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Awarded for service to Human Rights
Entered on roll: 2013
A human rights and social action advocate with a passion for helping others.
Maxine Griffiths has been described as a "passionate pioneer of social change". She is a human rights and social action advocate for the most vulnerable people in the communities in which she has lived and worked.
Maxine has 34 years experience in managing not-for-profit organisations. She is also a director of a small company, which is an individualised funded disability support program for her foster son, the first of its kind in Tasmania. Establishing the service was a significant achievement involving intense lobbying and advocacy against great resistance.
Early in her career, Maxine developed integrated childcare for children living with disability and pioneered and managed a family disability advocacy service, including representation for carers of people with disability.
Maxine's professional career has included: Manager, Children's Contact Services with Relationships Australia; and Chief Executive Officer for the organisations Volunteering Tasmania, Council of the Ageing Tasmania (COTA Tas) and Lifeline Tasmania.
At the helm of Volunteering Tasmania, Maxine expanded the organisation into Tasmania's North and North West and was successful in gaining peak body recognition.
While at COTA Tas, Maxine was proactive in lobbying for the establishment of the Elder Abuse Strategy which highlighted the need to address the often hidden and taboo subject of elder abuse in our community.
Maxine is committed to community work. Her voluntary community work has included: being a carer to her foster son; the establishment of Action Group for Children with Disabilities, Disability Ethics Committee; being a member of Volunteering Australia Board of Directors; a Board member and President of COTA Tas; and being a member of various Ministerial Advisory Councils, including the Ministerial Health and Wellbeing Advisory Council.
In 2000, Maxine was a Finalist for Tasmanian of the Year. In 2003, Maxine was honoured by the Human Rights Commissioner during Human Rights Week and received a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for advocacy for people with disability.