Kurt is 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 Australia (AO) in 2018. In the same year he was named as NSW Australian of the Year and became the first athlete with disability to win the coveted ‘The Don’ Award as the Australian sports person most likely to inspire the nation. He has also been awarded an Honoury Doctorate from Griffith University.
Kurt is a man of many talents crossing business, media and sport.
Kurt is a passionate disability advocate and devotes himself to numerous national and Hunter-based charitable initiatives. He is board member of Sport Australia, Australian Paralympic Committee, Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation and member of International Paralympic Committee’s Athlete Advisory Council. 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.
In the media
In recent times, Kurt has used his profile to host and present the stories of others. He was the host of podcast A Nation Changed, which examines the NDIS scheme and its impact. He is also the host of ABC Television program One Plus One, speaking to Australians across the nation who have overcome barriers and made a real difference.
Kurt published his auto-biography, Pushing the Limits – life, marathons & Kokoda in 2016.
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 in his career. Kurt has Thirteen Paralympic medals spanning across 5 games. He’s also a 6 times world champion from 800m to the marathon. Kurt finished a 20-year representative career with a dominant Gold Medal performance at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, also receiving the honour of carrying the Australian Flag into the Closing Ceremony.
In 2012 Kurt was an active member of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race winning crew aboard Investec Loyal.
Tony Abrahams is Co-founder and CEO of Access Innovation Media (Ai-Media).
Founded in Australia in 2003 to improve the quality of life for people with a disability, Ai-Media is a for-purpose business, dedicated to using technology and social innovation to improve content accessibility.
Its internet captioning service, Ai-Live, is used at universities, colleges, schools, workplaces and conferences, providing real-time speech-to-text delivered remotely to any connected device.
Transforming the professional and educational experience of deaf and hard-of hearing people by providing immediate access to the spoken word, it is a flexible, scalable solution for learners with communications barriers including autism, deafness, learning difficulties, and for students for whom English is an additional language.
Ai-Media has evolved to be a global technology business and now employs over 250 people worldwide including Canada, USA, UK and Norway.
Tony has served as a non-executive director of Northcott Disability Services and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. As a Rhodes Scholar, Tony received an MBA (2001) and MPhil in Economics (2000) from the University of Oxford. He received an LLB (1998), BCom (Hons I) (1996) from the University of New South Wales. In 2013 Tony was appointed a Young Global Leader.
Caroline Casey is an award-winning social entrepreneur and founder of The Valuable 500 – a catalyst for an inclusion revolution that exists to position disability equally on the global business leadership agenda.
Committed to building a global movement on inclusive business for the 1.3 billion people in the world with a disability, over the past two decades she has set up several organisations and initiatives centred on disability business inclusion.
Her latest initiative, The Valuable 500, is a campaign to get 500 businesses to commit to put disability inclusion on their leadership agendas. Launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Summit in 2019, Casey succeeded in bringing disability inclusion onto the main stage at DAVOS for the first time ever with the support of global business leaders.
The Valuable 500 is supported by a host of global leaders including Sir Richard Branson, and Paul Polman, and global brands including Microsoft and Sky.
Casey is also a TED speaker, Ashoka Fellow, Eisenhower Fellow, a past advisor for the Clinton Global Initiative, a One Young World Counsellor and is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.