Michael Lipman, born in England and raised in Sydney, played 10 rugby Test matches for England and was a professional footballer for Bristol and Bath before joining the Melbourne Rebels.
At 40 years of age, he became the highest-profile retired rugby player to publicly disclose a diagnosis of early-onset dementia as a result of repeated concussions (over 30 in his lifetime.)
Since his diagnosis Michael has been on a mission to pioneer positive change for brain health in contact sport and bring awareness to sports-related dementia and neurodegenerative disease from repetitive head trauma. He is an Ambassador for Australian CTE Biobank, the first biobank in Australia to study those with traumatic encephalopathy syndrome and risk of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and a Group Leader for 'Concussion Connect' - a support group at Macquarie University for those suffering from repetitive head trauma.
In 2022 Michael and his wife Frankie published their first book Concussion with Allen & Unwin, a mix of personal story and scientific inquiry, which chronicles their family’s journey with probable CTE and early onset dementia and explores the science of concussion. The book is a wake-up call to contact sports and to parents with children considering playing them.
Michael shares his story with incredible courage and candour, detailing the reality of life with sports-related dementia, diving deeper than mood swings and memory lapses - his message is urgent, moving and important.