“As the global economic impact of COVID-19 unfolds, the board will continue to prioritise portfolio flexibility, ensuring the portfolio is robust to a range of possible scenarios, and has significant liquidity.”“This will open opportunities from the current market to position ourselves for long-term returns,” he said.The fund’s chief investment officer, Raphael Arndt, said the fund sold more than 31 illiquid assets, raising a total of A$10bn. It had also sold interests in private equity in the secondary market, raising a further A$4bn.Asked to break down performance of individual asset classes, Arndt said the fund did not normally report asset class returns in detail.“Having said that, obviously the equities and credit sectors performed poorly, and in line – or roughly in line – with the markets.“So it was defensive overlay positions – foreign currency positions, interest rates options and our defensive hedge fund strategy – that helped insulate our portfolio in the downturn.”Arndt said the fund had taken advantage of “several opportunities” created by the recent US market correction.Asked if the fund was now poised to enter the market, he said: “Firstly, we need to understand what the outlook is likely to be. We are still in lockdowns.”It would take time, he said, to see whether the large amount of government stimulus around the world would be sufficient to offset the earnings disruption in the wake of COVID-19.The fund would look at assets, including illiquid assets, on a case-by-case basis to assess the price and value of a particular investment.“It is definitely the case that risk remains elevated, and it is very difficult to predict what is going to happen in the world,” he said. Australia’s A$160bn Future Fund made a loss of A$5.7bn (€3.8bn) in the first quarter of the year – an annualised loss of 0.2% for the financial year to date (July 2019-March 2020).The negative return did not factor in adjusted valuations for the fund’s illiquid assets, which the fund said would be done after June 30, as in every other year.The fund has managed to avoid the worst of the COVID-19 market crash because it began shedding some of its illiquid private market assets five years ago.Future Fund chair Peter Costello said it had prioritised reducing its exposure to illiquid assets over recent years.
Expert riders compete in the B.Grimm – BMW Thai Polo Open 2020.The much-anticipated grand charity equestrian event, B.Grimm – BMW Thai Polo Open 2020 to win the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup, finally concluded. The search for 2020’s winner was held by B.Grimm, led by Dr. Harald Link, president of B.Grimm who is also president of the Thailand Equestrian Federation, along with Nantinee Tanner, the federation’s vice president for the 15th consecutive year. The final event was held 18 January 2020 at Thai Polo and Equestrian Club Pattaya. Nunthinee Tanner, Founder, Thai Polo and Equestrian Club. Spicing things up even further, organisers award Duangjai Phoin for Best Hat and Praewpreeya Chumsai Na Ayutthaya for Best Dress. Famous celebrities attended the B.Grimm – BMW Thai Polo Open 2020. Caroline Link. From left: Duangjai Phoin, Praewpreeya Chumsai Na Ayutthaya, Thitipong Lorprasert, Pannita Snidvongs Na Ayutthaya and Juntamon Yampundhu. BMW Thai Polo Open 20201 of 30 Stomping Divots. Wanphen Sakdatorn and Wanphen Sakdatorn. Tang Polo Team is crowned champions of the B.Grimm – BMW Thai Polo Open 2020. Waraporn Siriboonma, Naphalai Areesorn and Wanphen Sakdatorn. Thitipong Lorprasert and Pannita Snidvongs Na Ayutthaya. The star-studded event was filled with colors, fun and joy from a string of elite guests. Some of Thailand’s top celebrities graced the charity gathering. Among them were Mark Thawin P. Seawtong, Pawee Somprasong, Jirapa Lakasanawisit, Yuwapa Banyongrakkul, Dr. Nattapat-Suppanat Meenchai, Praewpreeya Chumsai Na Ayutthaya, Duangjai