Chair of UN Committee receives Senior Australian Award for 2011

Chair of UN Committee receives Senior Australian Award for 2011 © OHCHRThe Prime Minister of Australia awarded the Senior Australian of the Year Award, one of that country’s highest honours, to Ron McCallum, for his outstanding contribution working with persons with disabilities. “I am very humbled and highly honoured by the bestowal of this award. Though, as a person in my early sixties, I am still getting used to the title of senior,” he says.

The prestigious award recognizes Australian’s over the age of 60 who continue to achieve and contribute.  

McCallum was one of  the first  12 members of  the United Nations  monitoring committee for the  Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  In 2009 he was appointed inaugural  Rapporteur of this committee and is presently the Chair of the Committee of experts.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol was established on 3 May 2008, and plays an important role in assisting State Parties in implementing the Convention and realizing the right of person with disabilities.  The primary purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.

McCallum is the first fully blind person to have been appointed to a full time Professorship at an Australian university. He has served as the Dean of Law at the University of Sydney from 2002 until 2007.  He chairs the New South Wales branch of Radio for the Print Handicapped, which reads magazines and newspapers over the airwaves

The National Australia Day Council who bestowed the honour said, “Ron is a leading light in the community for people with a disability, working for equality among all Australians.”

22 February 2011