“People with a disability can still have fun and achieve great things”.
This was the message Ben McGill shared with a crowd of hundreds this week, when he accepted an international award on behalf of his class.
It was the first time the young man had spoken to an audience.
He was one of 10 Kooringal High School IO students, who designed and shot a winning film for the Focus on Ability 2018 short film awards this year.
Against close to 300 entries, across 26 countries, the piece We Can Do It! took out the prize for the most online votes.
Speaking at the red carpet premier awards ceremony at The Concourse in Sydney was an experience Ben said he would never forget.
As part of his speech, he thanked the staff and students who supported the film, the Wagga community who cast their votes and Intereach, for funding the trip to the city.
Ben said: “The film allowed us to explore different film techniques, while showcasing our ability, not our disability”.
KHS IO teacher Angela Baker said the whole feat had been “mind blowing”.
“We didn’t know it was an international competition at first,” Ms Baker said. “I’m super proud of my class for their efforts and I want to thank everyone who helped us get here.”
The class spent Friday in celebration, with balloons, a special cake bringing colour to the classroom. But nothing shone as brightly as the pride-filled grins of the film’s star cast.
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