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2017 Awards

The 2017 Tweed Shire Access and Inclusion Awards were officially launched at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah on Monday 22 May 2017.

The fifth annual awards feature a new nomination form, in response to the steadily increasing number of nominees since the awards were launched in 2013.

Click here to download a nomination form (161kB PDF) and recognise an individual or group that is making a difference to create a more accessible and inclusive Tweed.

The annual awards celebrate achievement and innovation by individuals, community groups, organisations and businesses that build and promote an accessible and inclusive community for everyone.

As the awards continue to grow, this year’s categories includes a new classification recognising individuals and groups that make the Tweed more inclusive for people with dementia.

Printed nomination forms are available from Council’s offices in Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads.

Click here to see the highlights video from the 2016 awards.

For more information about nominations and the awards, contact Karen Collins at or (02) 6670 2442.

2016 Awards

2016 Tweed Shire Access and Inclusion Award Winners

  • Overall Winner: Murwillumbah Community College
  • Faye Druett Award for Advocacy: Murwillumbah Community College
  • Belonging Award: Winner – Billabong Swim School
  • Individual: Winner – Glen Bowe (Positive Energy), Achievement Certificates – Nathan Johnston, Sandy Rogers.
  • Sport and Leisure: Winner – Peter Comerford (Tweed Sea Sports, Achievement Certificates – Fingal Rovers Surf Life Saving Club, Juraki.
  • Education: Winner – Jeff Robinson (Principal, Uki Public School), Achievement Certificate – Brendan Ryan (Principal, Mt St Patrick Primary School).
  • Community: Winner – Murwillumbah Community College, Achievement Certificates – Kids in Need, Tweed Patch Workers
  • Business: Winner – National Australia Bank Murwillumbah, Achievement Certificates – Suzanne Grae Tweed Heads, Cools Swim School

This year's winners were announced in a ceremony at Twin Towns Service Club on 30 November 2016.

Click here to read a media release about the 2016 winners and award ceremony.

A record number of nominations was received for this year's awards. Click here to see all nominees (1.13mB PDF).

Watch the presentation by the ceremony's keynote speaker, Paralympics gold medallist Tracy Barrell.

Read the speech by Equal Access and Advisory Committee Chair Milena Morrow (49kB PDF)

New award to honour national champion for advocacy

The Faye Druett Award for Achievement in Advocacy has been added to the list of annual awards following the death of the Tweed Shire Equal Access Advisory Committee member early this year.

Ms Druett's passing brought a flood of tributes from throughout Australia, honouring her life-long advocacy for change across the whole spectrum of human rights for people with disability.

Click here for more detail: Media Release - Faye Druett Award (52kB PDF) , Media Release - Access Awards Launch (51kB PDF)

2015 Awards

Twenty-seven nominees were recognized at the 2015 Tweed Shire Access and Inclusion Awards.

Click here (53kB PDF) to read a media release of all the winners, presented in a ceremony at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre on 3 December.

Click here (69kB PDF) to read the full speech by Former Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes at the 2015 awards ceremony.

Click here (49kB PDF) to read the full speech by Equal Access and Advisory Committee Chair Milena Morrow at the 2015 awards ceremony.

Click here to read a media release with a full list of the nominees. (63kB PDF)

Want to know more? Get the details from the award ceremony flyer (777kB PDF) or this year's ceremony program. (1.78mB PDF).


The annual awards were started in 2013 to celebrate achievement and innovation in building an accessible community. They recognise and acknowledge action by individuals, community groups, organisations and businesses that build and promote an accessible and inclusive community for everyone in the Tweed.

This year's awards include the third annual Belonging Award, to encourage social inclusion of children with a disability.

The Access and Inclusion Awards culminate with a presentation ceremony at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre on the International Day of People with Disability.

Watch videos of the awards ceremonies for the past two years, featuring the entertainers and all the award and certificate recipients.

Council stages the event in partnership with several other Northern Rivers organisations:
  • NSW Department of Family and Community Services
  • On Track Community Programs
  • Alzheimer's NSW
  • Blind Citizens Australia
  • Lifestyle Solutions
  • Tweed Byron Ballina Community Transport
  • Lifebridge Australia
  • Northern Rivers Social Development Council
  • Northcott
  • Tweed Equal Access Advisory Committee community members
  • Community members
  • Filmesbymorrissey
An accessible and inclusive community means creating possibilities. It enables people to live their lives according to their individual interests, needs and aspirations, no matter who they are or their circumstances. It means being able to physically move around the community and feel included as a member of the community. It involves access to buildings, festivals, events and open space such as streetscapes and parks, and inclusion in arts and culture, leisure, sports, education, employment and social life.

Who can make a nomination?

Winners are selected for each of the seven categories:

Community Group
Not-for-profit Organisation
Government Agency/Service
Commercial Business
Belonging Award - contribution to the inclusion of families with children with additional needs
Faye Druett Award for Achievement in Advocacy

Who can be nominated?

Any individual, group, business or organisation that resides in the Tweed or has a connection to Tweed Shire can be nominated or can nominate themselves to demonstrate achievement or innovation in access and inclusion.

Category Winners and Overall Award for Excellence in Access and Inclusion

A finalist will be announced in each of the seven categories for this year's awards. The winner of the Belonging Award will be selected from the general nomination pool. The overall winner of the Tweed Access and Inclusion Award (the perpetual trophy) will be chosen from the seven category winners.


The achievements of the finalists and merit award recipients will be promoted to the community leading up to each awards ceremony.

Belonging Award

The Belonging Awards recognise businesses actively making Tweed locations inclusive for children of all abilities.

Kids with additional needs want to enjoy going to the same places that their friends do - such as the shopping centre, afterschool activities like karate or soccer - and parents want to know their kids will be accepted there, regardless of their ability.

They aim to spread awareness of what businesses and all people in the community can do to be inclusive: not judging kids’ behaviour, listening to parents’ requests and feedback, thinking about how different kids experience the world around them and just generally showing understanding and caring.

Further information

For further information about the Tweed Shire Access and Inclusion Awards and the Belonging Award, contact Council's Community Development Officer - Aged and Disability, Karen Collins, on (02) 6670 2442.

Last Updated: 23 May 2017