Woman Galbally, Rhonda Louise


Chief executive officer, Community activist and Disability rights activist

Written by Caitlin Stone, The University of Melbourne

Rhonda Galbally was born and educated in Victoria. Living with a disability as a result of polio, she worked as a secondary school teacher in the early 1970s, before becoming senior policy officer at the Victorian Council of Social Services (1979 to 1982), executive director of the Myer Foundation (1982 to 1985) and chief executive officer of the Commission for the Future (1985 to 1988). In 1988, she was appointed chief executive officer of the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (or 'VicHealth') and, from 2000 to 2009, was founding chief executive officer of 'Our Community', an organisation providing support to not-for-profit community groups. In 2012, Rhonda Galbally was made co-chair of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Advisory Group on Eligibility and Assessment.

In addition to her work as a disability activist, Rhonda Galbally has been outspoken in health and social causes such as tobacco companies' sponsorship of sport. In 2004, she resigned from the council of Monash University in protest at proposed increases to student fees. Rhonda Galbally has received a number of awards in recognition of her work in social and disability activism. In 1991, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. In 2005, she was inducted on to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. In 2012, she received the Prime Minister's Outstanding Achievement Award at the National Disability Awards.

Published Resources


  • Galbally, Rhonda, Just Passions: The Personal is Political, Pluto Press, North Melbourne, Victoria, 2004. Details

Newspaper Articles

  • McCamish, Thornton, 'Rhonda Galbally: Community Campaigner', The Sunday Age, 9 May 2004, p. 39. Details

Online Resources

See also