Disability advocate crowned Mandurah's Local Legend

Gary Russell-Brown and Mayor Rhys Williams. PIC: Supplied

Disability advocate Gary Russell-Brown is Mandurah’s latest Local Legend.

Gary was awarded last week for his work with a number of groups and projects that support people with disability, including the Mandurah Fishability program, which aims to get people with disability involved in recreational fishing.

The Fishability program kicked off in Mandurah 10 years ago, with all ages from primary school students to people in their 80s joining in and casting a line.

Gary has been involved right from the start.

There are five local schools which include Fishability as part of the education support curriculum, allowing students to experience the joy of fishing in a safe and welcoming environment.

The program will soon launch a new, purpose-built, accessible twin pontoon boat to add to the enjoyment of participants and volunteers.

Gary is a life member of the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club (MOFSC), a member of the City of Mandurah’s Access and Inclusion Advisory Group, and has previously been involved with the Association for the Blind and Guide Dogs WA.

Gary was instrumental in reintroducing the Sail Into Life program at MOFSC, which is a partnership between the sailing club and the combined Rotary Clubs of Mandurah to assist people with disability to enjoy sailing.

Mayor Rhys Williams said Gary was a passionate advocate and ally for people with disability, who devoted his time to making Mandurah even more inclusive.

“Gary is one of those really special people in our community who puts his whole heart into making people’s lives better,” Mayor Williams said.

“Over the years he’s dedicated his time and energy into improving the quality of life for people with disability, and lending a helping hand to those who need it.

“Gary goes out of his way to help people learn new skills, connect with their community and enjoy activities on our beautiful waterways. He is a wonderful community member and a very deserving Local Legend winner.”

To nominate a Local Legend, email mayor@mandurah.wa.gov.au.

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