Eminent US Civil Rights lawyer, Richard Bernstein visited Vistoria recently in which spoke at a bipartisan lunch at Parliament House in Victoria.

In his inspirational address, Mr. Bernstein discussed what is possible with an inclusive society that recognises the benefits of including and encouraging individuals with a disability.

Blind since birth, Mr. Bernstein has dedicated his legal career to fighting for the rights of people with disabilities.  Richard was named a 2009 Leader in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly and was named Michiganian (Michigan citizen) of the Year by the Detroit News in 2005

In his spare time he is an avid runner and completed his 18th marathon in New York in November 2013. He has also competed in Ironman events which include a 180 km bike ride, 42 km marathon and a 3.9 km swim.

The lunch at Parliament House was attended by Liberal, Labor and Greens MPs.

Member for Caulfield David Southwick MP, who co-hosted the lunch was delighted to be given the opportunity to welcome Mr Bernstein to Parliament.

“Continuing to foster a more inclusive and encouraging community is very important,” Mr Southwick said.

“It’s fantastic to see the Jewish community and community organisations commit to promoting inclusion and a society which sees the person and not the disability,” he added.

Mr. Bernstein is in Australia at the invitation of Maccabi Victoria and Inclusion Melbourne.

While in Victoria, Bernstein also gave the keynote speech at the Maccabi Victoria All Abilities Project Launch in Armadale and delivered Inclusion Melbourne’s annual Gawith Lecture. He also spoke at the Milk and Honey Café in Caulfield as part of the Access Inspiration Series. He was accompanied at both events by Mr. Southwick.

Image: Coalition MPs with Richard Bernstein