Jane Spring has been advocating for people who live with disabilities for decades. Her tireless efforts have been recognised with a new honour, being awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to disability advocacy in sport, and to public sector administration.
Jane is the Chair of Sydney University Sport & Fitness. She is the first woman and the first person with a disability to hold the position. It’s the latest in a long line of Jane’s accomplishments and appointments, which also includes vice-presidency of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (NSW), and chairing the NSW Disability Council.
“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,” Jane says.
“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?”
Jane is motivated by a desire to make Australian communities inclusive. She is particularly passionate about ocean swimming, and ensuring that more Australian beaches are made fully accessible for people with disabilities.
“I think the most important thing [about swimming] is it’s something that you can do that everybody else does, and you can do it with your friends,” Jane told The Mandarin.
See the full King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List here.