Creating a voice for the Disability Sector
Creating a voice for the Disability Sector
  • Gala Dinner
    National Disability Leadership Organisation's

    Disability Staff Recognition Awards

The Awards

It’s time to celebrate your staff!

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Shine the spotlight on your NDIS provider business and staff at the inaugural National Disability Leadership Organisaton’s Disability Staff Recognition Awards.

The Disability Staff Recognition Awards Gala Dinner is one of the fundraising events Developing Australian Communities host around Australia to raise awareness for the great work providers and staff do in the sector, while also raising funds to support the development of the charity’s objectives.

The charity was established to advance the social and public welfare of people living with a disability and also to protect and promote the human rights of people living with a disability. Show the disability sector why you are the best by nominating your employees or team mates who go above and beyond in the eight award categories. Winners will be decided by a special committee and nominations are open to anyone from within the sector. Colleagues can nominate team members and clients can nominate support workers. If you know anyone that deserves to be recognised - nominate them (or yourself) today!

Awards will be presented at a gala dinner on the first night of the Developing Australian Communities Disability Connection Expo. The gala promises to be a night of fun, entertainment and recognition of a job well done. Make sure you are part of this red carpet affair.

The Awards Deadlines

  • Melbourne Nominations for 2023 OPEN NOW!
  • Brisbane Nominations for 2023 OPEN NOW!
  • Perth Nominations for 2023 OPEN NOW!
  • Sydney Nominations for 2023 OPEN NOW!

The Award Categories

It’s time to nominate your staff member or team who shows great leadership or goes above and beyond their daily duties, shows incredible care and compassion and is a credit to your company. Make sure you are part of this red carpet affair.

Do you have an excellent leader, support worker, front-line manager, or know someone who always displays more initiative than their job description?

Or perhaps you have a top-notch team you are so proud of you want to reward and recognise their work on a larger stage?

There’s also an Expo Display Award up for grabs at the Disability Connection Expo for the best booth display. If you’re exhibiting, get your thinking cap on about how to make your booth stand out from the rest! Anyone can vote for this award so start nominating today!

Businesses and organisations: you need to get those nominations in for staff that highlight amazing work they are doing in your organisation or new projects you can showcase!

River Night

Does your NDIS provider organisation have professionals that display significant improvement to administration or services in the disability sector?

Or perhaps you know a provider with professionals really leading the way?

Maybe you believe your organisation has amazing professionals that deserve the best practice award for excellence in the sector?

River Night

Nominations are now open in the following eight categories

Sector Innovation

Whether its projects, strategies, new ideas, drawing on research and best practice, reforming how they do things or how the organisation works, this person thinks outside the box and is creative, takes a current approach and revolutionises it. If not creating a new idea this person has led, dragged and pushed their service, team or even their Managers to a new level and never listens to the saying, "that's just how we have always done it".


This award acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership that has a significant and positive impact on a business/organisation and the disability sector. At a local or senior level this professional has steered, inspired and supported their team/organisation through a challenging 12 months, new projects, change or service decisions that required expert skills and real passion, values and commitment. Nominees must be nominated.

Above and Beyond (Golden Juggler)

This award is to recognise an individual, team or team member who has performed or delivered tasks or services in an exemplary manner and have gone “above and beyond” what is expected in their normal range of responsibilities. We all know those golden staff that keep things going, save the day and stay on track when others drop the ball or challenges arise. This is for those people that always put their hand up when it is needed most. Nominees must be nominated.

Contemporary Practice

The way this professional works demonstrates up-to-date knowledge, best practice and an awareness of current research, with experience drawn on past history and recognition about where we have come from as a sector and where we are going in the future. They devote themselves to new ideas and are always looking for the latest research to improve practice and outcomes for participants and the organisation.

Expo Display Award

Awarded to the exhibitor voted the best at each Disability Connection Expo by visitors and fellow exhibitors. This isn't just the biggest, most expensive display money can buy. This is voted by those attending and will be all about presentation, engagement, service experience and creativity. All those important factors go into making a truly exceptional exhibition experience for visitors and fellow exhibitors and are the things that get the best results for a business/organisation.

Team Award

Presented to the most outstanding NDIS provider team that displays exceptional service to participants in the disability sector. This will be a close-knit team, which is constantly raising the bar and have a natural click and team energy. They may be professionals delivering face-to-face programs, internal stars, project groups or committees or exceptional staff teams working with participants.


Front Line Manager

The winner of this award will demonstrate they are constantly there for their team, they have their staff's best interests at heart and they have their team’s back. They will be the service/front line manager directly responsible for outstanding results and work during the last 12 months, which have seen great pressure and challenges placed on providers.


