The Yooralla Chairman's Award & Oration was initiated by our Chairman, Bruce Bonyhady AM, to recognise a person (or organisation) that has contributed at the most senior levels to the advancement of people with disability, their families and carers.
2013 Yooralla Chairman's Award
The 2013 Yooralla Chairman’s Award & Oration was held on Tuesday, 26 March in Melbourne. The award was presented to United States based Australian filmmaker Ben Lewin who also delivered his oration.
Ben’s latest film, The Sessions, starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H Macy, received two major awards at the Sundance Film Festival and Helen Hunt was nominated as Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars for her role in the film.
The film is based on the true story of Mark O’Brien, a Berkeley-based poet and journalist who spent the majority of his life in an iron lung and who, in his mid-thirties, decided to explore his sexuality with the support of his local priest.
Ben was chosen by a panel of judges including Bruce Bonyhady AM; the Hon. Justice Karin Emerton of the Supreme Court of Victoria; Dr Rhonda Galbally AO, Chair of the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council and one of Australia’s foremost disability rights activists; Andrew Hagger, Group Executive, People, Marketing & Communications, National Australia Bank; and Rupert Myer AM, Director of the Myer Foundation and Chair of the National Gallery of Australia.
The judges felt that Ben’s body of work has had a significant influence on the way audiences understand disability and the challenges that people with disability and their carers face.
2012 Yooralla Chairman's Award
The inaugural 2012 Yooralla Chairman’s Award went to John Walsh AM, Associate Commissioner of the Productivity Commission for his work in setting the groundwork for the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Mr Walsh is one of Australia’s leading disability activists and the man who helped steer the Federal Government’s proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme through the Productivity Commission.
A Partner in the advisory division of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr Walsh's major client work is in the areas of social policy and funding of accident compensation, health and disability. His interest stems from his own disability, traumatic quadriplegia.
Mr Walsh was chosen by a panel of judges: the Hon. Justice Karin Emerton of the Supreme Court of Victoria; Dr Rhonda Galbally AO, Chair of the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council; Andrew Hagger, Group Executive, People, Marketing & Communications, National Australia Bank; Rupert Myer AM, Director of The Myer Family Company; and Bruce Bonyhady AM, Yooralla Chairman.
After accepting his Award, Mr Walsh gave his Oration, which focused on the history behind the National Disability Insurance Scheme, what it proposes and the critical requirements for its successful implementation.