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Bronwyn (Bron) Moye (1950–2008)

by Helen Ford

Bronwyn Moye, (left) with her niece Sarah Wing, c.2000

Bronwyn Moye, (left) with her niece Sarah Wing, c.2000

photo provided by family

When Bronwyn Moye attended question time in the NSW Parliament, which she did regularly, she made herself as visible as possible, positioning her wheelchair on the floor of the house, facing the Government benches. She never let the MPs forget that people with disabilities lived in their constituencies.

Moye, who has died at 57, was in many ways the midwife to a number of key pieces of legislation concerning the rights of people with disabilities in NSW, and one of the foremost campaigners for the disabled.

Bronwyn was one of five children born to Kenneth Powell, a Rose Bay chemist, and his wife, Betty. She went to Rose Bay public and Kambala schools, and began an arts degree at Sydney University but left in 1972, when she married Richard Moye, an engineer. They moved to Whyalla, where he worked in the BHP steelworks. She taught English at Eyre High School until their son Daniel was born in 1974, after which she was a marriage guidance counsellor.

Moye's neck was broken in a road accident near Cobar in 1975, and she became a quadriplegic. Yet the injury made her life busier, rather than less so. She had a second son, David, in 1978, did a BA at Macquarie University in 1981, and carried out many roles in the field of disability. A stroke in 1985, which reduced the limited movement in her left arm, did not stop her.

She became a visiting lecturer on sexuality and disability at Sydney University's faculty of medicine; sat on the Women's Advisory Council for the NSW International Year of Disabled People project; presented and produced Freedom Bound, a weekly radio program on 2SER-FM; was a director, then president of the Australian Quadriplegic Association (now Spinal Cord Injuries Australia); was a leader of the NSW Disability Council, the advisory body to the NSW Government, and contributor to the publication of I Always Wanted To Be A Tap Dancer, a book about women with disabilities.

Fighting with Citizens for Accessible Public Transport in 1991, Moye helped lead a group of wheelchair users to block Broadway in protest at the lack of access on buses. She lobbied the NSW Legislative Council for appliances for disabled people, was an advocate at the Disability Complaints Service, helping disabled people solve problems, and joined Reclaim the Night marches.

Moye helped develop the Disability Services Act (1993) and Complaints Appeals and Monitoring Act (1993). She was a leader in the Commonwealth-State Disability Agreement negotiations, which cemented the funder-provider role between state and federal governments.

More recently, she turned her energies to the NSW Network of Women with Disability, which provides a place where women with disabilities can share ideas and experiences, and make themselves heard in their fight for equality. She co-ordinated the network's participation in the annual International Women's Day marches.

Moye had an engaging, zany and raucous sense of humour – and a trademark laugh. She loved family occasions and having coffee and eating out with her friends – especially garlic prawns and a glass of red wine. She was awarded an OAM in 1987 for service to those with disabilities. In 2005, she won the Edna Ryan Award for feminist activity in the political sphere.

Bronwyn Moye is survived by her husband, Richard, and two sons.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

Helen Ford, 'Moye, Bronwyn (Bron) (1950–2008)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 1 March 2024.

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