Geoff Bell Archive Collection
Last Thursday (28th March 2019) I had the privilege of presenting at the launch of the Geoff Bell Archive Collection at Melbourne University.
After a swimming accident in 1965, Geoff Bell lived with a high-level spinal cord injury for 43 years. During this time Geoff became a well-known and important figure in the development of disability rights and the establishment of attendant care in Australia in the 1970s and 80s.
Geoff passed away in 2007 and recently Melbourne University received all of Geoff’s work and writings from his partner. Geoff’s collection consists of letters to politicians, newspaper articles, minutes of meetings where Geoff and a few friends were advocating for an attendant care scheme so people with disabilities could stay in their homes.
This collection can be accessed in the Reading Room of the Baillieu Library at Melbourne University. I strongly encourage students, or any interested person, to go and read through Geoff’s Archive Collection to gain an understanding and appreciation of how advocacy worked back in the 1970s and 80s. You may also gain an understanding of the way advocacy could and should be used today to address issues, and also for research projects.