The Lower Access Committee pays tribute to former Chairman Ray Osbourne who passed away on July 27. He wasn’t a well man but his death was unexpected.
Ray was a strong advocate for people with disabilities and was also the chairperson for many years of the Council’s International Day of Disability Committee that organised a range of activities to celebrate all abilities, notably the community street walks in Maclean, Iluka and Yamba and the Clarence River Jockey Club Race Days that raised the visibility of people with disabilities in the community.
Ray championed Accessible Sailing with the Big River Sailing Club and enjoyed getting out on the water in the specially designed dinghies and was always on hand to encourage younger people to give it a go. In his home town of Iluka, Ray made sure that regular Mobility Scooter Education events were held and often spoke about the need for general community education about the proper use of these scooters. At Access meetings Ray invariably had a list of access barriers that he had discovered around Iluka that needed to be brought to Council’s attention. The Access committee will miss the robust discussion that Ray brought to the meetings and his passion for equality for people with disabilities.