Honour roll

The Honour Roll recognises past State and
Territory and National Award recipients

Senior Australian of the Year


2011 QLD Senior Australian of the Year Nominee

Dr Jean Calder AC

State: Queensland


Working from an old garage in the war-torn Gaza Strip, Dr Jean Calder has built one of the world’s most admired programs for helping disabled, disadvantaged and war-traumatised people. Jean had a successful career in rehabilitation and physical education in Australia, but her passion to make a difference led her into a civil war, working with refugees as they faced massacres and continual fighting. For 25 years she has worked with disabled people in Lebanon, Egypt and the Palestinian State. She is Director of Rehabilitation at the Al-Amal City Centre of Ability Development, with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, and regarded worldwide as one of the most eminent leaders in her field. During the 1980s when other volunteers were fleeing Beirut because of the dangerous conditions, she refused to desert the disabled children she was caring for. She has cared for three of these children with cerebral palsy ever since, unsuccessfully attempting to officially adopt them. Since 2006, the Gaza Strip has been under siege but Jean continues her tireless work to help its children. Her commitment and care for the welfare of disabled people has had a profound effect on many lives.

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