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On behalf of the Australian blind and low vision community, Vision Australia and Blind Citizens Australia wish to pay tribute to the life and achievements and recognise the outstanding community contributions of Dr Kevin Murfitt AM.

Over the course of his life, Kevin created a lasting legacy for his contributions to Vision Australia, Blind Citizens Australia, World Blind Union Asia Pacific and numerous other areas and initiatives that have had direct and positive impact for the blind and low vision community.

Prior to the formation of Vision Australia, Kevin served as Vice President of the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind. He also gave 12 years of dedicated service on the Board of Vision Australia, including 10 years as Chair.

Kevin was also a Director on the Disability Services Board of the Victorian State Government and in 2006 he was conferred his Doctor of Philosophy from Deakin University, with his research focussing on diversity and employment.

In 2002, Kevin received a Human Rights Award from the Australian Human Rights Commission for contributing to the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) Accessible Public Transport Standards. 

In 2017, Kevin was awarded a medal in the Order of Australia (OAM) for his extensive service to the blindness and low vision community.

Ron Hooton, Vision Australia CEO, said Kevin would be remembered as a pillar of the disability community across Australia and the world.

“Today is a sad day for our community. Not only was Kevin instrumental in the formation of Vision Australia, his years of selfless service across the blind and low vision community have had a massive impact that will never be forgotten,” Ron said.

“From everyone at Vision Australia, we offer our condolences to Kevin’s family and friends, and our thoughts are with them,” he said.

Kevin lost his sight as a young adult following a car accident and faced the transition to a world without sight suddenly and courageously.

His advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities took shape with his leadership of the Villa Manta legal service in Geelong where his strong human rights ethos was a beacon of hope for many people with intellectual disability.

A different side of Kevin was his high achievement in sport, holding world records for water skiing.

Kevin was also a member of Dog Guide Handlers Australia and was an active member of the Achilles running club for many years, and the Melbourne branch of Blind Citizens Australia.

Fiona Woods, Blind Citizens Australia President, said Kevin's professional and personal life exemplified what is possible for people who are blind or vision impaired.

“He showed us and our community how barriers can be dismantled. Kevin will be mourned and remembered by many as a kind man who loved life. Our thoughts are with his husband, Francois, and their family and friends."

Kevin will be remembered this week: 

In-person funeral: 
Kings Chapel
130 Bellarine Highway Newcomb
Thursday 14 December, 2023 at 2.00pm

Post-service gathering:
Elephant and Castle Hotel, Geelong

Videolink for virtual attendance: https://kings.etributes.com.au/etributes/kevin-murfitt/