Each year, a Patron is appointed to International Day of People with Disability. Patrons are appointed on a voluntary basis and help promote the activities that are undertaken to raise awareness of the issues faced by people with disability.
2013 IDPwD Patron
The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Amanda Rishworth have announced the 2013 International Day of People with Disability Patron – Professor Ron McCallum AO.
Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO was the foundation Blake Dawson Waldron Professor in Industrial Law in the Faculty of Law of the University of Sydney. He took up this position in January 1993 and retired from it on 30 September 2007. Ron is the first totally blind person to have been appointed to a full professorship in any field at any university in Australia or New Zealand. He served as Dean of the University of Sydney Law School from 2002 to 2007. Ron is now a Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Law of the University of Sydney.
Professor McCallum is an inaugural member and a Vice-Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The primary function of this Committee is to monitor the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In 2002 Ron was awarded a Centenary Medal for his role as a labour law scholar and for his role as a disabled citizen in our nation. In the 2006 Queen’s Birthday honours list, Ron received the designation of Officer in the Order of Australia for his services to tertiary education, for industrial relations advice to governments, for assistance to visually impaired persons and for social justice. In January 2011, the Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard, designated Professor McCallum as Senior Australian for the Year 2011.
Ron is married to Professor Mary Crock and they have one daughter and two sons.
- 2012 – Aaron Pederson, an Australian Indigenous actor known for his short documentary, My Brother Vinnie – a heartfelt piece that explores Aaron’s relationship with his brother Vincent, as his primary carer.
- 2011 – Simon McKeon, Australian of the Year 2011 who grew up with a sister with disability and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis himself.