THE 25th anniversary of International Day of People with Disability was celebrated today with the release of a commemorative 20 cent coin and prepaid envelope welcomed by the Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack and Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services the Hon Jane Prentice.
Mr McCormack, who has responsibility for the Royal Australian Mint, said the coin is a symbolic reminder of the substantial roles people with disabilities play in our society and the importance of providing support to those in need.
"International Day of People with Disability is a United Nations sanctioned day held on 3 December each year celebrating and recognising the achievements, contributions and abilities of people with disability," Mr McCormack said.
"The Royal Australian Mint has a long and proud history of reaching out to many Australians with important messages through their commemorative coinage and today's coin release is yet another fantastic example of its work.
"The coin features an artistic extension of the International Day of People with Disability logo which is used globally to encourage recognition and inclusivity."
Mrs Prentice said Australia Post and the Mint will provide the coins for sale to the public as well as a commemorative prepaid envelope and stamp to mark this important anniversary and to encourage conversation about disability to help break down barriers, educate others and challenge perceptions.
"More than 4.3 million Australians live with some form of disability. As a nation, we all have a role to play in empowering people with disability to live the life they choose," Mrs Prentice said.
"I encourage everyone to start a conversation about disability at their workplace, school or community and make Australia a more inclusive place for everyone."
The coin and envelope packaging features well-known Paralympian and patron of the 2017 International Day of People with Disability Mr Dylan Alcott OAM.
"As a successful Paralympian and business owner, I am proud to say that my disability has not stopped me from living my dream. My turning point was putting myself out there and challenging my insecurities and expectations of what I could achieve," Mr Alcott said.
"One in five Australians lives with a disability, but it is still not an easy topic to talk about. Join with me this International Day of People with Disability as we start a national conversation to change perceptions so everyone with disability can live their dream."
The commemorative coin, stamp and prepaid envelopes are available for purchase from participating Australia Post outlets and the Royal Australian Mint from today.