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Comedy icon Tim Ferguson to "Get Real" at Brisbane Gala for Disability sector

Australian comedy icon, director, screenwriter and disability advocate, Tim Ferguson will headline the upcoming 2023 Brisbane Disability Staff Recognition Awards, helping to recognise the work of the people and organisations who have become part of his life since his MS diagnosis.

Sponsored by Holistic Horizons Support Services, the awards held in three major cities, bring together hundreds of disability service providers, workers, participants, their carers, families and corporate Australia to highlight the work of often unsung heroes of the sector.

Importantly, the black-tie galas also raise funds to support Australia’s Paralympians and are held to coincide with the largest NDIS and disability-related expos in Australia.

Tim’s unique brand of observational wit will take aim at some of the things people think are taboo; things like why having multiple sclerosis’ is better than having just one sclerosis, and why a big stick is a handy tool to have in your toolbox.

Presented by the National Disability Leadership Organisation (NDLO), the awards will be held in three major Australian cities this year: Brisbane, March 3; Melbourne April 21, and Sydney June 16.

The NDLO’s River Night said he was excited about the partnership with Tim Ferguson.

“He’s an Australian treasure. Everyone loves Tim - and he’s in a unique position to use his voice to raise awareness for and interest in the disability sector,” Mr Night said.

“Tim will be on hand to help present awards in eight major categories including Contemporary Practice, Leadership and the prestigious Support Worker of the Year Award and make us both laugh while thinking critically about the issues facing the disability sector.

“As a person living with disability, a carer, father, and professional who has worked in the disability sector for almost 30 years, I have seen huge changes, but many critical and unacceptable things persist, as we have seen through the Royal Commission.

“But for people who don’t live with a disability these matters are largely unseen.

“The awards not only highlight the phenomenal work being done, but raise awareness, interest and activity across all sectors of the community - and that’s why the invitation is open to everyone,” Mr Night said.

“We are calling on corporate Australia to put their hands in their collective pockets to support the next generation of paralympians as they work hard to prepare for the Paralympics in Paris 2024 and beyond.”

“If you can’t attend, but want to be part of the effort, then support our paralympians with an online bid for one of the amazing items on offer.

Mr Night said the Australian athletes were training and working hard to represent Australia on an international level and need support.

“This is not an event to get behind once every 4 years. We need to see Corporate Australia investing and supporting our athletes consistently, so that they can focus on training and be valued as leaders in our community,” Mr Night said.

“Every sponsor dollar and ticket sale goes towards funds raised for Paralympics Australia.”

Tickets are selling fast - secure yours at

Brisbane Disability Staff Recognition Awards Gala, Sponsored by Holistic Horizons Support Services

When: Friday March 3, 2023

Time: 6pm welcome drinks / Gala 6.30-11pm

Where: The Great Hall

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Dress: Black Tie

Fundraising and auction page now live

Key Facts:

Tim Ferguson is a comedian, screenwriter and director. He has created, written and starred in many TV series in Australia & the UK. Recent credits include: co-writing (with Edwina Exton) co-directing (with Marc Gracie) the rom-com feature film SPIN OUT (Sony Pictures) which opened in cinemas nationally in September 2016. Tim wrote on the feature film THE BBQ (2017) directed by Stephen Amis starring Magda Szubanski. He was also Series Script Editor for the ABC1 sitcom RICKETTS LANE (2015) and THE LEGEND OF GAVIN TANNER (2016).

He has written for sitcoms including DAAS KAPITAL (ABC), SHOCK JOCK (Foxtel, Comedy Channel UK), the online drama series FORGET THE RULES and the feature film THE EDINBURGH YEARS. Tim’s hosting/writing credits include DON’T FORGET YOUR TOOTHBRUSH (Nine), UNREAL TV and BIG BROTHER INSIDER (Ten).

Tim wrote the bestselling memoir CARRY A BIG STICK which details his career and battle with MS.

He wrote bestselling comedy screenwriting manual THE CHEEKY MONKEY – WRITING NARRATIVE COMEDY. He also appeared in the ABC documentary about his time as part of the DOUG ANTHONY ALL STARS, TICK F*CKING TOCK, alongside Paul McDermott, Richard Fidler and Paul Livingstone.

He is Australia’s foremost teacher of screen comedy, consults for international production companies and networks. Tim conducts his own Cheeky Monkey Comedy Courses worldwide. He currently lectures in comedy & screenwriting at the Australian Film TV & Radio School (AFTRS), RMIT University, Victorian College of Arts (VCA) and the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

Tim is also a highly experienced keynote speaker and corporate event host, and an ambassador for the Screen NSW ScreenAbility Initiative.

Tim works various government bodies to generate employment for people with disabilities in the arts.

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