Ron Rudder

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Born on the fourth of September 1926, Ron spent his childhood years in Marrickville. At fifteen he began a highly successful with Atlantic Oil (later Esso) in the mail division which lasted for over forty years. He joined to AIF in World War II and was promoted to Sergeant in the Pay Corps. During his service, Ron developed a hearing impediment that would later lead to his significant contributions to the Canterbury community. He married Margaret on the second of January, 1952 and fathered three children: Phillip, Geoffrey and Jennifer, moving to Clemton Park in the late 50s.

Ron retired early due to his hearing disability in the early eighties and became involved with SHHH (Self Help for Hard of Hearing) in Turramurra NSW. SHHH quickly became an essential information service providing guidance on available services to the hearing impaired. One of its key services was to provide hearing aid samples, enabling community members to test new devices. Ron quickly recognised the need for this service in Canterbury and approached Canterbury Hospital in 1990 to establish a new branch of SHHH. He led SHHH with a volunteer team in the hospital’s rehabilitation department- it continues to run free of charge. Ron Ringer, who spent considerable time alongside Ron as part of City of Canterbury’s Disability Access Committee, describes Canterbury SHHH as Ron’s greatest legacy. Canterbury City Council established the Canterbury Disability Access Committee in September 1993 with the aim to improve access in the community for residents who have a disability. Ron was a founding member who contributed to the committee until his death, bringing the needs of the disabled to the forefront of council’s social policy. In particular, Ron’s dedication to the formulation of the “mobility map”, providing accessibility information of the Campsie shopping precinct, provided an essential resource to those with mobility issues. Ron was a vocal petitioner for rights of disabled persons and a champion for outreach and raising awareness in the community. Ron died on the ninth of September 2002, still serving the Canterbury community on a DAC project. He was known for his attention to detail, preparedness, drive, and commitment. Ron was tireless, seeking no reward for his efforts other than to help people maximise the quality of their lives and enjoy the benefits of the community in which they live.

In 2003, City of Canterbury Council announced a new community award to recognise businesses and organisations that provided access to people with disability. The Disability Access Committee unanimously agreed that this award should be named "The Ron Rudder Community Access Award."