Efforts to create a more genuinely inclusive and accepting community have been celebrated in Moorabool, with the handing out of two local honours.

Keeley’s Cause and APL FM have claimed the 2020 Moorabool Access and Inclusion Awards for making life easier for young people with disabilities.

Posted by Apple 98.5 FM – Bacchus Marsh and Moorabool Community Radio on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Station Manager Terecia Page, Karellyn ‘Rockabilly’ Dangar and fellow announcer Scott Marshall accepted the radio station’s award in the Business category, after working on a project to encourage engagement by people who use Merrimu and Mambourin special needs services.

“They come in each Friday morning from 10.30 til 11.30 to do a program called Hour of Power,” Rockabilly said.

“They talk about their activities, cooking, football and just day-to-day local life.

“One of the volunteers who started with the program now does his own music show by himself every Wednesday from 2-4pm.

“They did a wonderful job.”

She said people with disabilities were capable of just about anything.

“For this to work so well, we have found that everything must be regimented and in order and everything in the station must be familiar,” she said.

Keeley Johnson (pictured) claimed the individual category after the Ballan teenager and Melton Specialist School student started a charity for children with communication disabilities when she was just 13-year-old.

Mum Sharon Murphy gave a speech on her behalf.

She said lockdown had made fundraising difficult in 2020, but they were already planning a Christmas event a year from now, activities linked to the Fluoro for Neuro Autism Awareness Month – as well as Christmas in July events in Caroline Springs and Ballarat.

🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻🎄🎅🏻 And the Awards are still rife with this Outstanding Award presented to our…

Posted by Keeley's Cause on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

It’s been a huge year for the now-16-year-old, whose family are planning a bigger cabinet to store her wealth of awards, honours and certificates.

In the past year or so, Keeley received a:

** City of Ballarat Youth Award in October 2019,

** David Foster Appreciation Award for Volunteer Services from Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) in June,

** Diana Award – July,

** Westfield Airport West Local Hero award – October,

** Finalist for Victorian Young Australian of the Year – October,

** and she was named a finalist in the Regional Achievement & Community Awards earlier this month.

Community Hero’s give so much to the local community. Here are four that keep it especially vibrant and strong: 🏅Jules…

Posted by Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards on Friday, November 27, 2020

This is the third year Moorabool Council has handed out its Access and Inclusion Awards.

Mayor Tom Sullivan and Cr Moira Berry represented Council at the Quamby Room in Bacchus Marsh.

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Gabrielle Hodson
Author: Gabrielle Hodson

Online, radio, TV and print journalist since 1993. BA (Hum) majoring in journalism Deakin University. Follow us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/MooraboolOnline I'd love to hear your news tips 🙂 Email -- news@mooraboolonloine.com.au OR send us a message via Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/MooraboolOnline