Active attitude wins prize
Sharon Davies has plenty of attitude.
And that's exactly what she has been recognised for after taking home the Attitude Supreme Award and the Spirit of Attitude award for 2012 on Thursday night.
The ceremony took place at Auckland's Viaduct Centre and has grown out of the Attitude TV series which celebrates outstanding individuals who live with disability.
"I was a bit overawed by it all really," Ms Davies says.
"I get involved because I'm passionate, love life and want to do my part."
Ms Davies is a personal assistant to the Waitakere Ranges Local Board and works tirelessly in the community.
The 50-year-old was born with spina bifida into a world that dismissed people living with disabilities.
She was raised first in hospital then was sent to the Wilson Home.
At 15 she left, determined to live an independent life.
At 1.12 metres (three foot eight inches), she's determined to have a persevering attitude.
"A lot of people, and not necessarily disabled people, sit around and complain about the system and think they are hard done by," she says. "For me, at a personal level, I've always wanted to be involved because to be part of any change you have to be in there, boots and all."
Her most recent accomplishment was ensuring her local Swanson train station had a lift and an elevated bridge, making it accessible to everyone.
Friend and Auckland deputy mayor Penny Hulse says Ms Davies is well-deserving of the awards.
"She's an absolute dynamo.
"Shaz has got so much energy and a wicked sense of humour.
"She's always been there getting stuck in," Ms Hulse says.
Ms Davies has been involved with 13 organisations ranging from medical councils to environmental agencies.
"It's hard enough living in this world with a disability.
"To achieve equality you've got to be part of the change, which means being part of the process."