Tributes are flowing in for disability advocate and 2020 ACT Senior Australian of the Year Sue Salthouse, who died yesterday (20 July) after a collision between a car and her wheelchair-accessible motorcycle on Commonwealth Avenue Bridge.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr expressed “shock and dismay” at the sudden and tragic loss. In a statement, Mr Barr said Ms Salthouse was a “fierce and passionate advocate for people with a disability and in particular, women with a disability”.
“Her life was one of service and contribution to her community, and she worked for greater recognition of the enormous contribution women with disability make to the workplace and in leadership roles,” he said.
Ms Salthouse was named Canberra Citizen of the Year in 2015 and was the 2020 ACT Senior Australian of the Year.
ACT Deputy Opposition Leader Nicole Lawder also expressed her sadness and said Ms Salthouse’s “sense of humour and willingness to support and mentor others” would not be forgotten.
“She has played an important part in more advisory committees and panels than I can name. Her numerous awards and recognition are just a small testament to her enormous contribution in a range of areas and she will be sorely missed,” Ms Lawder said.
ACT Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur, MP Andrew Leigh and Women with Disabilities ACT (WWDAACT), of which Ms Salthouse was the Board Chair, are among those who have also expressed their shock and sadness. The ACT Council of Social Services has also released a statement.
The National Australia Day Council (NADC) has also issued a statement expressing sadness at the passing of 2020 ACT Senior Australian of the Year, Sue Salthouse.
“Our hearts go out to Sue’s family and friends. Sue was such a vibrant woman who lived life to the full and seized every opportunity. She was a huge force for change and for good in the disability sector. We will always remember Sue’s beaming smile and great enthusiasm,” the statement said.
Ms Salthouse was riding her wheelchair-accessible motorcycle on Commonwealth Bridge when the collision occurred yesterday at around 2.45pm. ACT Policing confirmed the rider of the motorcycle was treated at the scene by paramedics but died in hospital.
The driver of the other vehicle is currently assisting police with their enquiries, and ACT Policing is urging anyone who many have witnessed the collision to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
This is the third fatality on ACT roads this year.