By Juliano Oliveira
Never backing down and always carrying on. These were the ingredients of success found by the five winners of the Autism Queensland’s 2019 Creative Futures Recognition Awards.
Presented in five categories, the annual award recognises the contributions of people living with autism as well as the parents, carers, schools and businesses who support them.
In the latest edition, year 11 student Joshua Bogaart, who has a diagnosis of intellectual impairment and autism spectrum disorder, stood out among other participants and got the Individual Achievement Award. He was nominated by his teacher in recognition of his hard work and diligence at school. The teenager now wants to be the first person in his family to complete Year 12 and achieve his QCE (Queensland Certificate of Education).
Recognised as an affectionate mother, Freya Pinney was presented the Parent/Carer Award following nomination by her son Dominic in recognition of the support she provides him to help him cope with and achieve at school. “I think she is the best mum for kids with autism like me,” wrote 10-year old Dominic in his nomination along with many other attributes he felt she should be recognised for.
For her services as the owner of Autism Matters business and for advocating for the autism cause, Joanne O’Brien was given the Professional Achievement Award. Her professional and personal support of families seeking to access the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) was decisive for her to win the prize.
A’Lysse Linder-Thompson and Kiel Linder, FuturePros Tennis Academy owners, were presented the School/Community Award for their Jimboomba tennis coaching business in recognition of the support they offer to students on the spectrum and with other disabilities.
In recognition of his continued support of Autism Queensland, artist Martin Edge was presented the Patronage Award. He is a former student of the AQ School. His latest partnership has involved sharing his artwork for use on a series of special edition jute bags sold to raise funds for Autism Queensland.