Perry Cross AM
Executive President and Founder
Perry Cross AM, broke his neck in a rugby accident that changed his life forever. At the age of 19 he was severely injured in a rugby union tackle and told he would never walk again. Paralysed from the neck down, relying on a ventilator to breathe and requiring 24/7 medical care, Perry quickly had to adapt to the profoundly difficult situation. Perry was left a C2 ventilated quadriplegic.
Amidst the heartbreak, terrible grief and pain somehow Perry carved out a new lease on life and within a few years, became one of the world’s most inspiring motivational speakers and spinal research advocates – with one mission, to cure paralysis for all. He has since dedicated his life to advocating for others, raising millions of dollars for medical research, creating awareness and inspiring a movement that has seen tens of thousands of people recognise and support the need for urgent spinal cord injury research.
Perry chose to look for the good in life and find a new direction and he has gone on to live an extraordinary life. He was the first quadriplegic to complete a Communications and Business degree at Bond University and has published a book titled “Still Standing”. He was named “Cure Warrior Advocate of the Year” at the International Working 2 Walk Symposium and
in 2018 was chosen as a Gold Coast Commonwealth Games baton bearer. In 2020 Perry was awarded a Member of the Order Of Australia for his significant service to people living with a spinal cord injury and as a role model. In 2023 Perry was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor from Griffith University for distinguished service to the community and to the university.
Perry has travelled to the United States as an advisor to the United Nations General Assembly on behalf of young Australians and has met with the Governor General and Prime Minister lobbying the legislation of Stem Cell Research in Australia.
Inspired by the story of Hollywood actor Christopher Reeve who sustained the same injury, Perry set up the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation over a decade ago with the primary aim of finding a cure for paralysis for all. Perry and his Foundation is now focussed on fundraising for The Spinal Injury Project at Griffith University and commencing a Human clinical Trial in 2024, the first of its kind in the world to combine nerve bridge transplantation with rehabilitation.