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Bell, Mr Geoffrey Alan
Date of birth: 12 February 1944
Date of death: 10 June 2008
Biography: Geoffrey Alan Bell, was born in Melbourne, Australia on February 12, 1944. Bell, who lived with a high level spinal cord injury for 43 years, was an important figure in the development of the disability rights movement in Australia. The movement, which continues today, advocated for self-determination, independence, and equality for people with disabilities. Bell became disabled as the result of a swimming accident in Geelong in 1965 at just 20 years old, and by the early 1970s he was already an exemplar of self-determination: lobbying for disability rights and public awareness. Bell was involved in numerous groups and organisations including: DAF (Disability Action Forum), The Attendant Care Coalition, Action for Community Living and the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions). Bell represented the ACTU on the International Year of Disabled Persons’ national committee in 1981. From the mid-1970s until the early 1980s Bell was employed as a welfare officer at the Western Region Community Health Centre, formerly the Trade Union Clinic, in Footscray. Geoff Bell passed away June 10, 2008 aged 64. He is survived by his daughter Amy and his partner from 2000-2008 Mary Burgess.
Activities/Occupation: Disability Rights Activists
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