The North Sydney electorate is home to hundreds of community organisations that work to improve the lives of others. Today I want to acknowledge the work of Gig Buddies, a wonderful organisation funded by ACL Disability Services, which has its base in Chatswood but a reach that extends into the lives of people across our city.
Gig Buddies is a not-for-profit organisation which supports people with learning disabilities and autism. Its model is simple but unique.
It was founded on the principle that those with mild to moderate learning disabilities or autism should have the opportunity to experience the joys of seeing live bands, theatre sports and other activities. In short, they should be able to have fun and live life to the fullest.
Yet for many this is difficult. Formal support programs are often daytime based, and the chance to participate in the type of experiences I have mentioned can be limited. Gig Buddies steps in and matches volunteers with clients, based on their shared interests and passions.
Volunteers commit to taking the person they are paired with to at least one gig or event each month. I know Gig Buddies has proved incredibly important and of value to both its clients and volunteers.
Gig Buddies has been a success because of the support given by hundreds of volunteers and the dedication of its small staff, led by CEO Carol Smail. They provide a service that makes sure those with a learning disability can experience all that most of us take for granted.
I congratulate them on their incredible work.