International Day of People with Disability will be celebrated on the border today at QE11 Square in Albury with a barbecue lunch, special guest speakers and entertainment between 11am and 2pm.
The free community event is being staged by the Albury City Access Committee and Wodonga Community Access Advisory Group and will provide a platform for people to share their experience of disability and is aimed at celebrating diversity and promoting rights of all people.
The event will include guest speakers Eliza Ault-Connell, Alannah McKeown, Melissa Noonan and local community member Kylie Paull.
Eliza Ault-Connell has lived an incredible life. A keen netballer and runner, her life took a detour at 16. Doctors diagnosed Eliza with Meningococcal Meningitis.
Due to the lack of circulation, doctors had to amputate her legs below the knee. With Eliza’s creativity, positive outlook and her never-give-up attitude, she began her international sporting carer as a runner.
She then moved to wheelchair racing where she had a lot of success. She has competed at Olympic and Commonweath Games and has her sights set on the Abbot World Marathon Series and Tokyo 2020. Eliza works for Meningococcal Australia, a not-for-profit organisation.
Young Citizen of the Year 2017 and Special Olympian Alannah McKeown has achieved a lot for someone so young. Alannah, who has Down Syndrome, has represented Australia in the pool as a swimmer at an international level.
Her first competitive swim event was with the Special Olympics in 2012, followed by the Asia Pacific Games in 2013 where she represented Australia, and the National Games in Melbourne in 2014. Her other passions are dancing and netball.
Melissa Noonan is the chief executive officer and founder of Limbs 4 Life incorporated.
Limbs 4 Life aims to assist amputees with their journey back to independent living, empower them with knowledge and promote social inclusion.
At the age of 37 Melissa’s life changed forever following a trauma accident in 2003. After surviving life threatening injuries, Melissa learnt to walk again.
Melissa holds a number of board positions and has been recognised for her tireless work within the community and credited with a number of awards. Melissa works casually at La Trobe University in Health Science and has recently accepted an advisory role in the newly developed Melbourne Disability Institute at Melbourne University.