Disability Action Week launched by inspirational role model
  • Monday 12 September 2016

National Disability Insurance Scheme Queensland Ambassador Karni Liddell inspired hundreds of primary school children living with a disability at the Is Everybody Here Day event held at the Sunshine Coast Recreation Centre today (September 12).

Division 3 Councillor Peter Cox said Disability Action Week, held from September 11-17, was an important celebration as one in five Queenslanders are either living with a disability or their lives have been touched by disability in some way.

“As this year’s celebrations come at the same time as the Paralympic Games underway in Rio, the 2016 theme for Disability Action Week is Inclusion: it’s a game changer,” Cr Cox said.

“The theme aims to promote the inclusion of people with disability in all levels of sport and the community.

“Reinforced through the Sunshine Coast Social Strategy, council is proud to partner with Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing to deliver the Is Everybody Here Day.”

Cr Cox said the Is Everybody Here Day aimed to raise awareness of the range of physical activity opportunities available to children with a disability and showcase options for involvement in the sporting community.

“And there is no better person to inspire these children than one of Australia’s most well-respected Paralympic swimmers, Karni Liddell who dropped by to share her journey to success,” Cr Cox said.

“The day promoted a viable path for children from first trying a range of activities through to joining a club or participating in the activity on a regular basis.

“Who knows, from today’s event we might see another Karni Liddell compete in years to come in the Australian Paralympic team.”

Is Everybody Here Day is funded by the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing. The Organising Committee for the Is Everybody Here Day includes Sport and Recreation Services, Sunshine Coast Recreation Centre, Sunshine Coast Council, Disability Services, Department of Education and Training, Sunshine Coast Children’s Therapy Centre and Special Olympics.

Karni Liddell Bio

Karni Liddell has already established herself as one of Australia's most successful and well-respected Paralympic swimmers of our time. Karni's journey to success began a lot differently than the typical elite athlete. Karni was diagnosed at birth with a degenerative muscle wasting disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Many doctors and specialists told her parents that their first-born child would not walk, sit up or live past her teenage years. In fact many specialists told Terri and Jeff Liddell to make their daughter as comfortable as possible, as exercise only makes this condition worse.

Karni's parents started her on a self-invented rehabilitation program which soon helped them realise that one of the greatest pleasures in life is achieving things people say can't be done! Not only did Karni walk she also established herself as one of the best swimmers in the world. Karni broke her first world record at the age of 14 and went into the Sydney Paralympic Games as the fastest woman in the world for all her events. Karni was also voted in by her teammates to be one of the Australian team captains.