Opening of Sylvanvale’s Bangor Specialist Disability Accommodation
Tuesday, 26 April 2022
Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC
I pay my respects to the Dharawal people, the traditional owners of the lands and waterways surrounding us here in Bangor.
- Minister and Members of Parliament:
- Ø The Honourable Eleni Petinos MP, Minister for Small Business and Fair Trading, and Member for Miranda
- Ø Ms Melanie Gibbons MP, Member for Holsworthy
- Ø Mr Lee Evans MP, Member for Heathcote
- Councillor Carmelo Pesce, Mayor of Sutherland and Councillors
- Jeff McCarthy, Sylvanvale Chair and Board members
- Sylvanvale Life Members
- Architect and Building Project Team
- Family Members, Staff and Residents
Architecture is not about buildings. It is about people. And when, taking people as its starting, middle and end point, architecture also sits in harmony with the landscape; a new world opens up, a world we find here at Sylvanvale. The beauty, amenity and surrounds of these six beautiful new houses does what architecture should do – give its residents a home. To Vic Lake Architects, Vista Build, Studio Albus and Wynne Planning – and, of course, Sylvanvale, you have done a magnificent job.
There is much, perhaps everything, about community in this project. Everyone here today, and for different reasons, is part of the Sylvanvale community.
Whilst as a matter of service delivery we still use the language of disability, we actually mean by that people of different capabilities.
Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognises the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live independently and be included in the community, with choices equal to others; to choose their place of residence, with access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services. This is an individual right which recognises the nature and the needs of a person’s capabilities.
I suspect few here today could recite Article 19 of the Convention, nor for that matter the General Principles contained within Article 3. However, it is a matter of great pride to us as a community that this project is the embodiment of Article 19 and everyone here today lives the General Principles set out in Article 3 - because what are principles unless they are lived?
Let me just recount from the General Principles how the Sylvandale community lives on a daily basis:
a. You respect …[the]inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices, and [the] independence of persons;
b. You do this without discrimination;
c. Supporting the full and effective participation and inclusion [of everyone] in society;
d. In respect[ing the] difference and accept[ing] persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity;
e. You enable equality of opportunity; and
f. Accessibility - whether that be physical accessibility to buildings and facilities or the access needed to services and opportunities that will make lives supported and fulfilled.
Choice, freedom, independence, opportunity, family, friendship and community play a major part in people’s lives and to their sense of belonging. This is what these homes offer.
As Patron, this is a proud occasion. Congratulations, Sylvanvale. You have understood your clients’ needs and, in working as a community “in partnership to support people to live the life they choose”, you have delivered.
It is my great pleasure to now declare the Sylvanvale properties officially open.