I rise to congratulate Shepparton Access, one of the winners of the 2015 Learn Local Awards, on its outstanding program known as Creating Pathways into the Community.
Shepparton Access is a local, innovative and dynamic service which supports people with a broad range of disabilities, together with their families and carers.
It has been recognised as a service of excellence for adult education.
Participants are encouraged to reach their goals and fulfil their potential while having the freedom to dream.
Shepparton Access partners with local businesses, organisations and groups to promote community participation and inclusion.
One of its most innovative projects is EcoPark, a partnership with St Luke's Catholic Primary School, which has the aim of providing practical approaches to sustainability. The park explores food production, recycling, solar energy and water conservation. It promotes a healthy and sustainable environment and brings ecological knowledge and sustainability to life with a variety of learning adventures. It sells its homegrown produce from its little local eco store.
I also take the opportunity to congratulate the organisation's CEO, Wendy Shanks, together with all the staff, volunteers and participants, on receiving this impressive award. The $10 000 prize will allow Shepparton Access to purchase specialised digital technology to meet the needs of people with communication problems and provide a whole range of digital technology they would not otherwise have been able to afford.