Winners and nominations – VisAbility Awards 2023

We had a record number of nominations for the VisAbility Awards 2023 with 100 people attending our awards event at the Nostalgia Box (opens in new window). It was a wonderful evening celebrating the achievements of individuals living with vision loss. In addition, a unique opportunity to hear their personal stories and acknowledge their successes to a large audience.

This year the awards were presented on Global Accessibility Awareness Day which highlights the need for people to create more digital content and to ensure websites have greater accessibility. This year the event received financial support from Blind Citizens WA (opens in new window).

EverAbility CEO Anna Presser stands alongside Don Punch and Karen Vernon, Vic Park Mayor
The Hon. Don Punch Minister for Disability Services presented the awards.
The Hon. Don Punch talks to Zel Iscel
The Hon. Don Punch spoke to many of the nominees

We were honoured to welcome the Hon. Donald Punch MLA, the Minister for Regional Development, Disability Services, Fisheries, Seniors and Ageing and the mayor of Victoria Park Karen Vernon. The minister co-presented the awards alongside our CEO Anna Presser, Dianna Barton and Libby Lloyd.

Dianna is the grandaughter of Angus Stewart who established the Angus Stewart Awards. Libby is the daughter of Ida Lloyd who established the Ida Lloyd Award.

VisAbility client Ally performed an acknowledgement of country at the beginning of the event. Youth Support Officer Ryan Honschooten was the MC for the evening.

Our CEO Anna Presser and Acting Executive Manager of Therapy Services Karen Titheridge, offered their congratulations to the winners, runners-up and all award nominees.



Audience gathered at the Nostlagia Box
We had more than one hundred people attend

Filmmaker with low vision showcases his work

Filmmaker and music producer Peter Renzullo, who owns Scudley Film Music and Production Company (opens in new window), presented about his filmmaking career. Peter is legally blind after losing all but 3% of his vision to Cone Dystrophy as a teenager.

He has secured a staggering 100 international film awards for editing, screenplay, music, directing and visual effects, including the prestigious ‘Focus on Ability Short Film Award for 2022’ with his short film Note to Self (opens in new window).

Congratulations to all our winners and runner-ups and everyone who was nominated. We also want to thank and express our gratitude to everyone who submitted a nomination. These awards couldn’t have taken place without those submissions.


Nominations, runners-up and winners for the VisAbility Awards 2023

Angus Stewart Awards for Personal Achievements

Nominees for Junior Award (ages 11 – 17) nominees

  • Ally
  • Kaleb Glas
  • Louis Maserei-Boulton
  • Kye Ryan
  • Savannah Zaknich

Runner Up: Kye Ryan

Winner: Louis Maserei-Boulton

Louis has faced multiple challenges in his life but has excelled in his academic achievements. Louis was born in China. At the age of three came to Australia. When he arrived, he couldn’t speak English and had global developmental delays. He is legally blind and has level 2 autism. Louis, now 13, excels in Maths and has repeatedly come top of his class every year in this subject. He has also participated in the National Australian Maths Competition receiving a High Distinction for his hard work.

Louis received Dux of the school in Year 6 and in his first year of high school was the runner up Dux. He has also secured the top awards in Year 7 Science and Year 7 Digital Technologies – beating 180 other students. Louis is an enthusiastic rower and cross-country participant, taking part with a guide runner. He was awarded the year 7 Coaches Award for Cross Country for his positive attitude, determination and perseverance in improving his performance.


Louis stands alongside Disability Minister Don Punch and Dianna Barton who were presenting the awards. Louis is holding his award.
Louis is the winner of the Junior Award category

Nominees for Post-Secondary Award (ages 18 – 30) nominees

  • Karin Boulton
  • Declan Carnes
  • Jackson Hamilton
  • Caitlin Hannen-Williams
  • Tegan Reder

Runner Up: Declan Carnes

Winner: Karin Boulton

18-year-old Karin is a role model for the Australian Albinism community demonstrating that low vision does not hold you back.

Karin writes for the Albinism Fellowship Australia (AFA) Newsletter on a range of topics and is a constant source of information and reassurance on the Facebook page, creating informative posts and answering questions from the community. She is an active member of the Albinism Fellowship Australia’s Youth Focus Group, looking at what young adults want from the AFA and how their contribution can help support others. Academically outstanding, Karin left  high school with an ATAR of 96.9.

She has exceptional leadership qualities and a social conscience. At high school she was a mentor for ‘Study Buddies’, a Mental Health Ambassador and a Well Being Captain. Karin has won several awards in calisthenics and is a talented performer as well as a coach.

Karin is now studying Physiotherapy at Curtin University. In her spare time, she is a swimming instructor with additional needs qualifications. Karin is a strong and driven leader, a dedicated advocate for Albinism, contributing to the vision and values of Albinism Fellowship Australia.


