Resident appointed Honorary Member of the Order of Australia

Published on 07 March 2024

Cr Kylie Spears, Mayor and Mr Colin Hiscoe

A Maroondah resident was appointed as an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia as part of the Australia Day 2024 Honours List.

Mr Colin Hiscoe was appointed in the General Division for significant service to people with a disability through a number of advocacy roles.

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Kylie Spears, congratulated Mr Hiscoe on his appointment.

“On behalf of Council, I am delighted to extend my sincere congratulations to Mr Colin Hiscoe for this wonderful honour, and to thank him for his commitment and service to the community over many years,” Cr Spears said.

Mr Hiscoe was recognised for his work with Reinforce Self Advocacy, an organisation run for and by people with an intellectual disability. He has been a founding member of the organisation since 1982, a former training officer, treasurer and secretary, as well as serving as Vice President from 2010 to 2022 and as President since 2022.

The award also acknowledges Mr Hiscoe’s current membership with organisations such as the Office of the Public Advocate on their Healthy Discussions Steering Committee; as a Foundation Member of the Independent Advocacy South Australia; and STAR Victoria Inc and AMIDA (Action for More Independence and Dignity in Accommodation) Inc, among others. All of these organisations and groups help to support and empower people with a disability.

Mr Hiscoe is an advocate for ensuring that people with a disability are supported and recognised for their achievements.

“I feel very, very proud and very, very honoured to receive this award.

“I believe it is so important for people with a disability to be recognised and to be given acknowledgement,” Mr Hiscoe said.

“There are people out there with a disability who may have the same skills as what I have, maybe in some cases even more, but they have no recognition.

“How can we make sure that more people with a disability are getting the awards that they and their peers believe they deserve and need?”

Mr Hiscoe said he enjoyed being a member of councils - particularly the Victorian Disability Advisory Council (VDAC) from 2016 to 2022 and working on developing the Victorian Government’s Inclusive Victoria: state disability plan (2022-2026).

“I’ve been on councils, and they have been a really big highlight for me, because I’ve been able to get my voice across and the voice of other people with a disability,” Mr Hiscoe said.

“I think my main achievement would have to be being on the Victorian Disability Advisory Council and looking at the implementation of the new Disability Act.”

Other highlights for Mr Hiscoe included speaking at conferences in America, Canada and England, and Reinforce’s recent project to upskill people with an intellectual disability and empower them to run peer training for other people with a disability. Mr Hiscoe hopes the program can continue and be expanded to regional Victoria with further funding from the Australian Government.

Council is pleased to see Mr Hiscoe honoured for his service to the community.

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