Dr Max Murray

portrait of Max Murray

2011 College Recipient. College of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Max Murray was owner and director, along with his wife Anita, of Access Designs, a design and consulting firm that advised the construction industry on how to better design buildings that do not discriminate against people with disabilities.

It was a second career for Dr Murray who joined James Cook University in 1974 as a Senior Lecturer in tropical veterinary science specialising in animal nutrition and continued in that role until he was seriously injured during a field trip in 1980. He continued with the University in a research supervisor role with veterinary science and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1990.

After retiring from the University in 1994, Dr Murray undertook a series of courses at TAFE including computer architectural drafting, residential drafting, kitchen and bathroom design and a Diploma in architectural technology in order to gain Building Services Authority licences for his Access Designs firm.

From the mid-1980s, Dr Murray had been an advocate for people with disabilities and had been called on by governments and other organisations, including the University, for advice on providing proper access to buildings for people with disabilities. He had received many awards for this work including the Centenary Medal.

From 1995, he was a member of the Building Access Policy Committee reporting to the Commonwealth Attorney-General and the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research on regulations regarding disability access.

Much of that work culminated with new regulations under the Disability Discrimination Act, which impacted on the Australian Building Codes and Australian Standards, and will now ensure all new and upgraded public buildings in Australia will be accessible to people with a disability.

Dr Murray passed away in July 2017.

Updated 2017