Giving hope to the disabled

BOB MILLER has spent 14 years trying to improve the lives of children with cerebral palsy.

Mr Miller, 65, was honoured for service, particularly through contributions to people with a disability, in his work as a director of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, previously known as The Spastic Centre. When his son Christopher was born prematurely at 26 weeks in the mid 1970s, Mr Miller had to wait to see if cerebral palsy symptoms developed.

''It takes a year or two for symptoms to surface, and it's common in premature babies,'' he said. ''Thankfully he didn't but that experience hasn't left me; you never forget waiting two whole years to see what's going to happen.''

Mr Miller was ''astonished'' at the recognition he has received.

One in 360 children develops cerebral palsy. Mr Miller said the organisation's research into its causes, treatment and education contributed to Australia being the world's leader in the field.

''It's not a glamorous position, but I'm a proud Australian,'' he said.

''I've been here a long time and if I've had 1 per cent contribution to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance's success, I think it's marvellous.''

Zoe Ferguson

This story Giving hope to the disabled first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.