MEDIA RELEASE: People with Disabilities take clean Sweep as Australians of the Year
26 January 2011
Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent congratulates our Australian of the Year recipients noting that people with disabilities have made a clean sweep of the awards.
“Our Senior Australian of the Year Ron McCallum, did not let his disability impede his esteemed career, which saw him become the first totally blind person to be granted a professorship at an Australian University and later Dean of the prestigious Sydney Law School” said Ms Vincent.
“While Simon McKeon, our Australian of the Year played down his diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis as being ‘at the easy end of the spectrum’, one cannot deny that he has this disease, but has not let it stand in the way of his pursuit to make Australia a better place for everyone.
“Then there is our Young Australian of the Year, Jessica Watson who despite having dyslexia, sailed around the world at the tender age of 16.
“It is not surprising that all of these people have disabilities, one only needs to look at the recent ABS statistics which show that one in five Australians has a disability.
“I truly believe that a shift in thinking is occurring in this great nation, but we must not lose sight of the fact that we have a long way to go before we have a truly integrated Australia, where one’s disability is not seen as an impairment but something to celebrate.”
Dignity for Disability Inc is the political party for those who believe in 'a fair go' for everyone. We are a human rights based organisation that aims at ensuring representation in Parliament for people with disabilities, in particular. We have a unique opportunity, which we must grasp together. With strong leadership, and by bringing the often fractured disability community together, we can bring about real change. Our goal is to ensure Dignity Through Choice. More information can be found on the web at www.d4d.org.au