Po-in, and Jantamon Yampan to name a few.This event featured an exciting competition between the Thai Polo Team (shown here) and 1003 Polo Team from China, the former winning 7-3.Besides the exciting polo match, the event also had activities and charity booths that included performances by Wat Suthiwararam School’s marching band, show jumping, feeding and riding miniature horses, and fun games to win prizes for a good cause.Before the final match commenced, the spectators and celebrity guests witnessed a polo match tradition that has been carried on for centuries, called Stomping Divots. Horses pranced and stomped on the field to smoothen and harden the ground, while sophisticatedly dressed guests cheerfully conversed and greeted each other before the match started.Dr. Harald Link, president of the B.Grimm Group and the Thailand Equestrian Federation, congratulates the Show Jumping winners.Highlights of the event also include best dress awards for ladies. Walking away with the Best Hat Award this year was Praewpreeya Chumsai Na Ayutthaya, while Duangjai Po-in wowed the crowd with her stunning outfit which won the Best Dress Award.The event culminated in mesmerizing fireworks and an exclusive barbecue dinner accompanied by soothing live music. The event concluded with smiles of happiness and victorious moments of the polo players and the guests who came together to support this charitable cause.Famous celebrities attend the B.Grimm – BMW Thai Polo Open 2020.Dr. Harald Link, president of B.Grimm Group and the Thailand Equestrian Federation.BMW Thailand sponsors the BMW-B.Grimm Thai Polo Open 2020. Tang Polo takes on Thai polo in the B.Grimm – BMW Thai Polo Open 2020. Mark Thawin P Seawtong. From Left: Kom Sevatasai, Nunthinee Tanner, Founder, Thai Polo and Equestrian Club, Pammy Simaprasertm, Sasinun Lochaya, Tipaporn Ajanant, and Vasavat Wattanasirisombat. The match for third place followed when La Familia defeated the Malaysian Royal Pahang team. Grimm – BMW Thai Polo Open 2020 is considered the most prestigious charity event that kicks start the season. Held annually, the event is hosted by Dr. Harald Link at one of Asia’s highest standard polo fields. This year, the four finalists included Thai Polo from Thailand, La Familia from Malaysia, Royal Pahang from Malaysia, and Tang Polo from China, each earning a spot after a series of selection competitions in mid-January.At the final event, Tang Polo from China beat Thai Polo from Thailand 8 to 7, and won the prestigious winner’s cup from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The third and fourth runners up were La Familia and Royal Pahang from Malaysia respectively.Not only is Grimm – BMW Thai Polo Open 2020 a competition at the highest level of polo in Thailand, featuring teams from an international pool of contenders, it is also a charity event that raises funds for the Chitralada Technology Institute. Dr. Natthapat, Sopit, and Suphanat Minchaiynunt. Pongsakorn Chanchaisrisakul and Yen Wang. Yuwapa Banyongrakkul, Dr. Yin Win Thu, and Mathurada Kongkabpan. The Thai Polo team readies for play in the B.Grimm – BMW Thai Polo Open 2020. BMW Thailand sponsors the BMW-B.Grimm Thai Polo Open 2020. Pammy Simaprasertm, Bunnaporn Eiamamornpan, Wee Marr and Siriyos Devahasdin Na Ayudhya. Lukkana Peetrangsee and Kanyapat Pukasab. Dr. Harald Link, president of B.Grimm Group and the Thailand Equestrian Federation congratulate the Show Jumping winner. Thai Polo earned the runner-up trophy. The game is on! Jirapa Laksabawisit and Pavee Somprasong. Lee and Pattharapol Puengboonpra. Siriya Jitpimolmard and Waraporn Siriboonma. Naphalai Areesorn (center) poses for a photo with Best Hat winner Duangjai Phoin (left) and Best Dress winner Praewpreeya Chumsai Na Ayutthaya (right). From Left: Dr. Yin Win Thu, Lukkana Peetrangsee, Waraporn Siriboonma, Yuwapa Banyongrakkul and Kanyapat Pukasab.
