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The Search Begins For This Year’s Attitude Award Finalists

The Attitude Awards are once again looking for Aotearoa’s unsung heroes leading the way in the disability community. 

Celebrating the excellence and achievements of New Zealanders living with disabilities, recognising athletes, employers, employees, young people and others who are game changers in their communities, Attitude Award nominations are open from now until Sunday 26th July.

Last year’s Attitude ACC Supreme Award and Youth Spirit winner was teenager Cory Newman who was recognised for his standout achievements in the music industry. 17-year-old Cory and his punk rock band Sit Down in Front erupted onto the local and international music scene in 2019 when music legend Jimmy Barnes invited them to be the opening act for the New Zealand leg of his recent international tour. The band performed at Rhythm and Vines earlier this year and are set to release their debut album Confessions of a Pie Thief on June 26th. Cory was born premature and has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and ADHD, and accepted the Attitude ACC Supreme Award in front of a sold-out crowd of friends, family and members of the disability sector.

Now in its 13th year, the Attitude Awards will present nine categories including Attitude ACC Employer, Spirit of Attitude, Sporting Endeavour and Youth Courage Award. The awards will take place on Wednesday, 2nd December with a black-tie gala dinner at Auckland’s Cordis Hotel.

Attitude’s CEO Dan Buckingham, a Paralympic gold medallist who uses a wheelchair after sustaining a spinal cord injury aged 18, said the annual awards are not only a unique celebration of success, but also an opportunity to shine a light on the benefits of integrating people with disabilities into every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life in New Zealand.

“The Attitude Awards truly are one of a kind, celebrating the incredible successes and stories of Kiwis living with disabilities. We’d love for New Zealanders to put forward individuals and organisations in their communities who they think are deserving of recognition,” comments Dan Buckingham.

2019 winners also included Tim Fairhall, winner of the Leadership Award for his work changing the legislation around Kiwisaver, travel junkie Jezza Williams who won the Entrepreneur Award and social enterprise The Cookie Project, who took home the Attitude ACC Employer Award.

For the 13th year running, ACC returns as principal sponsor. About the awards, ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering says: “The Attitude Awards are a great opportunity to recognise and reflect on the huge contribution Kiwis with disabilities make to our society. Many of those nominated each year are, or have been, ACC clients. We are proud to have played a role in their recovery, and through our sponsorship of the awards we are proud to celebrate them and the other remarkable people nominated. The event is a fantastic way to promote a more inclusive and accessible Aotearoa. I encourage you to support the Awards and to nominate a friend, family member, colleague, or employer who deserves to be recognised for their achievements.”

Other sponsors and supporters for the awards include APM Workcare, Barfoot & Thompson, Drake International and New Zealand Lotteries Commission. 

The Attitude Awards will be aired as an hour-long television special on TVNZ1 on Sunday, 13th December, with thanks to NZ on Air. The special will feature entertainment, winners and highlights from the evening.

For nomination information and entry forms, visit Nominations close on Sunday 26th July and finalists will be announced in early September. Winners will be revealed at a black-tie gala for over 500 people including figures from the disability sector on Wednesday 2nd December, at Auckland’s Cordis Hotel.

The nine categories for this year’s awards are: Attitude ACC Employer Award, Spirit of Attitude Award, Sporting Endeavour Award, Special Olympics Award, Youth Courage Award, Impact Award, Employee and Entrepreneur Award, Support Superstar Award and Community Champion Award.

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