Novocastrian’s are my inspiration.

Last week, I put out a blog asking you for ideas that could help us write a motivational speech for Mick to use at a future event.  The timing of that blog titled ‘Please help us to motivate the motivator‘ was quite ironic, because in the 24 hours between Thursday 17th and Friday 18th July, We couldn’t have asked for greater inspiration.

It started off at 8.30pm as Mick and I snuggled up on the settee to watch The Footy Show on channel Nine.

From pretty much the outset, we were silent, and glued to the screen.


Before Alex McKinnon’s devastating spinal injury (which he suffered while playing professional rugby for his hometown team, The Knights), I had heard a few times from those that knew him, that he was one of the good lads! (Newcastle is a small place, and you soon get to hear of the boys with the good, but also the bad reputations around town.) Well, Alex, far surpassed his ‘good’ reputation. To witness his inner strength and his courage as he recovers from this life changing injury, just blew us both away.

How could it be possible that he does not have a ‘woe is me’ attitude?,

how can he be the one that lifts his team mates spirits when games don’t go their way?

How does he maintain his calm composure when being interviewed?

The man is quite incredible, and when he said ‘Someone always told me that God gives the toughest challenges to his best soldiers’ that was the point that both Mick and I were just filled with pure and total admiration for the man.

I was very thankful that our good friends Bedsy and his wife Kris appeared on the same show, soon after Alex, and turned my tears into giggles with their perfect partners Q & A. It was Priceless!!!

Danny’s appearance on the show was always going to provide Mick with fuel to wind him the following day as He, Mark Richards and Mick were to be guest speakers at the RIDBC Sight and Sound For Kids Charity Lunch at Merewether Surfhouse.  


Almost as soon as their speech got underway, Mick started with his banter, and laid into Danny about his recent TV appearance, and Danny gave it straight back to Mick, and had all the audience laughing at both of their expenses! 

Next to take the Microphone was local legend Mark Richards, or M.R as those in the surfing community refer to him. I am ashamed to admit, that I didn’t know much about Mark, and if I am totally honest, I wondered who on earth this unassuming man was. He was the only person other than my curly haired self to have not combed their hair, and he was dressed down, in jeans and a wooly jumper at an event that everyone else came to suited and booted.

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It was only when he started to speak, that, like so many others, I instantly became a fan. He spoke so well, and although his voice was quiet,  I was glued to his words which were effortlessly filling the room. He was the most chilled out, humble, inspiring person that I have heard speak in a long time. I certainly didn’t realise how incredibly amazing his surfing accomplishments around the world were, and, no offence to either Mick, or Bedsy, but I could have listened to his fascinating stories all night.


So, in the space of 24 hours, I had been overwhelmed with emotion from the inspirational Alex McKinnon, I had been lucky enough to hear the motivating speeches from Mark, Danny, and Mick…………….but nothing could have prepared me for Luke.

Luke is 13 years old, and is blind.

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He gave THE most AMAZING speech I have, and no doubt will ever hear. Luke has lived his life quite literally, to the max!

Yes, he is completely blind, but did that stop him reading his 20 minute speech perfectly?…… …No, (by reading Braille) It didn’t.

Yes, he is completely blind, but did that stop him riding a motor bike, completely unaided? ………….No, it didn’t.

Yes he is completely blind, but does that stop him from doing anything that he puts his mind to?……… No, it doesn’t.


Luke is faced with many daily challenges because of his blindness, but with the determination of someone far older than his years, he defies the hurdles. He has a great support network around him, and with their help he has fulfilled more in his 13 years, than most fully sighted people do in a lifetime.

He astounded me, and he is an absolute credit to himself, and his family.



Mick is a very proud ambassador from RIDBC Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children. You can find out more about this amazing charity by clicking on the link below.

The RiseForAlex Fund website has details on how to donate, how to fundraise as well as support information about the Fund.





  1. Must have been a humbling experience, but makes us count our blessings. X

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