Jane Spring AM
Being a high-profile advocate for people with disabilities is the greatest impact of the work of Jane Spring AM.
“There are very few people with disabilities in leadership roles in Australia. As a paraplegic person using a wheelchair, I am highly visible, but also privileged to be able to advocate for a more inclusive society.”
“Through my work in government, in sport or on boards, I am always asking the question – do our services, our infrastructure and our institutions effectively enable people with disability to participate and to thrive?”
Motivated by a desire to see our communities be more inclusive, Ms Spring says she wants more people with disabilities to be able to live their lives regardless of their physical limitations.
“I want more people to be able to excel in their careers, to travel unimpeded, to experience the thrill of competitive sport or enjoy music, art and culture.”
“One thing I am particularly passionate about is ocean swimming. I want to see more Australian beaches accessible to people with disability, so that they too can experience the best life has to offer.”
With a rich family history of civic contribution dating back to the middle of the 19th century, Ms Spring says, “I felt truly honoured to be considered for recognition in the Order of Australia. The importance of giving back to the community was instilled in me at a young age.”
“I would like to thank the leaders in disability medicine such as Dr John Yeo AO and Dr Sue Rutkowski AM. These are people who along with many others have supported me, making it possible for me to lead a healthy and fulfilling life following a major car accident that caused paraplegia in 1990.”
“I would also like to thank leaders such as Mick Garnett, CEO of Wheelchair Sport NSW/ACT whose work creates opportunities for people with disabilities to enjoy sport with their friends and children to join the wheelchair sport community and be mentored and coached by their heroes.”
“Romilly Madew AO has boosted me and worked hard to enable me to swim in the ocean – our first race on the day of my 50th birthday in 2013 was the start of my favourite activity.”
“Lorraine Landon OAM from Basketball Australia who helped me when I was on the Board of Wheelchair Sports Australia to establish a national competition for women’s wheelchair basketball.”
“And my husband Murray Clarke OAM who drove change to Rowing NSW regattas to achieve gender parity in races for men and women at regattas.”