Wendy Harmer’s media and entertainment career spans almost four decades. She has worked as a journalist, radio broadcaster, television host and stand-up comedian. She has written plays, stage shows and is now a highly successful author of children’s books and adult novels.
Anyone who has seen the vistas of sea and sky at Collaroy, cannot fail to recognise the capacity of such beautiful surroundings to uplift and inspire.
Alan Jones AO
Alan Jones AO is Australia’s top broadcaster. A graduate of Queensland and Oxford Universities, he began his professional life as a teacher. Alan coached Australia’s National Rugby Union team, the Wallabies, from 1984–1988. Prior to that, he had coached Manly to win their first premiership in 39 years.
He subsequently coached Balmain and South Sydney in the National Rugby League competition. He was a speechwriter and senior advisor to former Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser. He is now with Radio 2GB 873, the no. 1 radio station in Australia and is said to have won more consecutive radio ratings surveys than any broadcaster in the world.
It’s not a question of whether we can afford it or not, it’s the fact that we can’t afford not to afford it.
Rod Macqueen AM
Rod Macqueen AM is a leader in the sports world as well as a motivator, mentor and innovative thinker in life and in business. He is an internationally renowned coach, winning every trophy available during his 4 year tenure as Head Coach of the Australian Wallabies including; the Rugby Union World Cup, Tri-Nations Series and British and Irish Lions Series. He was previously an A grade surfboat rower and First Grade Rugby player. He is an Associate Member in the Australian Sports Hall of Fame and his autobiography One Step Ahead was a best seller.
He was also a highly successful businessman as Founder and Chairman of Advantage Line, a multi-million dollar point of sale advertising company. Rod Macqueen was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003.
The Collaroy community has embraced this special site as a place of healing and sharing for nearly 100 years. The Sargood project ensures the continuation of this heritage of caring & interaction with the community.
A native of South Africa, Nick grew up in a sports obsessed family of 4 siblings. Although he enjoyed a wide range of sporting pursuits, his true passion was basketball, in which he represented South Africa from a young age.
In 1998, just after he finished high school, Nick was involved in a serious car accident that left him paralysed from the waist down. At the time, Nick was leading his team in the South African National Basketball Championship and despite his absence from the grand final, his team would go on to win the national title in overtime. They dedicated the win to their fallen captain, who would also be named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
After many months of hospitals and rehab, Nick learnt to cope with the physical challenges of his new life as a paraplegic. With a great deal of encouragement from family and friends, Nick decided to undertake a Bachelor of Business Science in Cape Town, including spending a year on a wheelchair basketball scholarship at the University of Texas.
Going from strength to strength, Nick then secured a role with a leading international management-consulting firm in Johannesburg and got back to representing South Africa, playing wheelchair basketball in both the World Championships and the Paralympics.
In 2006 Nick immigrated to Australia to build a brighter future for himself in Sydney. He became an Australian citizen and sat out of international competition in wheelchair basketball for three years so he could switch his nationality in order to represent Australia. He did so at the highest level by playing in the London Paralympics in 2012, winning a silver medal and two years later in Korea, he and his team would be crowned World Champions!
Nick’s life is incredibly busy juggling a demanding corporate career, training and being a husband and dad to wife Sonia and sons Mitchell and Bailey.
Nick is the perfect fit for Sargood as he is extremely passionate about helping people with spinal cord injuries regain their independence and about changing the attitudes often displayed by people in the wider community towards this group of people.
“The Sargood Foundation is honoured that a positive, motivated and successful man such as Nick is working with us to achieve our mutual goals.”
Heidi Haydon is our gorgeous biker chick and The Sargood Foundation is proud to call her our Ambassador.
Heidi was out riding her motorbike when she decided to go the less travelled route to the shops to pick up a few things. Just a few streets from home Heidi was t-boned by a ute that failed to give way at a roundabout.
Heidi had seven months in hospital, the last month was to simply wait for her house to be modified.
Heidi and her mother Jenni worked incredibly hard for 18 months, trying to find Heidi’s way back to independence. They both believed that it was a long life for Heidi to live with her mum so they went about learning everything they could so Heidi could move out, just as she planned to do before her injury.
Those long, hard often-lonely 18 months of trying to gather all there was to know about being injured stood Heidi in great stead. Not only has she mastered life as a wheelie but she’s worked previously at the coal face in all three spinal wards in NSW meeting clients who have newly a sustained spinal injury and their families as an Education Officer helping their journey to confidence and independence. Heidi is now the Resource Coordinator in the Live and Learn Hub at Sargood on Collaroy, which means she is on hand to broaden guest’s knowledge and show what is new in technology and adaptive living.
Heidi provides the support and understanding they need to become independent and show that they can lead and full active life. Heidi practices what she preaches too, if she’s not at work then you’ll probably find her riding her modified trike as there was no way she was going to give up riding!
Heidi is not only a Sargood Foundation Ambassador, but she’s also our Social Media Manager, on top of her role at Sargood on Collaroy. We are so thrilled to have such a kind, capable and caring person like Heidi representing us.
“The Sargood Foundation plays such an important role for people with a spinal injury. They know the community like the back of their hand and have tirelessly fought to make this dream come true.”
James personifies what Sargood stands for: he is passionate, positive and extremely good fun. In 2008, Sydney boy James was in Africa waiting to go Tiger fishing on the mighty Zambezi River when he started to feel faint. He was dehydrated from a run he’d been on earlier that day and passed out whilst sitting on a stool, falling backward onto hard sand.
