Ronald (Ron) Finneran, of Merimbula, has the honour of being on the cover of the new local phone book which will undoubtedly be a popular choice because of his prominence in the community.
Ron was selected under the theme, Inspiring Others to Achieve, which recognises the unsung heroes who selflessly help others achieve goals and are an inspiration to their local community.
As a toddler, Ron contracted polio in both legs and his right arm. After a trip to the snow in 1973, he discovered a passion and talent for skiing and moved to the Canadian ski fields to train.
In 1976, Ronald competed in the inaugural Winter Paralympic Games in Sweden, but was disqualified as there were no events for his type of disability. He remained there for two years and developed an alpine ski program for people with disability.
Returning home in 1978, Ron co-founded the Australian Disabled Skiing Federation – now called Disabled WinterSport Australia (DWSA). Ron dedicated the next three decades to raising awareness of the sport and established disabled skiing in Australia, particularly through facilities, access training programs and elite participation.
The DWSA, a foundation member of the Australian Paralympic Committee, has helped thousands of people with disability participate in winter sports and has created pathways for members to reach the Winter Paralympics.
“It’s been so amazing to see how disabled winter sports have grown over the years and I’m really proud of how much we’ve achieved,” Ron said.
Each year, Sensis, the publisher of the White Pages and Yellow Pages, recognises the efforts of local people in their communities by celebrating their achievements on the cover of its books.
White Pages product manager Sarah Simpson said this year’s covers will celebrate humble community members who don’t always get the recognition they deserve.
“This year we are thrilled to recognise Ronald’s efforts inspiring his community.”
It will take around six weeks, starting May 10, for the phone books to be delivered throughout the shire.
Residents and businesses can choose not to receive a copy of the White Pages and Yellow Pages by calling Sensis on 1800 008 292 or visitingwww.directoryselect.com.au.
Did you know? The previous local people to appear on the cover of the Bega White Pages and Yellow Pages were:
2013/14: Lochiel resident Maryanne Beggs appeared on the cover under the theme Keeping Our Communities Healthy. Maryanne’s selection recognised her efforts reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness in the Bega Valley through her support group the Joy Club, as a presenter with leading mood disorder facility the Black Dog Institute and as a member of the Bega Valley Suicide Prevention Network.
2012/13: Bega resident Andy Willis appeared on the cover under the theme A Helping Hand, The Aussie Way. Andy’s selection recognised his efforts raising funds for cancer support charity CanTeen. In 2000, Andy founded the annual Bega Bandanna Day Bike Ride, which has raised more than $170,000 for the charity.