Art playing a big role in helping those living with disabilities


Indigenous artist Greg Barr (who is mentored by Susie and nominated her) and Susie Waller.
Indigenous artist Greg Barr (who is mentored by Susie and nominated her) and Susie Waller.

FREMANTLE artist Susie Waller knows first hand just how big a role art can play in helping people living with disability.

Through the As We Are: Artists With an Intellectual Disability program, Ms Waller, who is also a support worker with Nulsen Disability Services (NDS), works tirelessly to raise the profile of Perth’s intellectually disabled artists and promote their work to the broader community.

She was recognised for this work earlier this month, winning the Excellence in Improving Participation Award at the National Disability Services WA’s Disability Support Awards.

NDS WA state manager Julie Waylen said Ms Waller had grown As We Are from a once-a-year exhibition from its inception in 2002 to now including numerous exhibitions and events throughout the year.

She said the awards were run to recognise the positive impact support workers could have.

“Working in the disability sector is more than just a job; it’s a great career choice for those looking for meaningful challenges and those who want to have a real and profound impact on the lives of people with disability, their families and carers,’’ she said.

“It’s about giving assistance that recognises the person, respects their dignity and encourages them to live a good life.’’