith when she accessed Novita’s short-term accommodation services and stayed away from her family for the first time. It was so successful that Debra has since experienced more short-term accommodation stays, and has been transitioning to medium-term accommodation.
Debra has a new level of independence, is building more confidence, and has more of a say about what she wants in life.
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 winner of the 2021 Award is – CAMERON!
17-year-old Cameron lives with Muscular Dystrophy. He works hard to achieve his goals, and has been undertaking Year 12 at the Strathalbyn Eastern Fleurieu School. As well as his Year 12 studies, Cameron has been completing a Certificate 2 in Automotive Mechanics, and he’s very keen to work as a motor mechanic once he finishes his studies in the second half of next year.
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 winner of the 2021 Award is – JOSHUA!
29-year-old Joshua lives with cerebral palsy, scoliosis and chronic lung disease, and is a regular participant in the Day Options program at scosa’s Wynn Vale hub. He is passionate about psychology, hypnotherapy and photography. Joshua boasts his own photography website, along with a Facebook page and a YouTube channel dedicated to his photographs. A number of his photographs were prominent in Novita’s recent exhibition during the SALA Festival.
Carol Dibben Encouragement Award
The Carol Dibben Encouragement Award is presented in memory of Carol Dibben, a former Novita client and long-term employee, to recognise a senior student who has worked diligently to achieve their personal goals.
The winner of the 2021 Award is – MARKUS!
19-year-old Markus has been a long-term Novita client, and when he first joined us he was a very quiet young man. Today, thanks to his participation in Transition to Work, Markus is now working solo and making great coffees in the Novita café, and is passing on his barista skills to other TTW participants. Markus is also a budding artist, and one of his art works featured in Novita’s 2021 SALA Festival exhibition. His work in the café and the success of his SALA Festival art work has given him new confidence.
Sarah D’Cruz Youth Transition Achievement Award
presented by Tyndale Christian School
The Sarah D’Cruz Youth Transition Achievement Award, presented by Tyndale Christian School, acknowledges a young Novita person who has completed their education and successfully transitioned to appropriate post-school options, which may include tertiary education, work, volunteering, or a day activity program.
The winner of the 2021 Award is – MICHAEL!
18-year-old Michael has been working with Novita’s Broken Hill team for a short period of time. He’s a proud young Aboriginal man whose major goal is to live more independently. “Mikey” is very dedicated and prepared to work hard to achieve that goal. He attends a work skills group, and is keen to look for more employment opportunities. Mikey also attends a cooking group – which he loves – and has learned to make some meals independently.
Margory Head Achievement Award
The Margory Head Achievement 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 their community.
This award is 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 winner of the 2021 Award is – ADAM!
32-year-old Adam has been discovering his Aboriginal heritage. He was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder as an adult, and has been working with Novita’s Port Lincoln team. His therapy sessions also uncovered that Adam has been living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. During the past 18 months, Adam has made significant progress towards achieving his goals, including securing stable accommodation, volunteering at his local church, and offering strong and stable support for his friends and neighbours in the community.