Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Professor McCallum congratulated

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, today congratulated Professor Ron McCallum AO on being named the 2011 Senior Australian of the Year.

“Professor McCallum has an exceptional record in advocating for the rights of people with disability.”

“I have the privilege of working with Professor McCallum on the Australian Government’s National People with Disabilities and Carer Council.”

“He is an accomplished, inspirational Australian who is most deserving of this significant award,” Senator McLucas said.

Professor McCallum is a professor of law and a former Dean of Law at the University of Sydney, making him the first totally blind person to have been appointed to a full professorship in any field at any university in Australia.

In 2008, Professor McCallum was elected to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, for which he is presently the Chair.

Professor McCallum is Chair of Radio for the Print Handicapped of New South Wales Co-operative and is one of two Deputy Chairs of Vision Australia.

He has vigorously advocated for equal rights for working people across the world and was the first President of the Australian Labour Law Association from 2001 to 2009.

In 2006, Professor McCallum was awarded an Order of Australia for services to academia and Australia’s disability sector.

The Australian of the Year Awards provides all Australians with the opportunity to recognise someone who makes them proud. The Senior Australian of the Year Award recognises those Australians aged 60 and over who continue to contribute to the community in their more senior years.