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Kurt
Fearnley

Champion Paralympian, fundraiser and disability advocate.

Profile

Kurt Fearnley was born without the lower portion of his spine but never allowed this to hold him back. Kurt went on to become one of Australia's most successful and respected athletes and advocates. His achievements as a Paralympic athlete, service to people with a disability, and fundraising efforts when it comes to Indigenous athletics and charitable organisations earned him an Officer of the Order of Ausrtralia (AO) in 2018. In the same year he was named as NSW Australian of the Year and awarded an Honoury Doctorate from Griffith University.

Current Work

Kurt is a passionate disability advocate and devotes himself to a number of national and Hunter-based charitable initiatives. He is a board member of the Australian Paralympic Committee, Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation and member of the International Paralympic Committee's Athlete Advisory Council.

Previous Work

Wheelchair Racing: Kurt Fearnley is a three-time Paralympic gold medallist (Athens, 2004 and Beijing, 2008) and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallists (Delhi, 2010 and Gold Coast, 2018). He has won over 30 marathons, including 10 marathons in 2007 and three straight New York marathon titles, in a career spanning more than 20 years. In total Kurt has Thirteen Paralympic medals spanning across 5 games. He's also a 6 times world champion from 800m to the marathon. Kurt was able to finish a 20-year representative career with a dominant Gold Medal performance at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, whilst also receiving the honour of carrying the Australian Flag into the Closing Ceremony.

Sailing: In 2012 Kurt was an active member of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race winning crew aboard Investec Loyal.

Fundraising: In 2009 Kurt spent two weeks in Papua New Guinea crawling the 96-kilometre Kokoda Track raising awareness and funding for men's health charity Movember and beyond blue.

Author: Kurt published his auto-biography, Pushing the Limits - life, marathons & Kokoda in 2016.

Board Appointments: Kurt is a former board member of Australian Volunteers International and NSW Australia Day Council and was a founding member of the National Disability Insurance Scheme's Advisory Council.

Awards: In 2009 Kurt was named NSW Young Australian of the Year and in 2018 became the first athlete with a disability to win the coveted ‘The Don’ Award as the Australian sports person most likely to inspire the nation.

Expertise
Topics

Motivational

  • Challenge & Adventure
  • Inspiring Stories
  • Disability

Sport

  • Olympics & Paralympics
Feedback
Kurt is warm, engaging , funny and inspirational. Without a doubt, he is one of Australia's most focussed and exceptional athletes - his list of achievements speaks for itself. Despite this, he is supremely modest and unassuming. From the moment he "rolled" up onto the stage we were captivated, inspired and amused. Kurt left us all in a better place and motivated to achieve. We could not have found a better speaker for our conference. Avenue Capital Management
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