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09 November 2021

First Tasmanian Disability Festival launches in December.

Today we turn our attention to Tasmania, where planning is well advanced for the month-long Tasmanian Disability Festival.

The first festival of its kind on the ‘Apple Isle’, the Tasmanian Disability Festival starts on 3 December 2021 and includes an awards night, interactive expo and art exhibition.

Festival co-founder Dan Ryan said that Tasmania had the highest rate of disability (26%) compared to 17% nationally. Festival organisers were hoping the event would help shape more inclusive communities and workplaces for people with a disability.

“The festival is designed to build connections across the disability sector, recognise people who are doing amazing work and ignite conversations about accessibility and inclusion,” Dan said.


Leap in! sponsors Innovation Award.

The festival kicks off with the Tasmanian Disability Festival Awards which celebrate significant achievement and recognise outstanding contributions within the disability sector.

Around 250 people are expected to attend the Gala Night at Country Club Tasmania in Launceston on Friday 3 December which is International Day of People with Disability.

“The awards celebrate people within the sector going above and beyond, and recognises organisations that are providing leadership in supporting and enabling inclusive practices,” Dan said.

“There are 12 awards across organisational and individual categories. Judging is currently underway and the judges report being impressed by the incredible achievements of the nominees.”

Award categories include the Excellence in Innovation Award, sponsored by Leap in! The timing is perfect, with Leap in! named one of Australia and New Zealand’s top 100 Most Innovative Companies by the Australian Financial Review last month.

“The Excellence in Innovation Award is all about acknowledging different ways of thinking, improvements in service quality or initiatives that improve long-term outcomes for people with disability,” Dan said. “While it is not the only criteria, the judges will be looking for ideas that are scalable and which could be easily applied by other organisations.”

The finalists for the Excellence in Innovation Award sponsored by Leap in! have just been announced last week. Congratulations to:

  • Eskleigh a non-profit organisation that has been providing disability supports in Tassie for over 70 years
  • Blueline Laundry which provides long term employment for people with disabilities and disadvantaged people who deliver professional laundry and linen services to Tasmanian businesses
  • Create Crew a mobile creative youth service that provides NDIS mentoring, mobile workshops and community projects using hip hop culture, art and music.

Other categories include education and training, volunteers, creating inclusive environments, carer of the year, community accessibility and excellence in the arts.


Awareness, change and inclusion.

Organisers have been overwhelmed by the support of the disability sector and are keen to make the Tasmanian Disability Festival an annual event.

“The awards celebrate people within the sector going above and beyond, and recognises organisations that are providing leadership in supporting and enabling inclusive practices,”

“We are hoping attendees will build relationships, connect with like-minded people, learn about some fantastic new products and services, and leave with a smile on their faces,” Dan said.

“The bigger picture is the change that we can drive by raising awareness of organisations and individuals who are improving accessibility and inclusion. Hopefully, by shining a spotlight on their incredible work, we can motivate others to do the same.”


Any questions?

If you’d like to connect with us call 1300 05 78 78, email or use the chat function on our website.


Further reading

Leap in! wins Lord Mayor’s Business Award.

Leap in! listed as one of AFR’s most innovative companies.

Join Leap in! at the Source Kids Disability Expo.


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