It is with great sadness that the Coalition heard today that our dear friend and colleague, Joe Whittaker, has passed away. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his partner and family at this sad time.
Many of our members will remember Joe as an active, committed Executive Council member and Officer, serving for many years as Chair of GMCDP. Joe's strong politics, charisma and gentle manner made him a favourite with committee, staff and members alike. The support, encouragement and guidance both staff and Exec Council members received from Joe during his time on Exec was invaluable. He will be so greatly missed by many within GMCDP.
In addition to his work within GMCDP, Joe has been an ally and leader within the Disabled People’s Movement for over 30 years, in particular within inclusive education campaigns, and has taught hundreds of families how to fight for the right to inclusive education in their local mainstream school. He served as Chair of the Alliance for Inclusive Education and also represented directly countless families at schools and tribunals.
We will all remember Joe as a deeply caring, radical activist who had a remarkable appetite for fighting for justice, supporting others to learn to fight back and empowering our youth towards a better future.
From our Executive Council and staff members, both past and present – thank you, Joe.