Steph Cooke MP and Zoyie Lee Newham stand in an art gallery surrounded by colourful paintings.
Steph Cooke MP and Zoyie Lee Newham.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is urging everyone to celebrate the contributions of people living with a disability to their communities, ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

This week Ms Cooke met with up and coming artist Zoyie Lee Newham in Young, who is living with an intellectual disability.

Ms Newham is an award-winning artist and works two jobs, as a cleaner at Job Centre Australia’s local office and at Annette’s Place Early Education.

Ms Cooke said people like Zoyie deserve to be recognised and celebrated.

“Zoyie is incredibly talented and absolutely embodies the fact that people living with a disability have so much to give and are a vital part of our communities,” Ms Cooke said.

“Meeting with both her and the team at Job Centre of Australia, who specialise in diversity recruitment, has emphasised that if we can all build confidence in people living with disabilities, that confidence will empower them to challenge themselves.

“No one should ever feel like they do not have a place in our communities, and today is especially a day where we should reflect on the treatment of people living with a disability.”

General Manager of Operations at Job Centre of Australia Sarah Stratford said she was proud people like Zoyie were being recognised ahead of International Day of People with a Disability.

“Every person has the right to contribute to their community and the economy. Job Centre Australia is the enabler, connecting individuals to local business, allowing both to achieve their goals and contribute to their local community,” Ms Stratford said.

“Disability is just one aspect of diversity and we celebrate success and inclusion of all people and Zoyie is showing what can be done.”