Facebook4Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Experience Olympia & BeyondNational Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), the annual celebration of the U.S. travel industry, will spotlight resilience and hope in the face of the coronavirus pandemic with this year’s theme: the Spirit of Travel.Celebrated annually the first full week in May, Congress created NTTW in 1983 was to underscore the economic power of travel in the U.S. The 37th NTTW (May 3-9) arrives at an opportune moment to unite the industry, celebrate its indomitable spirit and elevate the role it will play in America’s economic recovery.“Through every hardship, I find myself in awe of the travel industry’s ability to join together, adapt, and emerge stronger than before,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “This is our toughest challenge yet, but what I’ve seen is that the spirit of travel has not been shattered.”Since in-person events that have been hallmarks of NTTW in years past are not an option this year, Experience Olympia & Beyond is engaging by holding its Annual Meeting “In Your Inbox” for its members May 3 – 9 as a way to stay connected, unified and supportive of each other from afar, rallying around the Spirit of Travel. They will engage the local community through its social media channels, encouraging residents to share images and stories of their favorite travel moments using #SpiritofTravel.“There’s no doubt this has been an incredibly challenging time for Experience Olympia & Beyond and the hospitality industry in Thurston County, but we see National Travel and Tourism Week as an opportunity to remind our visitors and our residents of the incredible spirit and resiliency of the travel industry and our workforce. It’s only a matter of time before we are all able to travel again, and Experience Olympia & Beyond will be more ready than ever to welcome travelers with open arms,” said Shauna Stewart, CEO of Experience Olympia & Beyond.Stay up-to-date on Experience Olympia & Beyond’s Spirit of Travel activities on the Experience Olympia & Beyond Facebook page and visit the US Travel website to learn more about the week.Who: Experience Olympia & BeyondWhat: Annual Meeting “In Your In Box” During #SpiritOfTravel WeekWhen: May 3-9, 2020Where: Follow and share your #SpiritofTravel on your favorite social platform:Facebook Instagram About Experience Olympia & Beyond Experience Olympia & Beyond is the official destination marketing organization of Thurston County and Thurston County’s Sports Commission. A naturally-inspired, approachable destination situated at the foot of Puget Sound one hour south of Seattle and two hours north of Portland by car, Washington’s capital community inspires handcrafted getaways. The region is perfect for hosting sports events, meetings, weddings and events. With more than 2,700 hotel rooms throughout Thurston County there are several options ranging from unique bed and breakfasts to traveler-friendly rooms. For more information visit experienceolympia.com or connect on Facebook, Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).
By Allison PerrineSANDY HOOK – With the noonday sun beating down on them, a group of students from Monmouth University (MU) scraped the earth at the foot of the Sandy Hook lighthouse with mini-shovels and brushes. They were digging holes in an effort to discover evidence of Revolutionary War history.The program held June 18, 25 and 26 was a project by the university and the National Park Service to introduce archaeology to students and community volunteers. What they found intrigued them. Musket balls, pottery, bottles and more.Rumson resident and MU graduate student Nicky Kelly got a chance to handle the century-old artifacts. “It helps to tell the whole story,” she said.Richard Veit, the archaeology professor at MU who helped orchestrate the event, said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about one of New Jersey’s historic sites and it’s cool to have artifacts from the Revolution that gave insight into the people’s lives from that time.”The site was roped off into five units and later broke ground for a sixth. The first unit, called “excavation unit one,” is believed to have been part of the lighthouse keeper’s home, according to MU student Elliott Wilson, 22, of Cranbury. “We think it’s the corner of the cellar, which likely would have stored cold items for the lightkeeper,” Wilson said.￼Monmouth University students work on excavation unit five to uncover Revolutionary War artifacts.Unit two appears to be the former curb-line of the road, a theory supported by the possible trail that lead to the old horse carriage house. Artifacts found in the unit included a hand-blown wine bottle, a pin, shell-edge pottery and stoneware. “This is definitely evidence of human activity,” said MU graduate student Mike Brennan of Fair Haven.On the top of the hill Marilyn Scherfen, of Atlantic Highlands, and Marjorie Charlton, of Somerset County, worked on unit three as volunteers. “What’s beautiful is that you find everyday items (such as a Château-Lafite bottle), but also things like musket balls,” Scherfen said.At unit five, recent MU graduate/volunteer Mark Schulze, 22, of Belford, speculated on what wall they were unearthing. “We’re trying to expose a corner of a wall and see where it leads,” he said. “We’ll dig down a foot or two and see if we can get to the bottom of it.”After artifacts were discovered, the team labeled and placed them carefully in bags to bring to the artifact washing station. There, findings were delicately washed several times with a toothbrush so that nothing was damaged. Kelly and Samantha Muller, 41, from Rutgers University, worked at this station.Students seemed to have enjoyed the experience.Nicky Kelly worked the artifact-washing station and showedtwo pieces of pottery that were found during the excavation.“I loved it,” said MU student John Brown, 21, of Wildwood Crest. “You learn so much more in the field than you ever could in a classroom. You hear about what to do all the time in class – but to actually have the opportunity to do it is valuable,” Brown said.
