A brief autobiography
All my life I have lived and worked in Melbourne, Victoria,
Australia. Melbourne was awarded 'the World's Most Livable City' title
a few years back and deserves that title. It is a beautiful city located
on a feeder river called the Yarra, at the top end of a very large Bay.
Melbourne has lots of sports ranging from a Formula 1 Grand Prix on
its streets, to tennis, sailing and water-skiing.
Snow skiing is available at Victorian and New South
Wales (a neighbour State) snowfields with well-established lifts that
are open from July through to October. It is only 250 or 350 km from
Melbourne to the mountain ski fields in Victoria and about 600 km to
the NSW ones.
I started flying hang gliders back in 1974 after trying
conventional fixed wing gliding. It was the most incredible feeling.
To fly so exposed and basic, yet have the ability to surf the wind for
hours with sea birds or eagles for company, was mind blowing. Thrilling
sports were my addiction - in fact I was an 'adrenalin junkie'. The
natural high created by a controlled, but risky pursuit, gives quite
a buzz. I would kayak down a white water river, use a kayak in ocean
surf, water-ski (including barefoot) or go bow hunting for mountain
goats. I loved water and the outdoors.
Reality with a thump! Eventually something
was bound to bring me back to reality. It happened in a big way.
In 1977, I was a twenty year old student at Melbourne
University studying Microbiology, when I had an accident hang gliding.
I had been hang-gliding for over three years and had helped start the
Melbourne University Hang-gliding Club. I damaged my spine and spinal
chord at the Cervical C5-C6 levels (broken neck), leaving me a quadriplegic.
With no feeling or movement below the chest and limited movement of
my arms, I now use a manual wheelchair for day-to-day mobility. Practically
no functional grip has made me adapt many things so that I can use them.
I drove a car again only one year after my accident
and went on to post graduate studies in ergonomics in 1981, after establishing
a small manufacturing business at home. That business was based around
manufacturing products for medical use on a metal lathe that I learned
to use after my injury. The lathe gave me tool and material holding
that my hands no longer had and the ability to accurately apply the
tool to the material.
The need to have others build some parts led to me learning
technical drawing, buying a manual drawing machine, that later became
redundant as I developed computer skills and Computer Aided Drafting
In 1985 I became employed full-time as a furniture and
interior designer for a commercial office company in South Melbourne.
After 8 years of running their design department using Autocad (Versions
1.5 through to 11) the financial slump of 1989 caught up to us in 1993
and left me without a job.
Desktop publishing was an area that I saw with possibilities
and concentrated on that from 1988 till 1998. Partially completing a
Certificate IV in Electronic Publishing at RMIT (two years of a three
year course) to formally obtain skills and training in my field of work.
In 1999 I took on the task of Web Editor using predominately
the Macromedia software that is so great for website creation. The Internet
is such an amazing field to work in as it is still so young and expanding
exponentially with new posibilities apearing all the time.
I enjoy creating projects using the tools and capabilities
of computers that minimise a user's disability while optimising potential
I am currently employed by Kangan Batman TAFE.