disability services awards

We are proud to present the finalists and winners across the two categories of Outstanding Organisation and Team Excellence in the 2021 HESTA Excellence Awards.


Outstanding Organisation finalists




Bus Stop Films

Carlton NSW

Bus Stop Films is recognised for its dedication to teaching film studies to adults living with intellectual disabilities and those from other marginalised communities.

Since 2009, Bus Stop Films has championed inclusivity in the film industry by creating films which change community attitudes around the rights and social contribution of and by people with disability. Its Accessible Film Studies Program provides students with a professional level film studies education, as well as important and transferrable skills for collaboration, digital literacy, communication and building healthy relationships.

In its 12 years, Bus Stop Films has created almost 40 films, won 80 awards and facilitated more than 400 professional workplace opportunities for young adults living with intellectual disability.

Bus Stop Films aims to fund an inclusively made short film, providing an amazing opportunity for students to work with industry crews and out their classroom knowledge into practice on a professional film set. 

Autism Mates

Limbs 4 Life


Limbs 4 Life is recognised for their work providing information and support to empower amputees and their families, ensuring they don’t experience limb loss alone.

Limbs 4 Life is the only national peak body for amputees in Australia. The organisation provides support to thousands of amputees and care givers who rely on their programs and assistance prior to or after a limb amputation.

Their services include a best-practice peer support program, evidence-based health and wellbeing resources, professional development for healthcare providers, social and economic inclusion activities, and much more.


Multicap Avegates School Holiday Program

Eight Mile Plains QLD

Multicap Avegates School Holiday Program is recognised for their support of children and young people living with complex disabilities.

Over the past 18 months Multicap has developed and delivered a school holiday program specifically for children aged 6-17.

The program has seen massive growth over the past 12 months. What initially began as one program of 12 children has now expanded to four programs with more than 60 children enrolled during the April 2021 school holidays.

Through continual innovation and determination to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families, Multicap now supports approximately 1500 people across Queensland and northern New South Wales.


Team Excellence finalists





Cyclabilities Incorporated, Ngunnawal ACT

The WaterAbilities program team is recognised for creating a dedicated allied health Safety and Survival swim program in Canberra for children with support and sensory needs..

After community consultation revealed a high level of dissatisfaction with the services on offer for children with vulnerabilities, the WaterAbilities program was created. Given the rate of death is 3 times higher for our children over their neurotypical peers, the major focus is water safety, and to reduce drowning rates in children with additional needs.

The program is staffed by allied therapists, using occupational therapy, nutrition, exercise physiology and psychology.

The WaterAbilities team was able to achieve a 100% response rate to demonstrated increase in water awareness, water safety and the ability to safely enter a pool environment. 


Team Helen

Hartley Lifecare, Pearce ACT

Team Helen is a small group of women recognised for their work in providing 24/7 active support of Helen, a 49-year-old woman living with a disability. The team’s mantra of providing person-centred high quality support in line with Hartley’s values has had a positive impact on Helen’s life, improving her health and wellbeing and helping her to live her best life.

The COVID lockdowns impacted Helen severely when her usual routine was thrown into disarray. Helen was unable to socialise and was not engaging in her home activities.

The team went above and beyond to support Helen during this difficult period, developing a range of activities to keep her engaged and healthy. Helen has since become more mobile, has lost weight, and participates actively in programs.

If successful in the awards, Helen and her staff would take a holiday together, together to celebrate the amazing silver lining that has emerged in a difficult COVID-19 environment.

Start Up

YMCA South Australia - Leap Online

YMCA South Australia, Whyalla SA

YMCA South Australia is recognised for its essential support for people living with disability during COVID-19 isolation in 2020 with the Leap Online program.

Established following the closure of the face-to-face Leap Takers program, Leap Online is delivered through Zoom sessions to engage clients and their families; providing social support for vulnerable community members.

Over the lockdown period, there were over 400 Leap Online attendees, including from clients in areas near and remote to Whyalla. Thanks to this success, the program is ongoing.

The Leap Online team hopes to purchase 3D printers and supporting technology, as this will provide clients with new opportunities to create items to sell and raise money.


Check out the other HESTA Excellence Awards finalists

allied health | aged carecommunity services 

2020  finalists and winners:   allied health  | aged care  |  community services  |  disability services

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Learn more about the HESTA Excellence Awards