Caring4Girls is a programme under the Imbumba Foundation. Richard Mabaso is the founder of Imbumba. (Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation)There was great excitement when the 27 climbers of the Trek4Mandela campaign got together yesterday to start their journey to climb Africa’s highest mountain.Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Miss South Africa Liesl Laurie were among those at the send-off event in Johannesburg earlier today.Mbalula said that he planned to join the climbers in summiting Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, at 5 895m above sea level, in 2016. He also pledged R100 000 to the campaign this year.Trek4Mandela, an initiative for Nelson Mandela International Day, is in its fourth year. It benefits Caring4Girls, a programme to provide sanitary towels and menstrual hygiene information to underprivileged girls in rural communities. Since it was established in 2012, Trek4Mandela has attracted massive interest from the government, the private sector and NGOs locally and internationally.It has generated support for over 50 000 beneficiaries, mainly in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.Many of the climbers – as well as those sending them off – made known their enthusiasm on social media:Take action. Inspire change, make everyday a #MandelaDay. Kicking off the @Trek4Mandela climb with @flysaa pic.twitter.com/5bB4aRDahZ— Liesl Laurie (@LieslLaurie) July 13, 2015Equality for our children must be a reality. #MyHeroes #Trek4Mandela https://t.co/2rrjnmZJWe— Greg Maloka (@GregMaloka) July 13, 2015#Trek4Mandela climbers leaving their footprints as they ready for their symbolic Long Walk to Freedom #Caring4Girls pic.twitter.com/2AM4pSL2tx— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) July 13, 2015The #Trek4Mandela team as they ready to leave South Africa for their summit of Mt Kilimanjaro #GirlChild #Dignity pic.twitter.com/YlxUXC6qol— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) July 13, 2015Good luck to the #Trek4Mandela team. That is a real #MotivationMonday ahead of #MandelaDay. Long live the legacy of #NelsonMandela— Real Steven Taylor (@StevenTaylorSA) July 13, 2015These are @GerriLiive ‘s blinged out hiking shoes for #Trek4Mandela . What do you think? #180OnFridays pic.twitter.com/WdxJSeRoep— 180 with Bob (@180withBOB) July 10, 2015Why the climb?The climb is led by Sibusiso Vilane, the first black African to summit Mount Everest, and the founder of the Imbumba Foundation, Richard Mabaso. It celebrates Madiba’s legacy through supporting the education of South African girls who cannot afford sanitary towels.Yase Godlo, the manager of Mandela Day and Outreach at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said to the South African Broadcasting Corporation that the objective of the climb was to help 270 000 girls across the country, or “30 000 girls per province”.It has been reported that girls miss up to 50 days of school a year each because they cannot afford sanitary towels.The climbers expect to summit Kilimanjaro by 18 July, Madiba’s birthday and Nelson Mandela International Day. There are 27 climbers in the group, one for each year that Mandela was in prison. They include hip-hop artist Proverb and television news presenter Leanne Manas. Each climber aims to raise at least R1.5-million for Caring4Girls.They will return to South Africa on 20 July. For more information on how you can contribute, visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation site. You can also sms the word “girlchild” to 42513 to pledge R30.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Today USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that avian influenza, which devastated poultry operations around the country in 2015, was discovered on an Indiana farm.“Unfortunately we have had a reemergence of avian influenza in a facility in Indiana. We found out about it yesterday. We sent the lab sample and basically confirmed it as the North American variety. We are sending an emergency response team to the farm in question and we will begin the process of depopulation quickly,” he said. “We want to encourage folks to be ever vigilant on the biosecurity of their operations. We are hopeful to contain this as best we can. We were aware this could happen. We were hopeful that it wouldn’t. We want to be as responsive as we possibly can.”The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana. This is a different strain of HPAI than the strains that caused the 2015 outbreak. There are no known cases of H7N8 infections in humans. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F kills bacteria and viruses, including HPAI.Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University, which is a part of USDA’s National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and confirmed by USDA this morning. APHIS is working closely with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and depopulation of birds on the premises has already begun. Depopulation prevents the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.As part of existing avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area. The rapid testing and response in this incident is the result of months of planning with local, state, federal and industry partners to ensure the most efficient and effective coordination. Since the previous HPAI detections in 2015, APHIS and its state and industry partners have learned valuable lessons to help implement stronger preparedness and response capabilities. In September, APHIS published a HPAI Fall Preparedness and Response Plan that captures the results of this planning effort, organizing information on preparatory activities, policy decisions and updated strategy documents.The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world, and USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.Anyone involved with poultry production, from the small backyard to the large commercial producer, should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. To facilitate such a review, a biosecurity self-assessment and educational materials can be found at http://www.uspoultry.org/animal_husbandry/intro.cfmIn addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.
