Outstanding Leadership and Advocate of People with Disabilities


Philip Ryan

Phil is one of the community’s unsung heroes, his eldest daughter has an intellectual disability and Phil has immersed himself in ensuring people with special needs are advocated for and included in all mainstream activities.

Although his daughter does not play football, Phil still volunteers a lot of his time to ensure other people with disabilities still have the same opportunities to participate in and belong to the community.

Phil has volunteered diligently for three years as Club President of the Mazenod Panthers and in his time there he has been devoted to the success and wellbeing of the club and an inclusive environment.

He is a passionate mentor, who treats everyone equally, and this is evidenced by the respect and relationships he has built up with the players, their families and their carers.

A recent program Phil has been developing is a Junior Football Integration Development Association pathway, allowing young people with a disability to begin their football journey from a young age - previously this has been non-existent.

He was also recognised for his commitment to the Panthers with his nomination for the Toyota Good for Footy Victorian Sports Award 2019 for Volunteer of the Year.

Phil has been awarded the Sir John Monash Award for Outstanding Leadership for his exceptional commitment to inclusion, advocacy and opening up pathways for young people with a disability to participate in sport and recreation.