14 Aug Windgap Connect – Winter Edition
Message from CEO Andrew Anderson
Hello Families & Carers,
Welcome to our quarterly newsletter, a showcase of the remarkable achievements and milestones we have collectively reached.
We are delighted to announce the resounding success of Windgap’s inaugural sports carnival held in June. This event was an exuberant celebration of camaraderie, athletic prowess, and inclusivity, reflecting the heart of Windgap’s mission.
In the realm of achievements, we are incredibly proud to share that Windgap has been awarded The Voice Project’s Best Workplace Award for two consecutive years, alongside the esteemed Change Champion Award. These honours underscore our unwavering commitment to fostering exceptional work practices and enhancing workforce engagement. These awards are a testament to our collective dedication in nurturing an environment where each individual can truly flourish.
Amidst the joyful buzz of our 70th Anniversary celebrations, we introduced a special commemorative hoodie for our Participants. These hoodies are more than clothing; they symbolise our decades-long evolution and the tight-knit community that is Windgap’s hallmark. Our heartfelt gratitude extends to all who have been part of this incredible journey, contributing to its richness and depth.
Your unwavering commitment has greatly contributed to the triumph of our recent events, notably the Moonlight Masquerade Gala Ball. This elegant evening, attended by our allies and advocates, echoed our collective dedication to creating a lasting positive influence. It is important to acknowledge that this achievement would not have been attainable without the support of our sponsors and advocates. The Gala really underscored our shared commitment to making a lasting positive impact.
A heartfelt thank you extends to the exceptional volunteers of St Spyridon College. Your remarkable commitment was pivotal in the success of our recent endeavours, including the Gala Ball.
As we continue into the remainder of 2023 and beyond, let us carry forward the spirit of unity, empowerment, and progress that defines Windgap. Together, we can create a brighter and more inclusive future for all.
Chief Executive Officer
Windgap Foundation Limited
Windgap Winter Spotlight
Inaugural Sports Carnival
We are thrilled to share the resounding success of Windgap’s inaugural sports carnival, held in June, which brought joy, excitement, and camaraderie to all Participants. The event showcased a diverse range of engaging games, including giant connect 4, soccer, netball, giant jenga, bean bag toss, quoits, and more, ensuring there was something for everyone to enjoy. The atmosphere was filled with laughter and cheers as Participants competed enthusiastically, showcasing their talents and sportsmanship.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to St Spyridon’s year 9 volunteers, whose invaluable support and dedication played a pivotal role in making the Sports Carnival an unforgettable experience. Their assistance and enthusiasm in organising and managing the event were instrumental in ensuring its smooth operation and fostering an inclusive and enjoyable environment for all.
To relive the exciting moments and vibrant spirit of the Sports Carnival, we invite everyone to check out our Facebook album, where we have compiled a collection of awesome photos capturing the excitement, teamwork, and pure joy of the day. The event’s success wouldn’t have been possible without the participation and enthusiasm of all involved, and we are grateful to our Participants, families, volunteers, and sponsors for making this event a memorable celebration of sports and community. As we look forward to future events, we remain committed to providing engaging and inclusive experiences for all Participants, fostering a strong sense of belonging and happiness within the Windgap community.
NAIDOC and Reconciliation Week 2023
Celebrating both NAIDOC and Reconciliation Week, Windgap honoured the culture, history, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in an inspiring experience for everyone.
A standout moment was the remarkable artwork by our talented Participants, capturing the essence of NAIDOC Week and reflecting a deep connection to the theme, For Our Elders. Their creativity and depth were impressive. At Windgap, our dedication to cultural diversity and inclusivity remains strong. NAIDOC Week provided an opportunity to learn, appreciate, and celebrate Indigenous heritage and contributions.
Windgap proudly joined in the National Reconciliation Week Choir. Over 500 diverse groups, including schools, disability organisations, and faith-based choirs, united to sing “From Little Things Big Things Grow,” symbolising Indigenous equality and land rights. This powerful song commemorates the Gurindji people’s struggle and the historic Wave Hill Walk-Off.
Artists from Florence Avenue pay tribute to the land’s traditional owners through a curated art project. Adrian, a First Nations artist, collaborated with fellow artists to acknowledge the oldest living culture, reflecting the colours and textures of the land while respecting sacred Aboriginal art.
Windgap 70th Celebrations Continue
Windgap is thrilled to mark a remarkable milestone as we celebrate our 70th Anniversary! In honor of this occasion, we proudly unveiled a special commemorative collection of delightful hoodies designed exclusively for our Participants. These hoodies not only serve as a stylish embodiment of our longstanding journey but also symbolize the close-knit community that Windgap has nurtured over seven decades. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has been a part of this incredible journey, and we look forward to continuing our mission of making a positive impact for years to come.
Me Plus More
A combination of female Participants from SLES and ADE successfully completed the ‘Me Plus More’ course and enjoyed their graduation presentation. Me Plus More provides practical professional development for women with intellectual disability.
