With more than 30 events and activities planned, City of Newcastle’s Count Us In festival is a celebration of the region’s inclusiveness and accessibility.
The month-long extravaganza, delivered in partnership with local businesses and community groups, highlights the city’s disability inclusive community.
A suite of curated events and activities in the program include a Goal Ball day facilitated by former Australian Paralympians, immersive art and dance experiences, as well as activations focused on education and awareness exploring topics such as discrimination in the workplace.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Count Us In was all about highlighting and celebrating the benefits of disability inclusion for the entire community.
“City of Newcastle prides itself on helping to make our city a more liveable and inclusive area for all people who live, visit and work here, by increasing social inclusion and community connections,” she stated.
“Count Us In is just one way we’re striving towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society.
“We want to be known as a disability confident city.
“The festival effectively and respectfully links people with disabilities to the broader community and breaks down the barriers to inclusion.”
A not-to-be-missed event will be Stand Up Speak Up mural painting at 194 Maitland Road Islington, to take place on 13 and 14 March and delivered by Community Disability Alliance Hunter.
Community Disability Alliance Hunter executive director Andrew Vodic says the mural would empower those in the community living with a disability and create community conversation.
“The mural symbolises our experiences as people living with a disability in our community promoting inclusion,” he explained.
“Pop by on 14 March to learn more about the meaning behind the mural and join in a community conversation around disability inclusion.”
Newcastle councillor and City of Newcastle’s Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee chair Matthew Byrne said the festival was for everyone.
He encourages Novocastrians to join in the many events and activities on offer throughout March.
“The broader community is encouraged to join in the festival, as inclusion is everyone’s business and the entire community benefits when we celebrate all our abilities,” Cr Byrne said.
“Thank you to all our partners and members of the community who were part of the previous program.
“We look forward to delivering another exciting event throughout the entire month of March.” For a full program of events and activities, visit City of Newcastle’s website.