China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong “I don’t actually believe that would be Pacquiao actually even saying that himself,” the Australian told Channel Nine.“Maybe it is his team around him. But Pacquiao seemed very humble in the way that he lost and thought the decision was correct.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“I am ready for a rematch. If he wants to come back and do it again, we will do it. That’s up to him, he’s got the option,” Horn said.Written off by most observers, the 29-year-old stunned the Filipino legend with his ultra-aggressiveness to earn a unanimous 12-round decision. MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ No reversal of PacHorn decision, says WBO In Brisbane, with chants of “Hornet! Hornet!” ringing out, the Australian boxer was handed the keys to the city and told thousands of supporters he was ready for the next challenge.“Thank you all for turning up and supporting me and my dreams and, as you can see, you never give up.“I went through a tough round nine, pushed hard through and we got there” he told the crowd. “We got that World Championship.”There was no doubting the fight’s outcome among fans who came out to greet their hometown hero.“(It was) an absolutely amazing performance. He (Horn) definitely, definitely, definitely won,” one supporter told Sky News.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparc LATEST STORIES Jeff Horn of Australia celebrates after beating Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during their WBO World welterweight title fight in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, July 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)Newly-crowned world welterweight champion Jeff Horn on Thursday brushed aside boxing legend Manny Pacquiao’s call for a review of his controversial defeat and threw down the gauntlet for a rematch.Thousands joined a ticker-tape parade in Brisbane in honor of the former school teacher, who said he doubted if Pacquiao had personally backed a call to review the outcome of last Sunday’s title bout.ADVERTISEMENT Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Read Next Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera The result has been widely questioned, with many believing Pacquiao should have won.The 38-year-old Filipino champion Wednesday backed a formal request by the Philippines’ Games and Amusement Board for the World Boxing Organisation to review the decision.“I love boxing and I don’t wanna see it dying because of unfair decision and officiating,” he said in a statement issued by his office.“I had already accepted the decision but as a leader and, at the same time, fighter I have the moral obligation to uphold sportsmanship, truth and fairness in the eyes of the public.”In the twilight of a 22-year pro career in which he won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, Pacquiao had initially called for a rematch, but later said he would also “think hard” about retiring.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
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The Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD) will be observing Disabilities Awareness Week from November 25 to December 3, under the theme: Jamaica: Removing Barriers…Creating Access. Public Relations Officer at the JCPD, Adrienne Pinnock, said this year’s observance will seek to promote the rights of persons with disabilities and the fact that they too, are entitled to the enjoyment of full and equal human rights. “We want to demonstrate that persons with special needs are equal citizens and should be included in the economic, civil and political processes of our country,” she told JIS News in a recent interview. She said the occasion will also be used to inform Jamaicans of the integral role, persons with disabilities play in national development. “Persons with disabilities are capable of reaching their fullest potential, and their efforts should be recognised as valuable contributions towards nation building. With the celebrations, we will be highlighting the skills, achievements, and contributions that persons with disabilities have made over the years,” she noted. She told JIS News that in keeping with the Jamaica 50th Independence theme: ‘A Nation on a Mission’, the week will also highlight the achievements of the Council over the years, as well as new initiatives for 2013/14. “This year’s celebration takes on added significance in this jubilee year. As voices of the disabled community, we are going to be using this opportunity to highlight our achievements over the years, through a number of communication channels, such as public forums and sensitisations sessions island-wide. We aim to show Jamaica the direction in which the Government is moving as it relates to securing the well-being of the disabled community,” she informed. She noted that the JCPD, which falls under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, continues to work to meet the needs of persons with disabilities through a number of interventions. The week gets underway tomorrow (November 25) with a benefit performance hosted by the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD), at Stages Theatre, Knutsford Boulevard, starting at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $1,400. The JAD will stage its 34th Annual General Meeting on Tuesday (November 27) at the Alhambra Inn, 1 Tucker Avenue, starting at 3:30 p.m. The meeting, under the theme: ‘Realizing the Vision of Deaf Excellence’, will provide a platform for the JAD to highlight and reflect on its achievements, and to chart a course in moving forward. On Wednesday (November 28) the Special Education Unit in the Ministry of Education, will be hosting an exposition at Caenwood Centre, 37 Arnold Road, starting at 10:00 a.m. The event will showcase products and services offered to persons with disabilities, as well as provide information on disability issues. Church services and sensitisation sessions will be held at various locations throughout the week. Activities will conclude with the observance of International Day for Persons with Disabilities on Monday (December 3), with a public forum, at a venue to be announced. Disabilities Awareness Week has been observed in Jamaica since 1994.