"Fishability" Newsletter Winter 2015 Edition 1

FwD Ambassador, Jayne Parsons with participant Matt and volunteer Ray Benetti fishing at Royal Perth Yacht Club at the recent Annual Celebration evening.  


Fishers with Disabilities Newsletter Launched

Welcome to the first edition of the Fishers with Disabilities newsletter, "Fishability".   The newsletter will keep our clients, volunteers, supporters, family and friends up to date with articles, news, calendar of events and all of those great "fish" stories.


2015 Volunteer of the Year

On Thursday 14th May, the 2015 Western Australian Volunteer of the Year Award recipients were announced at the Hyatt Regency in the presence of Her Excellency Kerry Sanderson AO - Governor of Western Australia and a room full of charitable West Australians that tirelessly volunteer within their communities. The recipient of the Western Australian Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Mr. Ray Benetti, a long term serving volunteer with Fishers with Disabilities Association Inc.  Ray was awarded the honour as a result of his exemplary voluntary contribution and who through his volunteering has made a significant impact in the disability community. 

2015 Volunteer of the Year, Ray Benetti celebrating his award with Ms Heather Brayford, Director General, Department of Fisheries

Ray Benetti celebrating his award with Heather Brayford, Director General, Department of Fisheries


Geraldton Regional Tour

Our team of dedicated volunteers are visiting the shores of Geraldton again on 21/22/23 September.  The tour is always a great success with local residents with three activities arranged.  If you are interested in attending, see flyer for details at www.fisherswithdisabilities.org.au


South West Tour

The Association's regional tours continues in October with visits to Bunbury, Busselton, Augusta and Albany on 19th to 23rd October.  For further details, email Ray Benetti <rben.fwd@hotmail.com>


FwD Annual Celebration

Fishers with Disabilities Association Inc. (FwD) officially launched new initiatives of the organisation in March at Royal Perth Yacht Club at the Annual Celebration evening. With the support from Hon. Ken Baston MLC, Minister for Fisheries, the evening was attended by past and present volunteers; industry representatives, sponsors and supporters.  Master of Ceremony, Rae Burrows introduced the Associations new ambassador, Jayne Parsons; launched the new mapping portal, "Fishability Map"; launched the new website and promotional video and announced the Association's inaugural recipient of the "Nev Thomas Award", Mr Ray Benetti.


"Fishability Map"

With the support of the Department of Fisheries, and peak body, Recfishwest,  FwD recently launched the mapping portal, "Fishability Map". The initiative showcases the Western Australian coastline, river and estuary locations which are suitable for people with disabilities to safely and confidently participate in recreational fishing.  The mapping portal links to images of the 139 locations, highlighting the parking; access; facilities; disabled toilets; fish to be caught and local bait and tackle shops. The map has created wider public interest with seniors; tourists and families all utilising the information provided.

To access the "Fishability Map",  www.fisherswithdisabilities.org.au 


FwD Ambassador - Jayne Parsons

In March, FwD announced their first Ambassador for the Association, Mrs Jayne Parsons.  Jayne is legally blind and is a two times Paralympian representing New Zealand in tandem cycling.  Jayne is also a regular participant at the FwD Mandurah program. Jayne embodies the values and philosophies of FwD, believing that all people living with disabilities should have the opportunity to experience all recreational activities.  With the support of husband Brent, Jayne is now pursuing her next goal of representing Australia in Lawn Bowls.  Good luck Jayne! www.fisherswithdisabilities.org.au

Above: Jayne Parsons, FwD Ambassador and Paralympian representing New Zealand in Tandem Cycling


Right:  FwD founder, Mr. Neville Thomas - his wife, sister and children enjoyed the opportunity to recognise Neville for his amazing work


Nev Thomas acknowledged

At the recent Annual Celebrations held in March, founder and pioneer of the Association, Mr Neville Thomas was recognised for the enormous contribution he has made to changing the lives of so many over the past twenty years. His extended family was present to enjoy the celebration of his life. The organisation has grown exponentially since it's inception, and thousands of children and adults living with disabilities have experienced the joy of recreational fishing thanks to Neville Thomas. The Association has named their custom built vessel after him, and in March, they launched the inaugural "Nev Thomas Award",recognising a volunteer who has also contributed to the organisation.  Mr Ray Benetti was announced as the inaugural recipient. 


FwD Volunteers Celebrate

FwD proudly boasts the high calibre; dedication and passion of it's volunteers. The team of tireless workers that contribute to the Associations program in the Perth metro areas; Mandurah and Albany on a weekly basis is the core reason for the organisations longevity and success.  The Annual Celebration evening held at Royal Perth Yacht Club in March was an opportunity for past and present volunteers to socialise and celebrate the occasion.  Thanks to all of our volunteers.




Electronic Caster

Watch this space for more news about a new initiative being launched late 2015 with FwD.  This electronically actuated system, researched an designed by Dreamfit, will enable the user to cast the line with the push of a button as well as operate an electronic reel with the push of another button.  Stay tuned!




"Fishability Day"

In March 2016, FwD will deliver the inaugural statewide fishing event, encouraging the wider community to participate in recreational fishing in safe an welcoming environments.  Showcasing the "Fishability Map", locations will be identified in the Perth metro area and regional sites throughout WA.  Watch this space in future newsletters for details. 




Busselton and Geraldton

Riding  on the success of FwD's current programs in Perth, Mandurah and Albany, the Association are extending their reach throughout regional WA.  In the latter half of 2015, representatives from FwD will be visiting Busselton and Geraldton to commence the process of establishing long term programs and partnerships with local stakeholders.


Fishability Stories

We would love to see some images of the fish caught around Western Australia.  Log on to our Facebook page and post your stories and photos!!!   www.facebook.com


Supporters and Sponsors

Fishers with Disabilities Board would like to acknowledge the Association's supporters and sponsors and thank them for their enormous contribution to the organisation.


  • Apex Club of Perth
  • The Wearne Charitable Trust
  • Early Bird Bait Supply


  • Brand Family Foundation
  • Port Geographe Marina
  • Rotary International Dalkeith
  • Getaway Outdoors Mandurah
  • Blue Water Tackle
  • Compleat Angling & Camping World Nedlands