Awarded for a lifetime of service

Flinders University’s Professor Richard Bruggemann has been recognised as South Australia’s State Recipient of Senior Australian of the Year 2021, acknowledging his tireless work as an advocate for people living with intellectual disability.

Professor Bruggemann, 76, currently holds the dual roles of Professorial Fellow in the Department of Disability and Social Inclusion at Flinders University and is the Senior Practitioner (Disability Services) in the SA Department of Communities and Social Inclusion.

This year, he has also been involved in important civil tasks, having been called on by the South Australian Government to join the special taskforce investigating the tragic death of cerebral palsy sufferer, Ann Marie Smith.

He was also appointed to a new government role assessing temporary orders to protect people living with a cognitive or mental impairment from the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Throughout his career, Professor Bruggemann has provided expert advice to governments on disability services, legislation, inclusion and rights. Of particular note, he was Chief Executive Officer of the Intellectual Disability Services Council in South Australia from 1984 to 2006. He is a dedicated volunteer, has sat on more than 20 non-government boards and committees, and is a prolific writer on topics of concern for the disability community.

The award judges praised Professor Bruggemann’s ongoing leadership that has helped create a robust community service system helping people with intellectual disability and their families to enjoy a better quality of life.

The national Australian of the Year Awards will be announced on Australia Day, January 26, 2021.

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