Federal Government Support
Over recent years Special Olympics Australia has been supported by successive Federal Governments via funding from SportAus (formerly Australian Sports Commission). This funding has been at an unchanged recurring level since 2014, apart from some specific support for the 2018 National Games.
This level of funding, whilst appreciated, hasn’t reflected the need within Australia for sport and movement opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities.
As part of our campaign to raise awareness of the needs for people with intellectual disabilities, we held meetings with Federal Government and Opposition in 2018 and this year about securing additional funding for Special Olympics Australia. We have had formal meetings with PM Morrison, Minister for Sport, Minister for Health, Minister for Disabilities, Minister for Social Services, Minister for Education and the Shadow Minister for Sport and Shadow Minister for Disabilities.
We are always well received, and hopeful that verbal assurances of support would materialise into increased funding.
Thankfully, after much effort from within Special Olympics and with the help of some outside supporters, we have finally made a breakthrough. Lobbying efforts to all levels of government and both Governments and Opposition has seen new funding commitments to support Special Olympics Australia.
Federal Government commitment
As part of the Federal Government’s budget delivered in April 2019, the government committed to additional funding for Special Olympics Australia. The commitment was for an additional $1.4 million over two years to fund inclusive sport within schools and in partnership with disability providers.
We’re excited about this new funding and very grateful for the support of the Prime Minister after many meetings.
Federal Labor commitments
The Labor Opposition have matched the governments budget commitment for additional $1.4 million over two years.
In addition to this matched commitment Federal Labor have committed to supporting the 2020 Junior National Games and 2022 National Games with a grant of $1.0 million. These funds will go toward reducing the fixed administration costs the organisation incurs for conducting the games thereby reducing some of the financial burden on the athletes
Junior National Games and National Games are important pathways for Special Olympics athletes. They help our athletes set goals and work towards those goals for years.
This aspiration is so important in helping people with intellectual disabilities get active and stay involved in sport.
This funding to support the Games is such a far-reaching investment because our Games assist people with intellectual disabilities and their families to make connections with support networks inside the disability community at the same time as positively changing attitudes around intellectual disability within our host cities.
We are delighted to secure this commitment from Federal Labor and thank them for their support.