Hudson Fogarty-Apps, a young man from Bungendore has today received a top honour for his autism awareness work across the Monaro and Canberra regions.
The Member for Monaro, John Barilaro, joined Hudson, his family, classmates, teachers, teammates, friends and mentors, including Ricky Stuart of the Canberra Raiders, to present Hudson with a Premier’s Award in recognition of his work.
“I first met Hudson at Huddy Day a few months ago and learnt more about him when he spoke at the recent Bungendore Tigers’ presentation evening,” Mr Barilaro said.
“To say his story was touching is an understatement.
“While Hudson doesn’t search for recognition for his work, it was made clear that something needed to be done in order to formally thank him and recognise what a huge impact he has had, particularly at such a young age.
“It was great to cross the border this morning to join Hudson at St Edmund’s College and remind him that his efforts are making a difference, and he is appreciated by so many people.”
At just 13 years of age, Hudson Fogarty-Apps has already achieved so much in the space of autism awareness, particularly through rugby league. Hudson describes the footy field as a place where he is at peace, accepted and included.
Hudson set to work on raising Autism Awareness in Sport, developing Huddy Day, which sees many clubs purchase Huddy Day socks to raise money for the Ricky Stuart Foundation. The foundation works to create awareness and understanding of autism as well as provide support for families.
In his speech at the award presentation, Hudson Fogarty-Apps thanked the people who had supported him in one way or another, and those who he said had made him the person he is today.
Hudson said that he wants to raise awareness so that those with autism can be supported, included, accepted and treated as equals.
“We just see things differently and react differently in situations, we only have autism and if you learn to accept that and understand people with autism, I can assure you, you will have a loyal friend for life,” Hudson said.