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Awarded for service to Human Rights
Born: 18 February 1965
Entered on roll: 2009
Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) is one of the leading disability advocacy organisations in Australia, and this is largely due to Carolyn’s work. (Graeme Innes AM, Australian Human Rights Commission, 2009)
Carolyn Frohmader was born in Hobart on 18 February 1965. Educated at Sorell Primary, Ogilvie High School and Elizabeth College, Carolyn went on to complete a Bachelors Degree from the University of Tasmania and a Masters Degree from Flinders University, where she achieved the inaugural Michael Crotty Award for an outstanding contribution in Primary Health Care.
While working as a Women’s Health Coordinator, Carolyn researched and wrote In Our Own Words, one of the first comprehensive needs assessments of women in South-East Tasmania. Building on this work, Carolyn took on the role of Executive Director of WWDA in 1997. Under her management, WWDA has emerged as a leading and resilient voice in national human rights debates. It is internationally acknowledged as a leader in the international disabled women’s rights movement. In 2001, Carolyn received the ACT Woman of the Year Award in recognition of her contribution to the promotion of women’s rights in the ACT.
In recognition of the invaluable role WWDA plays in giving women with disabilities a voice to ensure that their human rights and fundamental freedoms are promoted, protected and maintained, the organisation has been awarded the National Violence Prevention Award (1999), National Human Rights Award (2001), Certificate of Merit, Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (2008) and the Women’s Safety Award, Tasmanian Crime Prevention and Community Safety Awards (2008). WWDA was also a nominee for the French Republic’s Human Rights Prize (2003) and for the UN Millennium Peace Prize for Women (2000).
Carolyn has achieved professional success and undertaken voluntary work while being the sole parent of her daughter, Lottie. She also supported her mother, Wendy Frohmader, through her illness with cancer.