Disability advocate and Paralympian Dylan Alcott is the 2022 Australian of the Year, recognised for his promotion pf people with disability. Accepting the award, he said: “My purpose is changing perceptions so people with disability, people like me, can get out there and live the lives they deserve to live.” He is the first person with a visible disability to receive the award in its 62-year history.
Alcott was also appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2022 Australia Day Honours for his service to paralympic sport, particularly to tennis, and as a role model for people with disability and to the community through a range of organisations.
He established a training start-up, Get Skilled Access and the Dylan Alcott Foundation, which provides scholarships and grant funding to Australians with a disability.
Alcott also gave evidence at the Disability Royal Commission in 2020 on the pathways and barriers to open employment for people with disability.
In a statement the Royal Commission hoped the significance of the award would encourage other people with disability to take on leadership roles, and together as a society, work towards the goal of living in a more inclusive society.
Another award recipient was the late Sue Salthouse, posthumously honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). She was honoured for her significant service as an advocate for people with a disability, and to the prevention of family violence.