Theresa Smith-Ruig’s commitment to advocating for the rights the blind and low vision community has been acknowledged with a Vision Australia Award.
The awards were created in 2006 to honour those who help to make a difference through their commitment to Vision Australia’s mission to ensure people who are blind or have low vision can live the life they choose.
Theresa has been given an individual award for her service, which was presented to her at the Vision Australia annual general meeting in Melbourne today, where she retired from the Board.
Theresa’s diligent work in the blind and low vision space began in 2003, when she joined the Board of Blind Citizens Australia (BCA).
Theresa, who is blind, served as a director of BCA until 2005 and was its Vice-President in 2005.
She was elected to the Board of Vision Australia in 2007 and in the past 10 years has performed her duties as Director with diligence and dedication while juggling her career and parenting.
As a PhD graduate in the area of career management and Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management at the University of New England, Theresa has brought incredible insight to her role as member and, ultimately, the Chair of the People and Culture Committee.
Theresa has also served as Deputy Chair of the Vision Australia and her passion, enthusiasm and intellect will be greatly missed as she retires from the Board, Master of Ceremonies for the AGM and Victoria/Tasmania/South Australia/Western Australia client service general manager Helen Steenbergen said.
“Her passion, enthusiasm and intellect will be greatly missed not only by the Board, but by the staff at Vision Australia,” she said.
Theresa said she’s grateful for her time with Vision Australia.
“The Board members and the staff we work with – I count them as friends,” she said.
“The Board has been incredibly welcoming. I feel that with my 10 years on the Board, I got so much more out of that than possibly I have been able to contribute, and I really thank Vision Australia for giving me that opportunity.”