The ‘Me Plus More’ program empowers women with intellectual disabilities to find their voice within the workplace. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive from the Participants who graduated. More information about ‘Me Plus More’ can be found here.
Windgap at Work
Over the years, Windgap has been partnering with Voice Project to conduct regular employee engagement surveys. Today, we’re proud to announce that our efforts and your dedication have been recognised and celebrated through prestigious awards!
In 2021, we were overjoyed to receive our first Best Workplace Award from Voice Project. This accolade honours organisations with outstanding management practices and highly engaged workforces, making us proud of the positive environment we’ve nurtured together.
But the success story doesn’t end there! In the following year, we were awarded yet again with another Best Workplace Award, reaffirming Windgap as an exceptional place to work.
These awards are not only a reflection of our dedication but also speak volumes about the continuous improvements we strive for. In 2022, we maintained our commitment to employee engagement and satisfaction, and it paid off with an additional recognition – a Change Champion Award from Voice Project. This award commends organisations like ours, which demonstrate exceptional progress in work practices and employee engagement.
We’re thrilled to announce our LAW program has had a triumphant return to the warehouse at Florence Avenue. We want to express our gratitude to all our Participants, families, and carers for their cooperation and support during the temporary relocation.
As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance our facilities and provide an optimal environment for our valued participants, Florence Ave Day Program will undergo a comprehensive refurbishment. This refurbishment will allow us to create a more accessible and engaging space, tailored specifically to meet the needs of our participants.
To facilitate this refurbishment, we will be relocating Florence Ave Day Programs to 171 Franklin Street, Chifley for a period of three months, starting from Monday, August 14th, 2023. Chifley is a well-equipped and spacious facility that will cater to the needs of our Participants during this transition period.
During our relocation to Chifley, our program schedules and activities will continue as usual, and the same high standard of care and support will be maintained. We will provide regular updates throughout the refurbishment process to keep you informed about the progress and any further developments.
Thank you for your understanding and continued support. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, or for any assistance you may require. We look forward to welcoming you to Chifley on Monday, August 14th.
The winter has seen the Windgap Warriors finish up its season against the Randwick City FC’s Purple Hearts team. A big thank you to the Purple Hearts’ coach Ben and the entire Purple Hearts team. We are greatly anticipating our future matches next season.
The Windgap Warriors took on Randwick City FC’s Purple Hearts team twice, once in June and another in July in a match marked by World Cup excitement. The players delivered impressive performances, showcasing their skills and teamwork across both games. These games were a hit, with both teams giving their all.
The Warriors now turn their focus to the Lundy Cup on August 26th.
Moonlight Masquerade Gala Ball
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who made Windgap’s 2023 Moonlight Masquerade Gala Ball an absolutely unforgettable evening! The event was a resounding success, and it wouldn’t have been possible without your presence and support.
The venue shimmered with elegance as our amazing guests graced the occasion, adorned in stunning masks and elegant attire. Each and every one of you added an enchanting touch to the night, creating an atmosphere of joy and celebration.
We also extend our deepest appreciation to our corporate sponsors. Your unwavering support and belief in our cause have played a crucial role in making this event such a tremendous success.
With your generous contributions, we have been able to raise vital funds that will directly impact the lives of our participants. This will help them to thrive and reach their fullest potential.
Your commitment to Windgap and the communities we serve is truly commendable. Together, we are making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities, and we couldn’t be more grateful for your support.
Looking ahead, we are thrilled to announce that plans are already underway for the Windgap Gala Ball 2024. We eagerly anticipate another night of splendor, camaraderie, and purpose, as we continue to create positive change together.
Once again, thank you for your unwavering support and for making the 2023 Moonlight Masquerade Gala Ball an extraordinary event. We couldn’t have done it without you!
For all our event photos, take a look at our Facebook album.
Amidst the winter season, Florence Avenue Day Programs thrived with exciting excursions to the Royal Botanical Gardens, Chau Chak Wing Museum (a convergence of art, history, and science), the Coal Loader Centre, and the Art Gallery of NSW.
Blessed with sunny skies, the Fishing program resumed, offering Participants a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and reconnect with nature. In addition, our community access activities, including BIKEast rides, golfing, public transport training, and a cinema outing, have made it a dynamic and engaging period for everyone at Florence Avenue.
At Botany Grove, our participants have been exploring new culinary delights by venturing to different restaurants for lunch. A sizeable group recently relished the flavors of an Italian restaurant in Darlinghurst, and their feedback on the delectable food and impeccable service was overwhelmingly positive.
Botany Grove’s new sensory room has been completed and the group celebrated it’s opening with a ‘Glow in the dark’ art program. The room is a huge addition allowing participants a relaxing haven to venture in and unwind.
