BEN TULLIPAN: 2018 Gold Coast Disability Expo Ambassador
Gold Coast Disability Expo is proud to announce Bali Bombings survivor and professional golfer Ben Tullipan as the 2018 expo ambassador. Ben will be interviewed live on stage at the Gold Coast Disability Expo at 11am on Friday August 3.
Ben was the closest person to the one-tonne car bomb that exploded outside the Sari Club in Bali in 2002 killing 202 and injuring a further 240 people. The worst-injured Australian survivor, he was in such bad shape that doctors gave him only a five percent chance of survival.
Despite losing both legs and much of muscle of his stomach, and sustaining full thickness burns to 63 percent of his body, Ben fought back. Taking up golf for rehabilitation and recreation, he now plays competitively and works as a volunteer for Empower Golf Australia, facilitating and promoting golf for less able Australians.
Ben competed in the Australian Amputee Golf Championships just eight weeks after teeing off for the first time in 2007, and finished third in the bi-lateral amputee division. A year later, he won the division at the Queensland Amputee Golf Open and dominated the competition from then on. He is living proof that life is worth living regardless of the obstacles and challenges.
"When I'm on the golf course, I'm not an amputee I'm just another player,” he told UK online newspaper, Mirror, in 2014.
Ben is currently Inclusive Sports Ambassador for Parkwood International Golf Club (Home of the Gold Coast Titans) and president of Empower Golf Queensland. The partnership between these two entities resulted in the 2016 Inclusive Services Award from the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association.
Ben encourages less able Queenslanders of all ages and abilities to play golf with a range of adaptive equipment. What once seemed impossible becomes possible for quadriplegics, paraplegics, amputees, the deaf, the blind, people with cerebral palsy, brain injuries and those living with a range of other disabilities. A specialised piece of all-terrain equipment based at Parkland International, the ParaGolfer (pictured above) is free for people with mobility issues, manoeuvring them into a standing position and replicating the full golfing experience, whether that be on green or in the rough.
Ben has sparked much inspiration since the Bali terrorist attack, and this has resulted in a string of accolades and both national and international recognition. In 2006, he was awarded the Pride of Australia Medal for Courage and a Moncrieff Community Award. In 2008, he was named Gold Coast Citizen of the Year. In 2010, he graced the cover of the Gold Coast White Pages as a Courageous Australian. In 2011, Ben was featured in a documentary on terrorism called LOVE HATE LOVE produced by actor and humanitarian Sean Penn and premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In 2016, he was named South East Queensland Father of the Year and Queensland Father of the Year, was a finalist in the United Nations Volunteer Awards and was awarded a Northern Gold Coast Community Award.
Ben will now play a central roll in what is expected to be the biggest ever Disability Expo on the Gold Coast. He will be interviewed live on stage at 11am on Friday August 3. You can also check out Empower Golf and speak to Ben personally at Expo Booth 81.
An initiative of 4community, the expo gives Gold Coast residents a clearer picture of the possibilities for their future by bringing together key stakeholders. The expo will give you face to face time with a range of service providers, government agencies and advocacy groups. Centre stage will host a variety of all-ability performers, exhibitor Q&A sessions, and keynote speakers from the sector.
- Doors open 9am to 3pm both days
- Food trucks and seating area
- Kids entertainment both days - all ages
- All-ability performing groups on stage both days
- NDIS presentation twice per day
- Service provider Q&As & guest speakers
- Wheelchair-friendly event shuttle buses running from Cyprus Gardens Light Rail Station direct to the venue
Entry is FREE for all to attend! Register NOW!
WHERE WILL THE EXPO BE HELD?
The Gold Coast Events Centre, Bundall QLD (Racecourse Drive)
4community develops partnerships to increase social impact. As innovators, creatives and strategic problem solvers, 4community helps organisations find creative solutions to complex problems. We are best known for our support of social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations. We help organisations reach clarity, social impact and business sustainability.