Bull Creek resident’s 40-year passion pays off with award

Jenny Au Yeong of Bull Creek.
Picture: Martin Kennealey   d456573
Jenny Au Yeong of Bull Creek. Picture: Martin Kennealey d456573

A 40-year career advocating for the rights of people with disabilities earned Bull Creek’s Jenny Au Yeong a Disability Support Award.

As a nursing student, a car crash left her a paraplegic and she moved from Queensland to Perth for surgery to help ease her back pain.

She started studying psychology then turned to social work, always knowing she had a passion for helping others.

Ms Au Yeong is a former chief executive of the Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre (EDAC).

“I started at a time when people were not getting jobs,” she said.

“Life is a lot better for people with disabilities now. I’ve seen changes over the years.”

But she says there is always work to be done and despite retiring two years ago she is still offering advice and guidance as a pro bono consultant.

She turned to EDAC when she discovered people from other cultures were not aware of the support services available to them and language barriers made accessing those services even more difficult.

Now, the focus has turned to Aboriginal communities including two outreach agencies in Carnarvon and Broome and a newly funded service to start in Newman.

Ms Au Yeong said there was also a process of empowerment involved in letting people with disabilities know they do deserve support services, and can improve their quality of life through existing support services.

She won the Excellence in Advocacy and Rights Promotion Award category of the Disability Support Awards.