Brendan is a motivational speaker who talks with passion about his life experiences and how he has been able to rise above these challenges to become a person with a driving force to help others.
He is a loving father and a kind hearted, humorous man.
Brendan experienced a difficult upbringing; factors such as physical abuse saw him leave home at an early age. Around this period, Brendan's life began to veer off course- he was homeless, dabbling in risky behaviours and having minor encounters with the law.
Brendan made a conscious decision to get his life back on track but then an incident occurred that would change the course of his life.
At the age of 22, Brendan had a major fatigue related road accident where he sustained a spinal cord injury and became a paraplegic. Brendan battled with depression as he adjusted to his new life in a wheelchair but slowly found new hope in his life as he started to play wheelchair sports. He has since represented Australia playing wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis, was a coach and player in Victoria's wheelchair AFL team and has coached the women's national wheelchair basketball team. He is the current Captain/coach of Collingwood's Wheelchair AFL Team.
"Getting back into sport was a key factor in helping me to adjust to my new life as a paraplegic. I had played so much sport before my accident and I found that I needed to continue to do this after my accident; I would have wasted away if I didn't have that outlet. We all need something to spur us on so that we can be positive about ourselves and sport was my light."
Brendan has also been further affected by road trauma in his personal life where he tragically lost his mother and 7 year old nephew in separate road accidents and his 19 year old niece sustained horrific injuries in a car accident where the driver of the car was under the influence of drugs. These incidents combined with the effects of his own accident have led Brendan to be passionate about sharing and educating others about the signs of road fatigue and the dangers of distractions while driving as well as the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Brendan is also a strong advocate for those experiencing mental health issues, after having had his own battle with depression and having lost loved ones to suicide.
Brendan believes that it is possible to turn a negative situation into a positive one, and aims to educate, reach out and inspire others through his motivational speaking.
"We each have our own story, but it's up to us to write the next chapter"
Let’s face it: we have all done things in life that would have better been avoided. Learning from our mistakes can be hard and learning to break the habit before it breaks you can be even harder. Don’t let this opportunity slip by, hearing Brendan's story may help save your life or someone else’s.
Brendan is passionate about disability awareness and also works with Victorian charity, Disability Sport & Recreation as a presenter on their WheelTalk disability awareness program. Every year, WheelTalk visits more than 20,000 Victorian students to raise disability awareness and promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. For more information, visit the DSR website below.