Published on 24 February 2021
Duke Trench-Thiedeman, Macleod
After a motorbike accident in 2009, Duke suffered a spinal cord injury which forced him into a wheelchair. He didn’t let this get him down and instead took on the challenge. The former computer engineer tried his hand at wheelchair tennis then found para-badminton suited him more, which proved a good choice, representing Australia at several world championships.
Late last year, Duke, aged 67, won the Masters Sportsperson of the Year at the 2020 Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Awards. Over the years, he’s also played his part in Council’s housing for the ageing project and continues to volunteer as a Banyule Aged-Friendly Champion, helping to identify opportunities and challenges for older people to participate and live independently at home.
For Duke, life is all about opportunities and his recent award has inspired him to inspire others.
“It’s my mission now being in a wheelchair to convince others, mainly senior people, to get out there and play sport,” Duke says.
“But not just to play sport,” he adds. “Get out and meet people, socialise and have fun...and enjoy life”.
Jamie Baxter, Macleod
Proud Yidinji and Wiradjuri woman Jamie Baxter grew up in Queensland with her Aboriginal culture around her “every single day”. She was taught from her parents and community about her culture, dance, language and history. She is still digging into her history and finding out about what happened to her ancestors.
“Back in those days they didn’t have records or birth certificates,” Jamie says. “Those histories are very hard to get hold of but hearing it from our Elders we can join the dots.”
As an Aboriginal Outreach and Community Development Worker at Banyule Community Health Service in Heidelberg West, Jamie helps connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with services and support.
“Being involved with our communities and knowing what we do is creating change makes me pretty happy,” Jamie says.
And her dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed. Last year, she won a NAIDOC Strong Sista Award for her work to keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities safe, strong and alive.
Jamie is also a member of Council’s Banyule Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee (BATSIAC) and a member of the Barrbunin Beek Aboriginal Gathering Place Committee, where she helps run a number of programs for Elders, men, women and youth. She has also contributed greatly to Council’s Aboriginal projects and strategies, including the recently endorsed Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
“Being able to say what we feel and see that the voice is being implemented into the RAP was a very proud moment,” Jamie says.
If you would like to know more about what support and programs are on offer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, email Jamie.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9450 2034.
Find out more about Council's Innovate RAP