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Mary Phyllis Guy

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Mary Guy

Awarded for service to the Community

Died: 2 February 2010

Entered on roll: 2005

I believe that all people have the right to exercise the full range of citizen’s rights. Not all people have equal access to opportunities that the average Australian takes for granted. My work towards achieving human rights of people with disabilities has my fullest and deepest commitment. (Mary Guy)

Mary Guy had a distinguished career in local government and community services, having earned a reputation as a woman with courage and tenacity, who was prepared to make a stand for human rights, particularly for people with a disability. She was Chairperson of the Tasmanian Disability Advisory Council.

Her experience in women’s issues came from living with a disability. She developed quadriplegia as a result of polio at the age of eight and attributes her qualities to her mother, who had little formal education but was an independent person with a great belief in herself, and who engendered her daughters with her spirit.

Mary acquired a range of qualifications in the area of developmental disability and disability services management and used her qualifications and experience to make a real difference in people’s lives. She helped secure Government recognition of the need for in-home support for people with a disability and was instrumental in establishing new programs enhancing independence. She worked on numerous issues including community awareness, access, building codes, transport, education and discrimination. She was a founding member of the Glenorchy Access Advisory Committee, on which she served for 16 years. Mary had been instrumental in changing perceptions of disability in the community through awareness training and developing disability access policies and plans for Local and State Government.

She was elected as an Alderman for the City of Glenorchy in 1997 and since that time had served on numerous Glenorchy community committees. She was involved in the work of many non-government organisations including Cosmos Recreational Services, Community Based Support and ACROD (peak body for disability service providers). She was one of the organisers of the International Day of People with a Disability.

Mary was also an artist and a member of the Mouth and Foot Artists. She contributed to the arts on a local, state and international level.

Mary was an inspiration to many people in the community. She had overcome great odds to make a considerable difference at a state and national level. The real beneficiaries of Mary’s work will be future generations of Tasmanians with a disability.

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