Lyn Allison was a leader in her political life, and the same is true of her work in the blind and low vision community.
Her lengthy service to Vision Australia and to people who are blind or have low vision was recognised with a Vision Australia Award, presented today at the organisation’s annual general meeting in Melbourne.
The awards were created in 2006 to honour those who help to make a difference through their commitment to Vision Australia’s mission to ensure people who are blind or have low vision can live the life they choose.
She was given an Individual Award for her service.
Lyn, a former teacher, was an Australian Democrats Senator for Victoria from 1996 to 2008, leading the party from 2004 until her retirement from the Senate in 2008.
Shortly after, she was appointed to the Vision Australia Board and has served on numerous other Boards including for the Mental Illness Fellowship of Victoria, Orygen Youth Health, Women's Health Council of Victoria, Family Planning Victoria, Berry Street and Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria.
In the past nine years, Lyn has worked tirelessly to improve services for people who are blind or have low vision and has brought an inquiring mind to the Board, never afraid to question the status quo.
Lyn retired from the Vision Australia Board today.
Vision Australia Board Chair Andrew Moffat says Lyn’s passion for an expertise in teaching had helped fuel Vision Australia’s continuing passion for its clients’ education, and her political experience was a great tool for the organisation.
“Her knowledge of stakeholder engagement, her ability to influence policy for the good of the community that we exist to support, I know, has been invaluable, formally and behind the scenes.
“Lyn has been an enormous advocate within the Board of social justice issues. She has been a constant reminder of why we exist. She’s been a fearless questioner and I will greatly miss her contribution.
Lyn says her time with Vision Australia was a great learning experience.
“The pleasure has been all mine. I have learned an enormous amount by being involved in Vision Australia,” she said.
“I’m deeply committed to seeing people with blindness and low vision having their expectations and their rights met, and I sincerely hope that this organisation will go on to bigger and better things in the future, as I’m sure it will.”