(10.30am, Monday 3 December 2012, Lady Mayoress Room, Sydney Town Hall)
Hello, everyone, welcome to Town Hall. I'm pleased to have this opportunity to meet you all. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our city.
We also have here today, Monica Barone, our City of Sydney CEO and Cain Becket, Chair of the Disability Council of NSW.
I'm pleased that we can mark the 2012 International Day of People with Disability by welcoming our new advisory panel.
This UN-sanctioned day aims to promote understanding and encourage support for the dignity, rights and well-being of people with disability. It also aims to remind us all of the benefits society as a whole accrues when our political, social, economic and cultural life is open to all.
At the City of Sydney, we are serious about inclusion. It is fundamental to our vision for Sydney as a multi-layered, diverse, tolerant and welcoming city, providing a rich variety of experiences for all.
In every aspect of our work - from policy to projects - we rely on good research, on the best advice possible, and on great design.
To that end, we have a number of advisory panels - on design, on public art, and we have an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel.
Your role will be to advise us on how we can achieve our goal of making Sydney a place that is accessible to, and inclusive of, all workers, residents and visitors.
One of the first tasks you'll be helping us with is the development of a new strategic agenda for access and inclusion for the City.
And we will be glad of your advice and expertise across the range of our strategies, policies and projects.
I would like to congratulate all of your on your appointment, and I thank you for your commitment to helping us make this a better, more welcoming place for people with a disability. I look forward to working with you all.
I would also like to acknowledge the work of our City staff, and their commitment to access and inclusion.
In particular, I want to thank:
- Ann Hoban, our Director of City Life
- Tye McMahon, Manager of City Communities
- Susana Ng, Manager of Community Development and
- Christine McBride, our Inclusion Access Project Co-ordinator
So once again, welcome to all of you.