Opening the door on difference

14 July 2008

Prof Gwynnyth Llewellyn
Prof Gwynnyth Llewellyn

As Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney, Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn embraces the faculty's motto of 'making a world of difference' in both her work and her life.

'My passion is to find health and social policy and practice solutions to enable disabled individuals and their families to fully participate in our societies.'

As an academic researcher, Professor Llewellyn is also the international leading authority on family and disability. Her groundbreaking body of research explores the experiences of people with a disability and their families, and highlights conditions that restrict identity and prevent families and individuals from controlling and planning their own lives.

'With about 12 per cent of the population with a disability, it's about time we started seeing 'disability' as normal but with a difference. Disability comes from being excluded by environments that do not accommodate difference,' said Professor Llewellyn.

Working as an occupational therapist early on in her career, Professor Llewellyn again saw first-hand how discrimination was affecting the way services were delivered to people with disabilities. ''I felt accountable. I felt I had to do something to combat this discrimination.''

Inspired in her work by a colleague who encouraged her to stand up for what she believed in, Professor Llewellyn understands the importance of sharing her experiences and knowledge with others. ''I try to make myself available and I encourage my colleagues to share their insights and experiences with students...'' She continues to supervise and mentor post-graduate researchers and provide information and support to the community.

Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn

Contact: Michelle Cario

Email: 184034382a383f045a4221287c0a4b3b7f523f