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Congratulations David Pescud - National Disability Service Innovation Awards

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Sailors with disABILITIES founder, David Pescud, wins innovation award

On Wednesday 18 September, SWD Founder David Pescud was proud to attend the National Disability Service Innovation Awards.  SWD Member Nathalie Neveu had nominated David in the category: Distinguished Service. 

Of over 90 nominations, there were 32 finalists.  David was one of seven finalists in the Distinigushed Service category.  As the runners up were announced and David remained, the excitment built. 

David Pescud established Sailors with disABILITIES (SWD) following the successful completion of the Sydney to Hobart sailing race in 1994 by a crew made up exclusively of people with disability. This year David won the NSW Disability Industry Innovation Award for Distinguished Service, recognising his contributions over the last two decades.

Throughout the life of SWD David has created innumerable opportunities for people with disability to participate in competitive and recreational sailing. David designed and built a racing yacht which is accessible to people with disability. The yacht, known as Kayle, has competed in many racing events but has also provided thousands of people with disability, their families and carers with hands-on sailing experiences through the Winds of Change, Try Sail Day and Carers Day programs.

At the helm of SWD, David aims to create a more inclusive community by breaking down barriers, creating opportunities for people to experience the joy of sailing, and showcasing the different abilities of different people. David describes his contribution as “twenty years of sharing an amazing adventure with some of Australia’s finest people. Many times I have seen the human spirit reach out and touch me, be it a five year old child on a Try Sail Day or a shipmate in a Bass Strait gale. It has been and is the most wonderful journey”. 

Sailors with disABILITIES invites you to join them on this journey by making a $25 tax deductible donation to their innovative fundraising campaign ‘faceboat’.  Your donation will allow your face to be printed on the side of Kayle racing to Hobart in the 2013 Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race.  To jump on board visit   

The Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka MLC has congratulated the finalists and winners of the NSW Disability Industry Innovation Awards at a ceremony in Sydney. One hundred and eighty representatives from the NSW disability sector gathered to recognise and celebrate with the successful nominees.

“I am deeply encouraged by the quality of the nominations that have been received this year. It is heartening to see the continued dedication and innovative solutions showcased by both individuals and organisations that work tirelessly to provide high quality services for people with disability” Minister Ajaka said of the winners and finalists.

The NSW Disability Industry Innovation Awards program recognises and rewards those individuals and organisations that are advancing choice and control through reinvention in the delivery of services for people with a disability, their families and carers.

"It is great to see such a diverse range of service providers and individuals coming up with a whole host of new ways to support people with disability to live the life they choose" Scott Holz, NSW State Manager, National Disability Services, said.

Putting such innovations such as David’s into practice is imperative for the disability service sector to ready itself for the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme over the next four years.

SWD congratulates David on this fabulous achievement, and thanks SWD Member Nathalie Neveu for a wonderful nomination. 

Photo: David Pescud and Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka MLC

Photo: Nathalie Neveu, The Hon Sandra Nori, Deborah Sandars, Donna Pilling, David Pescud

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