Philanthropy Head Victorian Finalist in Australian of the Year
Thursday, 3rd November 2011 at 3:21 pm
Philanthropy Australia’s President, Bruce Bonyhady AM, has been nominated as one of four Victorian finalists for Australian of the Year.
Philanthropy Australia CEO Deborah Seifert says the nomination reflects the incredible drive, dedication and the impact of Bruce’s voluntary work, not only in the area of advocacy for the disabled, but also in the wider area of increasing the reach and influence of Philanthropy Australia.
Seifert says this is such fitting acknowledgment of Bruce’s determination to improve people’s lives through policy and system change.
In announcing the nomination, Australian of the Year organisers said that armed with a strong sense of social justice, Bruce Bonyhady worked tirelessly for over 25 years to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
“As the father of two disabled sons, Bruce’s skills, passion and wisdom have seen him undertake a range of influential volunteer roles that are helping secure a better future for the disabled. He first became involved in volunteer work in 1987 when his eldest son was born with a disability.
“He undertook a range of fundraising work and brought European disability specialists to Australia to work with local therapists. Bruce’s third son was also born disabled. Despite the significant challenges of raising two children with disabilities, Bruce continued his community commitments with Yooralla, Victoria’s largest disability support service provider.
“He became its Chairman in 2004 and was subsequently invited to Chair the Centre for Developmental Disability Research, later known as Solve. As President of Philanthropy Australia, Bruce has raised the profile and professionalism of the organisation, attracting influential members and promoting philanthropy in Australia.
“Bruce has been the driving force behind the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme, which has received support from the Commonwealth Government. Bruce was nominated by the Prime Minister to participate in an Advisory Group to the Select Council on Disability Reform.”
Finalists in the State & Territory level Australian of the Year Awards 2012 were announced today and include volunteers, scientists, philanthropists and charity champions, artists, medical researchers and campaigners, social justice advocates, carers, humanitarians, educators, civic leaders, high achievers and community heroes.
Four finalists have been selected in each award category – Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia's Local Hero – for each State and Territory.
These 128 Australians will be acknowledged at presentation ceremonies held around the country throughout November.
To view the full list of nominations go to www.australianoftheyear.org.au