21 July 2020: The University of Canberra Council, executive, staff and the entire UC community are saddened by the death of former Council Member and passionate disability advocate Sue Salthouse, in a tragic car accident on Monday night.
The 2020 ACT Senior Australian of the Year served two terms on the Council from 2012–2018, bringing her tireless and multi-faceted experience to enrich the University community.
“Sue Salthouse was a Canberra icon who was tireless and generous in her support for the advancement of equality for all,” said Professor Tom Calma AO, Chancellor of the University of Canberra.
“She contributed greatly to our campus development planning, ensuring that buildings and outdoor areas were accessible and appropriately signed for all to access and navigate.”
Ms Salthouse became a leader in disability advocacy – particularly for women – after a horse-riding accident in 1995 broke her back and led her to become a permanent wheelchair user. She then devoted her life to improving the lives of others, resulting in the ACT Senior Australian of the Year award.
Apart from her role on the University of Canberra Council, Ms Salthouse was the chair of Women with Disabilities ACT. She held positions on numerous boards including the Independent Advisory Council of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Summit on reducing Violence Against Women and their Children.
In 2014 she established the Salthouse Leadership Scholarships for Women at UC. The $5000 scholarships support a female student with a disability and/or chronic health condition in their final year of undergraduate study, to enable them to develop their leadership potential and make a successful transition to the workplace or further study. There have been eight recipients of the scholarship. In addition, Ms Salthouse generously supported annual giving campaigns, scholarship donations, foundation endowments and Indigenous and refugee student scholarships.
“Sue was an active contributor who was passionate about representing the disability sector, advocating for women in leadership roles and equality of opportunities for all,” Professor Calma said.
“She will be greatly missed, not just by all at the University, but by the Canberra community at large. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this difficult time.”