A huge congratulations to our Founder and Executive President, Perry Cross, who has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to people living with a spinal cord injury and as a role model.
At the age of 19 Perry was severely injured in a rugby union tackle at Ballymore in Brisbane and told he would never walk again. He used the devastating quadriplegia diagnosis to launch an inspiring career – selflessly devoting his life to driving awareness and research into spinal injury.
He set up the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation with the primary aim of finding a cure for paralysis – a mission he’s taken on with grace and gusto. The Foundation has raised more than $11 million dollars to date, kick-starting several major research projects in Australia including the Spinal Injury Project (SIP) at Griffith University, pioneered by 2017 Australian of the Year, Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim. This work is currently focussed on an intensive rehabiltation program (Sustained Functional Therapy) and getting to human clinical trial. Funds have also been committed to a cell transplantation study led by Prof Marc Ruitenberg at the University of Queensland.
Perry is also skilled leader, inspiring motivational speaker and research advocate. Every day presents unique challenges for Perry, but he meets them with the same unshakeable belief and commitment to the needs of his Foundation and community. His motto – everything is possible – is a shining example of the leader he is; a positive role model who empowers thousands of Australians to follow their dream and seek triumph over adversity.