Inspirational meeting to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities 04 December 2012 Local Paralympic medalist Phillipa Gray speaks at celebration of United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. (Photo: Council Strategic Planning staff Christine Tye and Katina Conomos with Renee Clark, Phillipa Gray and MP for Coromandel Scott Simpson. Download a high resolution version here. 11Mb JPEG) Local Paralympic medalist Phillipa Gray was guest speaker at an inspirational morning tea held today to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We were also proud to launch the Disability Strategy document. "We thought today would be a good opportunity to officially launch the Disability Strategy for the Coromandel Peninsula," says Thames-Coromandel District Council Chief Executive David Hammond. "Hosting an event to acknowledge the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities is one of the first actions in the Strategy Action Plan, so having the document available for people today was a good way to kick things off." "We want to work with our communities on improving access and inclusiveness here in the Coromandel Peninsula and building a great community for everyone including people with disabilities." "Phillipa is an amazingly inspirational young lady, for her physical and academic achievements and her general approach to life. We can all take a message from Phillipa - that with the right mindset and support anything is possible. Having an impairment or another kind of challenge need not be a barrier to great experiences and achievement." Download a copy of the new Disability Strategy here. Guest speaker Phillipa Gray Guest speaker Phillipa Gray has achieved amazing things both academically and physically, including winning gold, silver and bronze with pilot Laura Thompson, in cycling at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Phillipa shared her incredible London Games experiences with a rapt audience, bringing the behind-the-scenes atmosphere and environment to life in a way that allowed others to visualise it through her words. The audience was especially interested in the way the facilities were amazingly designed for those with disabilities and Phillipa also answered questions ranging from training to fundraising. Phillipa has an important message, especially for her local communities - that disability is not a barrier, only an obstacle to figure out.