Mary Guy wins National Disability Award

Date posted: 
24 November 2010

Nican would like to congratulate the family of the late Ms Mary Guy, past Chair of Nican, who last night won the Ministers Life Long Achievement Award Category for the National Disability Awards.

The Award was presented in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra by Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon. Jenny Macklin MP. 

Mary developed quadriplegia as a result of polio at 8 years of age but this did not stop a lifetime of advocating for the rights of people with disability.

Mary was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 and is on the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women. In 2008 National Disability Services recognised her as a Champion for Disability.

She was instrumental in securing Government in-home support for people with a disability and new programs enhancing independence.

Mary was a transformational figure in the city of Glenorchy as a long-serving member of Glenorchy City Council and the access committee for 18 years, mostly as chair.

Mary Guy was involved in many organisations and spent over a decade as chair of Nican, working right up until her death in February 2010. 

Nican executive director Suzanne Bain-Donohue said "Mary was a renaissance women defined by her abilities - she was a consumer representative, a reforming service provider, an elder stateswomen amongst advisory councils, a local government leader, a foot and mouth artist, an innovator and a prominent Tasmanian civic leader"

"Mary's positive leadership of Nican over many years left a legacy of improved information services on sport, recreation, leisure and arts for people with disabilities.  Many people with disabilities find travel difficult but Mary's work has resulted in the removal of many barriers to inclusion and social isolation of people with disabilities. 

"While we miss her friendship, we are thankful that Mary's family can see the difference she made in so many lives through this Award", Ms Bain-Donohue said.