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Movers and Makers: Australia’s first Christmas market for people with disability

Everyone loves a Christmas market –they’re joyful, festive and the perfect opportunity to tick off your Christmas shopping.

Melissa Kirkman (owner of Kirkman by Melissa Kirkman), grandma and support worker

Feros Care was proud to host a Christmas market with a difference, ‘Movers and Makers’, on Friday, December 3. It was held on International Day for People with Disability, providing opportunities and supporting people living with a disability who are running their own businesses.

30 business owners were at the market selling all kinds of handmade wares at their stalls, including soaps, resin work, jewellery, pet bandanas, plants, artwork and much more.

Over 250 attendees ensured the event was a huge success, with so many keen to stock up on local-made goods to pop under their Christmas trees. Some stallholders even sold out on the day – a first for them – thanks to being in such an inclusive environment.

“It’s wonderful to see so much support for people with disability and their carers in the market space,” says Teejay Milam, Employment Community Development Coordinator for Feros Care. “This is a real gap in the community. Stallholders have had the opportunity to sell their products and share their story, for many stallholders it was their first public event. So many attendees have learnt more about inclusivity and accessibility in the one day than ever before.”


TeeJay Milam, Carol Martin (City of Port Adelaide Enfield counsellor), Claire Boan (City of Port Adelaide Enfield Mayor), Andrew Martin (SA SAM)

Movers and Makers went so far beyond offering goods for sale. Also present on the day was our Self-Employment Expo, helping to bring business ideas to life. Attendees included Business Advisors and Learn 2 Drive from Port Enfield Council, Equality Lawyers
and Rapid Enterprise Development.

This proved to be some wonderful guidance for attendees with a business idea that they were unsure how to execute, or stallholders wanting to take their offerings to the next level.

“Stallholders commented that the event helped increase their confidence as it provided them with an opportunity to attend an event, where they previously might have struggled due to waitlists, fees and COVID-related issues,” explains Teejay. “And
our camera crew on attendance made everyone feel pretty famous!”

It was also a wonderful networking opportunity for the stallholders, who got to know plenty of like-minded individuals, support each other through the event and purchase each other’s local-made Christmas gifts.

Hannah Smedley (performer), Lisa-Marie Raschella (LAC), Rachael Leahcar (performer)

No market is complete without some delicious food and drinks, of course. A BBQ fundraiser was held by the Kilburn Football & Cricket Club, with the local bar also open for those who worked up an appetite browsing the stalls. The event has inspired
the Kilburn Football Club to become more accessible.

“The Club commented that they learned more about inclusivity and accessibility in the one day than ever before,” Teejay adds. “It has really inspired them, they are currently working on introducing an inclusive AFL team within the SANFL inclusive league.”

With special thanks to Robert Taylor, who performed a spectacular Welcome to Country, and local music artists Hannah Smedley and Rachael Leahcar who both performed live at the event.

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