Support Worker of Year

All Support Workers are amazing in what they do. It is a specialist area not many people are well suited to or even understand. This award will go to the support worker deemed to have achieved great results, who went above and beyond and showed true professional excellence with supporting others.

Thank you to the following sponsors

    Meet the Judges

    • Sulett Van Wyk

      Sulett Van Wyk

      National Manager

      Sulett migrated to Australia in 2016 and joined Afford in Sydney in April 2017 as a Lifestyle Assistant. Following her move to QLD she became a Customer Care Manager overseeing new client intakes within the business.

      Sulett comes from a financial planning back ground and prior to that worked in the ICT industry in both South Africa and Australia. Working within the disability sector is her passion and ensuring all new Afford clients receive the best possible support and service from our dedicated Customer Care team to enable them to live their best lives is Sulett’s driving force.

    • Ruth Lopez Gonzales

      Ruth Lopez Gonzales


      Ruth has worked in the community services environment since 1998 and started Accessible Care & Lifestyle Services to address the gaps she encountered in her journey as a community worker for a holistic, multicultural and prompt service. 

      She leads an excellent and diverse team committed to providing the best support available for all those in need of our services in the community of admin officers, rostering officers, support coordinators, support workers, gardeners, handymen, builders and subcontractors.

    • Kaylene Eid

      Kaylene Eid

      Client Services Manager

      Kaylene Simms is Concept Care’s Client Services Manager and our leading Support Coordinator. She has been working within the NDIS and My Aged Care space for 5 years and within the disability sector for over a decade.

      Kaylene enjoys being able to provide support and assistance to both individuals and their families in navigating the NDIS and understands the importance of choosing the right support coordinator for you and your needs.

    • Nina Oygur

      Nina Oygur

      Enable Ability
      Managing Director

      Nina has over 10 years of industry experience and has extensive NDIS knowledge and utilises that know-how to run the operations and set the vision for the team.

      “I have been building my career within the Human Services (Disability and Mental health) industry now for approximately 12 years and through this time I have had the amazing pleasure of working with some phenomenal staff at all levels and roles. I wanted to get involved in the awards because, I believe it is incredibly important to recognise the heroes within our industry that make concepts such as inclusion and empowerment reality for every member of the community."

    • Binu Joseph

      Binu Joseph

      ST. Jude's
      Managing Director

      Binu currently serves as the Managing Director of St Jude’s Health Care Services; he is also Director of Carers Plus and the Australian Institute of Carers Education (AICE). He has extensive experience in the Aged Care and Disability Services sector.

      Including the strategic and financial growth of Guildford Aged Care and Hostel into what is now St Jude’s Health Care Services. He mostly recently completed the expansion of St Jude’s into Queensland with the procurement of Clan William – Bethania Gardens Aged Care and the expansion of NDIS. He believe the service growth and expansion into new geographical footprint enable more choices for our community especially when people seek services or employment.

    • Mak Laddha

      Mak Laddha

      Blossom Community Care
      CEO and Founder

      “I am the CEO and founder of Blossom Community Care. I have extensive experience in providing, coordinating, and managing support services for NDIS participants. Blossom Community Care was established in 2019. We have a holistic approach and endeavour to create a fully supported lifestyle and empower our participants to be their best."

    • Caterina Sestili

      Caterina Sestili

      Direct Care Australia
      Chief Executive Officer

      I am a tertiary qualified (Social Sciences, Management and Policy), resourceful, dynamic and ever curious leader with key skills in transformational change, governance, strategy, quality systems, process improvement, policy writing, analysis and development, and organisational development.

      I have been responsible for the implementation of quality and practice frameworks that support high volume, efficient and responsive service delivery in Aged Care, Disability and Mental Health service sectors.

      My leadership and management capabilities have been forged through key leadership roles - geographic service delivery, corporate support, policy and regulatory, within Commonwealth and State Government portfolios and the non-government sector.

    • Agnes Carlitz

      Agnes Carlitz

      Community Housing Limited

      Agnes works for Community Housing Limited where she is heading up a team of experienced professionals dedicated to providing quality accommodation to NDIS participants. As a judge in this year’s inaugural Awards, Agnes is looking forward to hear from fellow providers and staff around the country and how their contributions to the sector champion real support for people with disabilities and their families.

      The Disability Staff Recognition Awards brought to you by

      National Disability Leadership organisation

      National Disability Leadership Organisation

      The Disability Staff Recognition Awards Gala Dinner is one of the fundraising events National Disability Leadership Organisation host around Australia to raise awareness for the great work providers and staff do in the sector, while also raising funds to support the charity's objectives.