Karin stands in front of Disability Minister Don Punch and Dianna barton who are presenting the awards.
Karin is the winner of the Post-Secondary Award

Nominees for Open Award (all ages) nominees

  • Serge Ansquer
  • Ericka Baker
  • Eamon Doak
  • Neil Dwyer
  • Tiziana Finocchiaro
  • Martine Gomas
  • Dr Scott Hollier
  • Dr Simone Hughes
  • Mark Kusin
  • Emmanuel Lee
  • Damien Mackenzie
  • Beryl Mathews
  • Khan Miller
  • Karan Nagrani
  • Penelope Rogers
  • Domenico Romeo
  • Kay Scrimshaw
  • Darren Stevens
  • Barbara Stuart
  • Deborah Van Luxemborg
  • Vanessa Vlajkovic
  • Joshua Yates

Runner Up: Penelope Rogers

Winner: Kay Scrimshaw

Kay Scrimshaw who lives in Albany has overcome numerous health challenges to lead a full life. She is devoted to helping others despite limited vision, extremely bad dry eye condition, severe osteoarthritis, a disc prolapse and issues with glare.

Kay, who’s 65, volunteers for Solaris Cancer Care in the Great Southern, meeting and greeting visitors and patients and undertaking gardening duties. She has a passion for gardening despite her arthritis and also volunteers at the National Trust’s Strawberry Hill. Kay also undertakes voluntary work for the local hospice. She is a shining example of someone giving back to the community.

As an aromatherapist Kay produces hand blended aromatherapy products in her kitchen. Her products go in well-being packs given to patients living with cancer at Solaris Cancer Care. She has now been asked to provide similar kits to WA Carers.

Despite her challenges she leads an independent life. Prescription polarised bike goggles enable her get around on an Ebike.


Kay Scrimshaw stands in front of Disability Minister Don Punch and Dianna Barton presenting the awards
Kay is the winner of the Open Award

Fred and Lorna Craggs Awards for Excellence

Metropolitan Award (under 30) nominees

  • Karin Boulton
  • Bradley Brider
  • Kane Perris
  • Jackson Hamilton
  • Caitlin Hannen-Williams
  • Dr Scott Hollier
  • Ritchell Lim
  • Shamira Martinez
  • Ethan Miles
  • Tegan Reder
  • Mia Rogers
  • Domenico Romeo
  • Darren Stevens
  • Joshua Yates
  • Nakeata Zaknich

Runner Up: Ritchell Lim

Winner: Domenico Romeo

Domenico Romeo was unexpectedly diagnosed with Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy when he was 16. Despite his vision loss, at 28, he is now a successful lawyer working for one of Australia’s top commercial legal firms – Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Domenico is positive, resilient and won’t let anything stand in his way to pursue his ambitions.

The young lawyer uses his expertise to undertake pro-bono work for the Centre for Eye Research Australia, WA for Human Rights Campaign, as well as Women and Infants Research Foundation.

Domenico’s passion for pro-bono work and his own disability has prompted him to search for a board position on a charity or not-for-profit organisation to help others within the community. He’d also like to complete a Master’s Degree and is looking at options to complete this overseas.

Everability CEO stands alongside Domenico who is holding his award. Disability Minister Don Punch stands to the right.
Domenico is the winner of the Metropolitan Award

Regional Award (under 30) nominees

  • Kaleb Glas
  • Christian Kouroumihalis
  • Jarryd Stanley

Runner Up: Kaleb Glas

Winner: Christian Kouroumihalis

Christian lives in Broome, having moved from Melbourne three years ago. Legally blind, Christian is a quick learner and has an ability to retain a lot of information from memory.

The 15-year-old is passionate about music and plays the keyboard. He’s a self-taught musician, but is keen to expand his talents. Last month he travelled independently to Brisbane to Braille Music Camp.

The Camp gave him a wider appreciation of music. He’s keen to learn about music software, looped music and DJ-ing techniques. Christian is the Chair of the Broome Shire Youth Advisory Council. He volunteers on a radio show twice a month and is an active participant on the Helping Minds Youth Advisory Council attending monthly meetings.

Later this year, he will fly independently to Victoria to attend the Guide Dogs Victoria Orientation and Mobility Camp, then to Perth to complete two days of intensive orientation and mobility instruction.

Image shows Christian wearing blue top against green foilage background
Christian is the winner of the Regional Award. Christian lives in Broome and was unable to attend the event.

Ida Lloyd Fellowship Award for Inclusion nominees

  • Emily Carnes
  • Shamira Martinez
  • Ethan Miles
  • Gareth Andrews
  • Mia Williams

Runner Up: Emily Carnes

Winner: Shamira Martinez

Shamira, or Sham as she likes to be called, is an active and enthusiastic member of VisAbility’s Community Activity Centre and a budding entrepreneur.