The result of this seemingly innocuous occurrence was catastrophic. The impact of the fall severely bruised his spinal cord and broke his C4 and C5 vertebrae, leaving him with voluntary movement only from his shoulders up. Due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the location, it was 30 hours before James reached fully qualified medical care. This delay worsened his condition by causing fluid to collect in his lungs, leading to respiratory complications. Prior to his injury, James was a very handy golfer with a handicap of 4.
On the evening of his accident and the subsequent evenings, James would pick his favourite course and play it in his mind, shot by shot, hole by hole. This was a technique that calmed him down, whilst reinforcing just how important the game was to him. A few years on, James founded Empower Golf, which facilitates and promotes golf for less able Australians. James is an advocate for golf to be included in the Paralympic Games and knowing James, we’re pretty sure he’ll make it happen.
Empower Golf recently partnered with The Sargood Foundation to bring a Paragolfer, a German designed cart that provides people with Quadriplegia and Paraplegia the opportunity to play golf again, to Long Reef Golf Club, which is great news for Sargood on Collaroy guests and the less-abled population. James brings a wonderful positive can-do energy to Sargood. He’s a team player with not only endless enthusiasm, but also a quick wit and cheeky sense of humour.
“The Sargood Foundation presents a unique opportunity for spinal injured individuals and their families to benefit from collaboration and communication in a relaxed, supported and interactive setting.”
Lee was born in Qld and grew up playing soccer, surfing, skating riding pushbikes and motorbikes He has always been an active person. Lee moved to Sydney when he was twenty and did an apprenticeship as a printer, he also drove a truck for a period of time.
Lee met his partner Rozina and they have been together for ten years. They have 2 children, Nikola Lee’s stepson who is 13 and Jett who is 5. Lee has continued his hobbies and is particularly passionate about motorcycling and attended track days at eastern creek regularly.
His motorcycle was also his main transport and after going and watching his eldest son play rugby league in April 2015 he was involved in a serious accident, which has left him paralysed from the chest down. Lee spent 3 months in Royal North Shore then a further 2 1/2 months at Royal Rehab Ryde.
Since leaving rehab he has got his license, he swims, surfs, enjoys archery & golf. Lee also intends to modify his motorcycle to go to the racetrack once again.
Lee’s life has completely changed since his accident but he doesn’t want his injury to dictate his life, he intends to continue doing the things he did in his life prior to his injury only a little different.
Kevin is a writer and journalist with more than 40 years’ experience spanning newspapers, radio and television. As reporter for the Ten Network he covered the Azaria Chamberlain case from the first inquest through to the trial. Concerned by the guilty verdict he tracked down and interviewed key witnesses who supported Lindy’s version of events. His subsequent award-winning documentary, ‘Azaria: A Question of Innocence’, prompted the royal commission which eventually proved the couple’s innocence.
Kevin’s rough and tumble rugby days were spent playing alongside his life-long friend and former Wallaby coach, Rod Macqueen, who is now a Director and Vice Patron of the Sargood Foundation.
His fitness and determination would once again be called on when, in 1991, he broke his neck diving into the Hawkesbury River while playing with his children. From that moment onwards his life would change forever.
Kevin tackled a rigorous rehabilitation program of physical and mental exercises. With the help of a long-time friend and osteopath he used a unique method to reconnect his mind to non-functioning nerves and muscles. An inspirational story that was covered by Channel Nine’s flagship program 60 Minutes. He later documented his battle against the odds in his biography, ‘Walk With Me’.
We are extremely grateful for the dedication and contribution Kevin made so early in the development of Sargood on Collaroy.
Sebastien is a world citizen. Born in Belgium from a German mother, he has studied and worked in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and France and speaks five languages.
In 2005, aged 18, life was promising for Sebastien. A straight-A student, he was planning to study commerce. Passionate about sport, Sebastien was captain of his field hockey team, sailed and played tennis.
During the summer holidays with his family in Portugal, life as he knew it changed forever… Sebastien dived into shallow water in the Atlantic Ocean and broke his neck at C5. After this life-changing experience and his 3 first years of International Economics and Diplomatic Relations, Sebastien decided to study Rehabilitation at Maastricht University in The Netherlands, dedicated to studying in a field where he could help others.
In 2004 he obtained his Master’s degree, developing a protocol comparing the quality of life of spinal cord injury patients. The paradoxical outcome from his study showed that independence and mobility are not correlated with the quality of life. Sebastien’s life experience and research enabled him to expand his spinal cord injury knowledge, giving him an empathetic viewpoint for understanding patients’ needs. He provides regular peer-to-peer coaching and visited numerous rehabilitation centers throughout Europe.
Sebastien always dreamt of developing a cutting-edge facility for Spinal cord injured patients— then his path crossed ‘Sargood on Collaroy’.
“My incomplete spinal cord lesion has changed the way I see and live life. It has truly confirmed my strong belief in ‘growth through adversity with the right attitude’. Enthusiasm and positivism are key to any success. But you cannot do it all alone; that is why I am thrilled to join forces and contribute to the success of “Sargood on Collaroy”. I am grateful to be able to give back and hopefully inspire others.”
Sebastien moved to Australia in 2012 and now lives in Mona Vale on the Northern Beaches with his wife Alexandra and their three children, Pablo, Joan and Lila-May. He often takes his boys surfing to Collaroy Beach and coaches their field hockey teams. Sebastien is passionate about rehabilitation and always up for new challenges. That’s what makes Sebastien an inspiration for all and a precious ambassador for Sargood.