John Baldwin Munro or “JB” as he is better known contracted infantile paralysis (polio) as a youngster and has spent his life involved supporting people with disability and their families. He was raised as a foster child and at the age of 9 was adopted into the Munro family. On leaving school he joined the staff of Mobil Oil in Invercargill New Zealand for 4 years and then became a YMCA Secretary for ten years in both New Zealand and Australia.
In 1968 he was appointed as Administrator of the Southland Branch of IHC in New Zealand until he was elected to the NZ Parliament in 1972. He served 3 years in Parliament and in 1977 was appointed as National Director of IHC New Zealand. In 1978 JB attended his first World Congress of the ILMSH (now Inclusion International) in Vienna, Austria. From 1978 until 2004 when he retired “off the payroll of IHC” he attended most of the World Congresses and General Assemblies of the League and Inclusion International and chaired several of them. On retiring after 20 years as the CEO of IHC New Zealand JB spent 6 years working with parents, groups of disabled people and kindred agencies in the Asia Pacific region on behalf of Inclusion International. He is a strong advocate for the inclusion of people with disability into mainstream society activities and along with Robert Martin and the late Don Wills he lobbied strongly for what has become the Convention on the Rights of People with Disability.
In his retirement JB, as a volunteer, has leadership roles with Abbeyfield which provides housing for older people, is into his 10th year as NZ Secretary/Treasurer for the Post Polio Support Society in NZ, Vice Chairman of Rotary NZ World Community Service Board, Chairman of a local voluntary agency providing home support to hundreds of elderly people each week along with providing vocational services to severely disabled adults and serves as Secretary for the ShelterBox NZ Charitable Trust that has raised more than $1.5 million in less than 4 years to assist with accommodation for families across the world who have been devastated by disaster such as volcanoes, tsunami and hurricanes. JB lives with his wife Val in Mosgiel in the far south of New Zealand and has 2 adult children and 4 grand-daughters.