Lesley Hall (Hall-Bentick)

From the early 1970s, Ms Lesley Hall was committed to improving the rights of women and in particular, women with disabilities.

Change Agent

In her earlier roles, Lesley contributed to significant policy and societal shifts through her work at Action for Community Living; the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations; and the disability unit of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok. Lesley was also instrumental in the establishment of the Disability Resources Centre in 1981.

In 1985, Lesley presented the report Free from this Place to the Australian Human Rights Commission, which investigated the rights of residents in Victorian institutions; the cessation of sheltered workshops; the closure of residential institutions; the promotion of people with disabilities in employment; and advocated policy changes regarding placement of young people in aged care homes.

In September 2008, Lesley was appointed Chief Executive Officer for the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations. In this role she campaigned for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, to ensure that people with a disability received certainty about their future and the care and support they need.

On 26 November 2013, the Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, presented the National Disability Awards, and renamed the Ministerial Award to the Lesley Hall Lifelong Achievement in Disability Award. Lesley also received the Prime Minister's Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Sadly, Lesley passed away on 19 October 2013, leaving an outstanding and lasting contribution to society.