2020 - ACT Honour Walk , ACT Australia's Local Hero Nominee 2012
Elizabeth (Liz) Dawson knows firsthand how homelessness can destroy lives. When working for a women’s refuge, Liz met a young homeless woman who tried to commit suicide. This meeting and other experience as a welfare worker with The Salvation Army, spurred Liz into helping the most disadvantaged members of the community.
Liz was responsible for bringing the Common Ground project to Canberra, an ambitious scheme to provide permanent housing and services for low income and homeless people, some with drug, alcohol and mental health dependencies.
A speech therapist, teacher, public servant and counsellor by training, Liz was instrumental in developing a program to provide much needed dental treatment to clients on pension cards.
Her tireless lobbying resulted in this program being supported by The Salvation Army, ACT Government, a private dentist who gives half a day each week and three community organisations who provide transport and child care.
Knowing the importance of self-confidence in helping her clients’ well-being, Liz enlisted the support of a prominent Canberra hairdressing salon to provide free haircuts to some of the clinic’s patients.
A recent disease has seriously impaired Liz’s eyesight. Undaunted, she brings her enthusiasm and determination to advocate for visually impaired people.