      Terms and Conditions

      Thank you for your interest in participating in the 2022 Disability Staff Recognition Awards

      This document is our ‘terms and conditions’ and if you want to participate in the awards program, you’ll need to adhere to the details we’ve outlined for you below. It is important you comply with these terms and conditions, otherwise we reserve the right to disqualify you or declare your entry ineligible.

      The 2022 Disability Staff Recognition Awards Gala Dinner is hosted by Developing Australian Communities Pty Ltd. Developing Australian Communities shall be referred to as the “us” and “the Organiser”.

      Developing Australian Communities’ privacy policy will apply for your involvement in the Disability Staff Recognition Awards. The privacy policy can be found here. By participating, you consent those with access to your information to use it to administer the Awards, send you marketing, invite you to be part of our initiatives including case studies, polls/surveys and to improve any products and services of ours. Questions stating that they will remain confidential will remain in confidence of the Disability Staff Recognition Awards judging panel and will not be distributed to third parties.

      If you would like to access or correct the personal information that we hold about you, or wish to withdraw your consent to receive Awards material, please call the Developing Australian Communities team on 1300 910 503. Any reference to ‘you’ or ‘your’ includes you in your personal capacity, as a representative of the business, as well as the business being entered into the Awards.


      To enter the Awards, the business needs to:

      • Must be a registered business with a current ABN/Tax ID;
      • Submit an application;
      • All information provided in each application must be true to the best of your knowledge. Proof may be requested at any time during the judging process
      • One representative must attend the 2022 Disability Staff Recognition Awards Gala Dinner;

      Please make sure you read the rules of entry carefully as we take the integrity of our Awards program seriously. We’re proud of the Awards program and all of our Alumni. All information you include in your entry form must be true and correct.

      What we expect from you

      You’ll need to make sure that at least one representative from your organisation attends the 2022 Disability Staff Recognition Awards Gala Dinner. You agree that we may use your logo, business identity and details about your business (excluding confidential information) in any way in any material which promotes the Awards or the products or services of us. You agree to allow us to contact you to provide comments about the Awards and to take photos or video footage of you, your business and your representative(s), and use any of the material collected as part of your participation. If we do use any of the materials listed above, you grant us a royalty free, perpetual and irrevocable licence to use the materials for promotional purposes.

      Intellectual property

      All intellectual property rights related to the Awards, including the information and data we collect, belong to us. You’ll still own any intellectual property rights you already owned prior to entering the Awards. You also assign, including by way of a present assignment, and assignment of all rights that may arise in the future, all intellectual property rights related to any and all materials that arise in relation to your participation in the Awards.

      Prizes and judging

      There is no element of chance in determining the winners. They will be based on their written submission displaying the criteria required. Our judging panel includes Developing Australian Communities Management and the designated judges panel. The judges’ decision will be final and no further correspondence shall be entered into.

      Prize conditions

      Winners are only eligible to win one prize. We reserve the right to withdraw a prize if there are no eligible entrants to receive that prize. By accepting a prize, winners agree to participate in and co-operate as required with all reasonable marketing activities relating to the prize, including but not limited to being interviewed and photographed. We reserve the right to use winners’ comments, image and name for advertising and publicity purposes in any media in perpetuity without compensation.


      We reserve the right, at any time, and in our sole discretion to (a) request entrants to provide proof of identity and/or proof of valid entry (b) disqualify any entrant who we have reason to believe has breached any of these conditions or engaged in any unlawful or other improper conduct or any conduct calculated to jeopardise the fair and proper conduct of the Awards.

      We are not liable for any prize that may be lost, stolen, forged, damaged or tampered with in any way after it leaves our possession. If for any reason, we are not able to conduct the Awards as planned, including due to tampering, unauthorised intervention, fraud, any technical difficulties or any other causes beyond our control, which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Awards, we reserve the right in our sole discretion to take any action that may be available.

      To the extent permitted by law, we are not liable for any loss (including indirect and consequential loss) or damage or personal injury suffered or sustained in connection with the Awards including the supply of goods or services by any person to the Awards winners, and where applicable to any persons accompanying the Awards winners.

      The Fine Print

      To the extent permitted by law, we will not be liable for any loss or damage or personal injury suffered or sustained in connection with the Awards. You will indemnify us and our officers, employees or agents against any loss or liability from any claim or action that arises as a result of a breach of these terms by you, or your use of the materials or information supplied by you under these Terms. You irrevocably and unconditionally consent to all acts being done that would otherwise breach your Moral Rights. If a prize has not been claimed, it will be distributed at our absolute discretion.


      • Melbourne Nominations for 2023 OPEN NOW!
      • Brisbane Nominations for 2023 OPEN NOW!
      • Perth Nominations for 2023 OPEN NOW!
      • Sydney Nominations for 2023 OPEN NOW!