Wayne Sircombe, a member of the Rotorua Lake City Council Access Group, received the Leona Gitmans Te Aranga Award for 2021. 

The Award is for being a leader in self-advocacy – for someone who has spoken up strongly for the rights of people with learning disability in New Zealand.  

“I wasn’t expecting it”, said Wayne on receiving the Award. “I do a lot of work behind the scenes … I’m going to keep working to get things changed”. 

Kris Roguski National Committee Chair presents Wayne with his Award
Kris Roguski, People First National Committee Chair (left) presents Wayne (right) with his 2021 Award.

Wayne’s passion is accessible information and communication for people with learning disability and he strongly promotes Easy Read. Along with being a two-term president for the People First Rotorua Group, he’s a strong advocate in his local community. 

One of the things he is noted for is being a voice, along with People First Rotorua, for free bus fares for disabled people, which came in on 1st July 2021. He is also keen to mentor younger people in self-advocacy and leadership. 

Congratulations, Wayne, from all of us at People First.

A group of people mostly seated at the end of a table with Wayne and Kris standing at the back. The framed certificate is on the table in front of the people.
Wayne (standing, left rear) celebrating his Award with the Rotorua group.

For a full list of the 2021 People First Award recipients visit: https://www.peoplefirst.org.nz/celebrating-people-first-new-zealand-awards-2021-recipients/