Our collaboration with BIKEast has been a triumph, as several groups have embraced the opportunity to experience the picturesque Centennial Park during our regular Wednesday and Friday activities. Our Participants have thoroughly enjoyed being passengers, engaging in friendly conversations with the volunteers who accompany them on delightful rides around the park.
Adding to the excitement, another standout moment was the memorable visit to the Museum of Fire in Penrith. The Participants were immersed in a captivating Guided Tour, capturing numerous photographs around the awe-inspiring firetrucks and engaging displays.
Windgap’s new Podcast Program “My Voice, My Choice” was launched with participants Shanna, Gabriel, Garry and Robert and led by our Language Literacy and Numeracy Trainer, Bryanna. The group have a weekly meeting where they discuss topics of their interest such as sports, politics and music. Gabriel is working also working on a theme song for the podcast. We can’t wait to hear the finished podcast.
Draper also went on an excursion in June to Calmsley Hills City Farm in Abbotsbury after nearly three years since their last visit.
Draper Participants enjoyed a variety of exciting shows and exhibitions such as animal feeding, cow milking, watching a stock whip show, sheep shearing and working dogs, as well as Koala time and a coffee.
Our ADE warehouse has been hard at work with a big Manshake job. Manshake was delighted with the job done by the Participants that they are sending twice the amount to be done.
The Participants said they have really enjoyed all the skills being learned and ultilised on this job.
On top of it’s critical work running the TukkaBox Cafe, Windgap’s School Leavers Employment Support team have been busy fulfilling cookie orders. One of the received orders was from Turner and Townsend to supply 64 cookies for their “Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea” event. They also proved instrumental in providing over 400 cookies to all our wonderful Gala Ball guests. The cookies were a major success and remarked upon by many.
Windgap’s Life After Work (LAW) Program has had a busy Winter, they were moved to the Franklin St property at Chifley as a temporary home, while vital repairs were undertaken to their warehouse. The group transitioned well but were very excited to return to the wonderful warehouse at the end of June. We’d like to again express our gratitude to all staff, participants and families for their patience, cooperation, and adaptability throughout the temporary relocation period.
One very special event LAW attended in June was the Barangga Exhibition at the UNSW Galleries School of Art and Design at Paddington. Barangga is a Dharawal word meaning ‘large vessel’ or ‘island’. The group loved the guided tour of the exhibition and joining a workshop where they made straw and wool wrapped animals.The exhibition and workshop celebrate design and making practices as a vital form of cultural knowledge in First Nations Communities across Australia.
St Spyridon College
We want to highlight the amazing St Spyridon College volunteers who have been an invaluable support to Windgap across multiple events.
Their efforts during the Gala Ball, where they collected donations and sold raffle tickets, greatly contributed to the event’s success. We received incredibly positive feedback from guests and Participants alike.
Moreover, their assistance at the Windgap Sports Carnival was vital and greatly appreciated. Their dedication made the event memorable for everyone involved.
We extend our deepest thanks to the Year 9 and 12 volunteers for their selflessness and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.
We are thrilled to be part of the thrilling BIKEast program over the past few months. This remarkable initiative, led by dedicated volunteers, offers our Participants the chance to be passengers on a trio bike, delighting in leisurely rides around the picturesque Centennial Park. The serene experience of gliding through this beautiful park brings joy and relaxation to our individuals, while others in the group enjoy a pleasant coffee break at the park café, cheering on their friends during their ride.
BIKEast’s commitment goes beyond providing enjoyable outings. They advocate for better conditions for cyclists by engaging with Local Councils, the State Government, and the RMS. Their vision is to establish a top-notch network of safe, convenient, and visible cycling routes, ensuring enhanced accessibility and safety for everyone.
Our Participants from various Windgap Day Programs have grown fond of these captivating trips through Centennial Park, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to BIKEast for their dedication to creating enriching experiences for individuals of all abilities.
You can read more about BIKEast on their website.
Thank you to all our Gala Ball Sponsors
We want to express our gratitude to our event sponsors for their generous support and dedication in making our Gala Ball a success. Their invaluable contributions have enabled us to deliver an outstanding experience while fostering growth, innovation, and collaboration within our Windgap community.
For over 30 years, TFA has led Australia’s largest auto financier, offering premier finance, insurance, and fleet management to individuals and businesses. Their customer-centric approach showcases dedication to excellence, evident through their expertise and global Toyota Financial Services leadership. With TFA’s generous support, we celebrate a shared vision for a brighter future.
Harvey Norman stands tall as an Australian retail icon, with franchises nationwide and over 220 stores across 8 countries. Their remarkable presence is matched by their unwavering support, making this event a reality. Their commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction shines through as a leading retailer.
2023 Corporate Sponsors
Windgap Warriors – Lundy Cup
12pm, Jellicoe Park, Pagewood
Sydney Marathon Bridge Walk
Windgap Open Day
Botany Grove Business Park
Participant Christmas Party
More information on upcoming events can be found on our Events page here.
For regular updates on everything happening at Windgap make sure to follow us on Social Media!