Council CEO holds court for a wheelie good cause
  • Tuesday 19 July 2022

One in five* Australians have some form of disability and Sunshine Coast Council CEO Emma Thomas will help to raise awareness of the need for better inclusivity in the workplace for people with a disability, by taking on the CEO Wheelie Challenge.

The inaugural event, hosted by Queensland not-for-profit organisation Sporting Wheelies, will take place on Friday, July 29, 2022, and will challenge CEOs and business leaders throughout the state to experience a workday in a wheelchair.

The challenge will also raise vital funds to deliver opportunities for more Queenslanders living with disabilities to participate in Para-sports and access rehabilitation therapy.

Ms Thomas got an early feel for the challenges faced by more than 4.4 million Australians today, when she took to the court with Wheelchair Rugby Paralympian Chris Bond at UniSC, Sippy Downs.

“I’ve signed up for the CEO Wheelie Challenge to experience life in a wheelchair for one day because I want to understand the things we take for granted,” Ms Thomas said.

“I want to help people with a disability have access to participate equitably in community life and fully experience the liveability and natural environment of our Sunshine Coast.

“I am a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity, and I want Sunshine Coast Council to continue to have an inclusive working environment where all team members feel safe, valued and respected.

“At Sunshine Coast Council, equity and the balance of voices – people from different backgrounds, different abilities, different ages, different places, those who have lived here for a long time and those who have recently arrived – are important considerations as we plan for our region, deliver projects and provide services.  

“Our community is much stronger when there is equitable access, and we can all play a part in this. 

“Through the inaugural CEO Wheelie Challenge, I’m excited to be raising funds for the Sporting Wheelies & Disabled Association. Sporting Wheelies is a leading provider of inclusive sports, recreation and rehabilitation therapy for Queenslanders living with a disability.

“They are a peak body for Paralympic sports, with a vision to have as many para-athletes as possible at the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games – which I’m very excited about, particularly considering our Sunshine Coast Council is a delivery partner in the Brisbane 2032 Games.

“I’m up for the challenge and would appreciate your support—big or small, it all counts!” 

Donations are accepted via the following link:

Sunshine Coast Council maintains a strong commitment to access, inclusion and improving the lives of people with disabilities in our region through Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041.

*Australian Network on Disability