Wendy wins People’s Choice Award in national competition

SEFTON’S Wendy Riley has been announced as the People’s Choice Award Winner in the University of Sydney’s ‘Dreams and Debuts’ National Amateur Art Competition for artists with disability.

Her abstract piece, titled ‘Dreaming’, was chosen as the People’s Choice winner out of 21 finalists but for Wendy, the greatest success was having her art seen by others in the exhibition.
“It was a great day and I’m so proud of myself,” she said.
Due to an acquired brain injury, Wendy lives at the Aruma Supported Independent Living home in Sefton.  Aruma is one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit disability service providers, where staff focus on ensuring NDIS participants live the life they choose.
Arum support worker Nick Nicola said: “At the exhibition, Wendy received a warm welcome and many compliments on her art by the attendees. She was asked about her painting techniques as people were so inspired by her art that they wanted to replicate it.”
Seeing her artwork on display and celebrating with family and her support workers, was a dream come true for Wendy.
Her son, James, and daughter Simone also attended the event and afterwards headed to dinner to keep the celebration going.
“At dinner we toasted Wendy’s success but it wasn’t about whether she won or not, she did something amazing for herself and that’s what we celebrated,” Nick said.
Aruma Regional Manager Yasmin Alameddin said: “Wendy is an amazing artist with so much talent. The whole team is so proud of her. Art is one of the ways she expresses herself and connects with others so to be recognised in a professional show was fantastic.”