Ms Maryanne Diamond AO
Maryanne was born blind. Educated in specialist and mainstream schools, she studied mathematics and computer science at Monash, and worked in the IT industry for almost 20 years.
During that time, Maryanne married and had four children, one of whom has a visual impairment; this led to her changing career paths to work in the disability sector.
Over the past 25 years, Maryanne has held a range of roles in Australia and at the global level.
She’s been executive officer of Blind Citizens Australia, the inaugural CEO of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, and the general manager, advocacy and engagement, at Vision Australia. After the latter role she moved to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), where she holds the position of General Manager, Stakeholder Engagement.
From 2008-12, Maryanne was also president of the World Blind Union (WBU), and from 2014-16 she was chair of the International Disability Alliance (IDA).
One of Maryanne’s most significant achievements was leading the WBU delegation during the negotiations and diplomatic conference with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) that led to the adoption in June 2013 of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. As chair of the IDA, Maryanne led the involvement in the negotiations for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2015-30.
In 2014, Maryanne was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia. In 2017, she was a finalist in the Victorian Australian of the Year.
At the 9th General Assembly of the WBU, Maryanne was awarded The Louis Braille Medal, WBU’s highest award, in recognition of her outstanding and visionary leadership, and commitment to blind and partially-sighted people worldwide.