18-year-old Sham is Deaf/Blind and has established a beauty business called Sham’s Beauty Products. She sells shea cream, soaps, bath drops etc. All her products have large labels and are accessible. For example, her soaps incorporate a flannel, so anyone with a disability can hold them easily. Her beauty/bath products are marketed online and she sometimes sells them at weekend markets.

She now wants to take her business to the next level and buy accessible software to put audio QR codes on her products. These are readable codes consisting of an array of black and white squares. They can be read by a camera on a smartphone. Sham wants to buy this software because of her commitment to producing inclusive audio QR codes for people with vision loss.

Sham stands in between Libby lloyd and Disability Minister Don Punch
Sham is the winner of the Ida Lloyd Fellowship Award

VisAbility Awards 2023 for Community Empowerment

Excellence in the Workplace nominees

  • Jenny Collins
  • Tiziana Finocchiaro
  • Kristy Hitchcock
  • Dr Scott Hollier
  • Emmanuel Lee
  • Purvi Patel
  • Lynne Smithies
  • Thanh Tu
  • Urban Massage Studio – Patrick Ducler des Rauches
  • Erika Webb

Runner Up: Lynne Smithies

Winner: Kristy Hitchcock

Mia is a young girl with vision loss. Her educational assistant is Kristy Hitchcock who has been supporting Mia for three years.

Kristy went beyond what’s expected of her by learning Braille Grade 1 and 2 outside of school hours to help Mia catch up on school work after she fell behind because of COVID lockdowns.

The education assistant studied Brailling outside of school hours, on the weekends and before work supporting Mia to learn and improve her Braille. Kristy has been such a positive influence on Mia’s life and has her best interests at heart showing enthusiasm in everything she does to improve Mia’s skills.

Disability Minister Don Punch stands next to Kristy Hitchock and CEO Anna Presser
Kristy is the winner of Excellence in the Workplace Award

Family Leader nominees

  • Aafje McLauchlin
  • Thanh Tu
  • Dylan Zijlstra

Runner Up: Dylan Zijlstra

Winner: Thanh Tu

Thanh was selected as the only representative from WA to play for Australia at the 2022 Goalball Asia Pacific Regional Championships in Bahrain. He was recognised as the top goal scorer in his division in Australia during the championship. Thanh serves as a committee member for Goalball WA, Goalball Australia and as an assistant coach for the National Youth Team currently preparing for the 2023 Goalball Youth Worlds Championships in Brazil.

Thanh has been instrumental in building collaborations with various Goalball clubs worldwide. In December 2022, Thanh collaborated with Goalball Singapore to conduct a training camp aimed at enhancing the skills of Singapore’s local players with vision impairment.

The forty-year-old participated in a Goalball Cultural Exchange program between Australia and Japan which took place in Tokyo in February. The Ambassador of Australia to Japan Peter Roberts was also present.

Thanh is a great advocate of Goalball. He strives to encourage youngsters with vision loss to become involved with sport acknowledging that it can be powerful and transformative.

Disability Minister Don Punch stands next to Thanh Tu and to the other side of Thanh is CEO Anna Presser
Thanh is the winner of the Family Leadership Award

Community Commitment nominees

  • Ballroom Fit
  • Blind Sports WA
  • Centre For Accessibility
  • City of Cockburn
  • Department of Justice
  • Aafje McLauchlin
  • Thanh Tu

Runner Up – Department of Justice

Winner – Blind Sports WA

Blind Sports WA collaborates with sports clubs and associations in Western Australia to provide accessible sports for blind and vision impaired people. The not-for-profit organisation is on a mission to educate state and local sporting associations on inclusion. The aim is to ensure people living with vision impairment have equal access to sport and recreation activities and employment opportunities.

Blind Sports WA was successful in securing grant money from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) and Telethon and this is funding three new blind sports into Western Australia; Blind AFL, Blind and Low Vision Tennis and Blind and Low Vision Soccer. Blind Sports WA now employs three people. Two of these have low vision.

Blind Sports WA is also facilitating an after-school sport and recreation program for school aged children with vision impairment, in four local areas in Perth. This year is on course to be one of its most successful with a greater variety of programs on offer to people with vision loss.

Disability Minister stands next to Raquelle and Julie from Blind Sports Wa wih CEO Anna Presser to the other side.
Blind Sports WA is the winner for Community Commitment.

Thanks to everyone who came to the VisAbility Awards evening. These awards recognise personal determination from people driven to excel. It’s also a platform to express our gratitude to people in the community contributing to make life easier for people living with vision loss. We look forward to the next VisAbility Awards in 2025.