Each year the world celebrates December 3 as the UN sanctioned International Day of People With Disability to raise awareness of disability and promote inclusion.
One billion people worldwide live with disability, that equals 15% of population. The theme for 2014 was Sustainable Development – The Promise of Technology.
This year, to celebrate, Rocky Bay and The Centre for Cerebral Palsy as part of a national, Ability First Australia campaign held Dick Smith Walk With Me at Government House Gardens in Perth City.
CEOs and business leaders from Perth businesses participated by not only raising money leading up the event, but also teaming with an ambassador from one of the organisations and spending the day together walking around the gardens then competing in a segway race against other CEOs/business leaders. The catch was… they could only commence the race once they reached $1,000 in pledges.
Our aim, aside from fundraising, was to engage the business community and raise awareness of people with disability, breaking down barriers so people can recognise abilities rather than disability – hopefully opening some doors in the process. The engagement and enthusiasm from corporate staff was great to see and they have spread the message throughout the business community, with the list of donors forming a ‘Who’s Who’ of Western Australia.
Her Excellency, The Governor, Kerry Sanderson welcomed everyone to Government House Gardens and said “This event began with a vision that Perth’s business community foster a workforce that reflects the full diversity of the community it serves, resulting in a supportive, positive and inclusive working environment for everyone. Savvy leaders from some of Perth’s top businesses have realised the opportunity for staff engagement, disability awareness, good news stories, great brand exposure and three chances to win and show their peers and the rest of Perth they are the best!”
Programmed, Gerard Daniels & The Old Brewery all winners in the Walk With Me Perth CEO Challenge
- Lloyd Smith of Gerard Daniels and their Rocky Bay Ambassador Adam won the CEO Challenge Highest Fundraisers Award
- Chris Sutherland of Programmed and their Rocky Bay Ambassadors Ben & Michael won the CEO Challenge Most Walkers Award
- Greg Farnan of the Old Brewery and their Centre for Cerebral Palsy Ambassador Ella won CEO Challenge Segway Race
See the full leaderboard below.
Over $120,000 raised for people with disability
Between Rocky Bay and The Centre for Cerebral Palsy, the event raised over $120,000. The $80,000 raised by Rocky Bay will pay for new technology increasing independence for people living with disability. Rocky Bay’s Assistive Technology programme is at the forefront of technology development for people with disability in WA and Australia.
Rocky Bay provides bespoke solutions tailored to individual needs. Examples include:
- smartphone controls for household appliances, security, lights and heating
- research & development of laser guided wheelchair and robot assistance technologies
Funds will also go towards the Wishing Tree, making dreams come true for people living with disability.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Walk With Me Perth – CEO challenge – CEOs and their staff, ambassadors, the many donors who showed such generosity, Her Excellency the Governor, MC Candice Barnes, entertainers Junkadelic and Steve Parkin, suppliers including Fenton Oldmeadow and ICFX, event staff, and of course families and clients of Rocky Bay and the Centre for Cerebral Palsy. It was a fantastic success.
All participating organisations provided sponsorship of the event. In addition, Dick Smith are the national sponsors of Walk With Me and Segway Tours WA provided the segways without which the event would have looked a little different!