On the eve of International Day of People with Disability, a plaque to recognise our Indigenous Paralympians was unveiled at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE).
The plaque, situated in the NCIE Fitness Centre, celebrates the contribution of our Indigenous Paralympians and their inspiring journey to represent Australia.
Paralympian Kevin Coombs OAM, is one of 11 athletes recognised on the board. Kevin has been synonymous with wheelchair basketball in Australia for over 40 years, representing the nation at five Paralympic Games, including two as captain of the Rollers.
He was the first Indigenous Australian to represent Australia at a Paralympics and hopes to see more Indigenous Australians compete at an International level in the future.
This was a message echoed by fellow Paralympians Tracy Lee Barrell OAM and Amanda Fowler.
Tracy won two gold medals for swimming at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics and is proud to see herself and fellow Paralympians recognised, alongside a plaque that recognises our Indigenous Olympians.
Amanda, also a Paralympic swimmer, was selected to represent Australia at the 2012 Paralympics in swimming. She was proud to return to the NCIE to unveil the plaque, after attending the celebration to unveil the Indigenous Olympic plaque three years ago.
“They’re all heroes, inspiring in their contribution to sport, our community and Australian life. We’re rightly very proud of them. It is terrific that we are now visibly honouring our Paralympians alongside our Olympians,” NCIE CEO Kirstie Parker said.
The plaque was a joint project between The First Peoples’ Disability Network, the Australian Paralympic Committee, Aboriginal Disability Network NSW, Outback Academy and Red Dust Heelers.