Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has recognised Dr Marlene Le Roux as the 5th Commonwealth ‘Point of Light’ in honour of her exceptional voluntary service promoting disability rights in South Africa. In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London on April 19, Her Majesty the Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 52 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.
By sharing these stories of service, the Heads of Government meeting will celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.
Dr Marlene Le Roux has dedicated her life to community empowerment and disability rights, working closely with Archbishop Desmond Tutu to develop the ‘Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.’ Drawing on her own experiences of living with polio, she mentors company executives and government institutions on how to improve the working conditions of disabled employees.
Each Commonwealth Point of Light will receive a personalised certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. The award for Le Roux will be presented to her on the February 7 at The High Commissioner’s Residence in Cape Town during the annual Eve of Parliament reception by High Commissioner to South Africa, Nigel Casey, MVO.
Le Roux said: “The Commonwealth Point of light Award bestowed upon me by Her Majesty the Queen is an honour I receive with gratitude and humility. The responsibility of being the 5th recipient while representing South Africa is a privilege. The acceptance of people with disabilities is an ever-changing and ever-evolving process in all societies. Historically, people with disabilities have been excluded from the majority of meaningful activities in society, including access to education, health and economic opportunities. This award I hope illuminates the civil and political will needed to create full access and equitable opportunities for all people with disabilities as well as their families.”
Said Casey, “I would like to congratulate Marlene on receiving this recognition for the wonderful work that she does. Not only is she an inspiration to persons with disability, but she is hugely respected as CEO of the Artscape Theatre Centre, Cape Town’s largest theatre. Marlene is hugely respected across the spectrum of South African society and is well known internationally. Well done Marlene Le Roux on being South Africa’s Point of Light.”