Australia Day Ambassador
Scott Stidston OAM
Scott Stidston has never allowed the motorcycle injury that left him a person with quadriplegia to limit his contribution to the community and campaigning for those with a disability.
Scott has been a stalwart of Spinal Life Australia for many years, determined to improve the quality of life of people with a disability by speaking of the benefits of inclusive communities in the North Queensland region. A tireless advocate, he has told his story to thousands of school children, sharing simple but effective injury prevention messages to help them stay safe. His advocacy has increased spinal injury awareness and seen significant improvements in infrastructure and services including the installation of upper torso restraints on all Virgin Australia domestic flights.
Scott has lobbied for many years for an acute care spinal injury unit at Townsville Hospital, was a founding member of the Burdekin Disability Advisory Group and Focus On Inclusion Speakers Panel, and has worked with councils and local businesses to improve access and transport for people with disability.
Scott has been an individual recipient of the Queensland Government’s 2001 Disability Access Week Award for Excellence, 2010 Townsville City Council Creating Inclusive Communities Award, 2012 Fundraising Institute of Australia Volunteer of the Year Award, as well as finalist in Queensland's 2014 Australian of the Year Local Hero Award.
As well as achieving practical benefits, Scott is an inspiration and example to all Australians of the power of the human spirit to overcome even the most challenging obstacles.