Tim’s trailblazing path

Tim is the first ever Australian to land a wheelchair backflip, which he achieved in 2016.

That’s quite a feat, but it’s just one facet of this talented occupational therapy student and professional wheelchair motocross (WCMX*) rider from Holmview in Queensland.

Tim is neurodivergent and lives with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypotonia and Spina Bifida Occulta.

He is also one of the 2020 winners of the ABC’s Trailblazers competition for his innovative work in hosting WCMX events and facilitating others in the sport.

Tim says Trailblazers is about encouraging positive social change.

“There’s a bunch of different folks with a bunch of different initiatives in all different areas ranging from agriculture to sobriety,” Tim says.

“As part of the program, we got the chance to virtually meet members of government and discuss our initiatives and the ways they can be integrated into future policy making.

“My initiative is about increasing accessibility and inclusion so it was awesome to be able to have that

platform to have those discussions with members of the government.”

As part of winning Trailblazers, Tim had the chance to apply for a grant to facilitate his work in fabricating custom disability equipment for skateboarding and other purposes.

“Thanks to the Sally Foundation I’ve been granted $5,000 to go towards building a children’s WCMX demo wheelchair,” Tim says.

He says the Trailblazers competition has opened up a lot of doors for him.

“I’ve had to overcome stonewalling as some people have been against the idea of wheelchair skating because they believe it’s too dangerous,” Tim says.

“They see the guy from Nitro Circus back flipping mega ramps and they think that’s what WCMA is, so they think, no I don’t want my kid doing that.

“But what I’ve done is adapt the sport into more of a therapeutic tool to teach people advanced mobility skills.”

Tim also adds disability advocate to his skill set, which is why days like International Day of People with Disability mean so much to him.

“Personally every day is International Day of People with Disability, but I think having a day that highlights it for the public is especially important,” Tim says.

“If anything we should have more of these days, more events and more social change to encourage society to view disability in a more positive, strength-based light.

“To me inclusion means everyone has a voice and their contribution is valued regardless of their disability.”

As time goes on, Tim wants to continue fostering inclusivity himself through his WCMX activities and occupational therapy work.

“I’d like to hope my future holds many more years of helping people to live their best lives and achieve their goals,” Tim says.

For more information about International Day of people with Disability visit our website.

To check out Tim’s Trailblazer video head to Facebook.

Trailblazers is an annual competition run by the ABC in partnership with the Australian Government. It encourages inspiring young people aged 18-28 living in regional or rural Australia to share projects they are initiating to create positive change in their community. To learn more, visit www.abc.net.au/heywire/trailblazers/

*WCMX is a sport in which wheelchair athletes perform tricks adapted from skateboarding and BMX, is usually performed at a skate park and was invented by Aaron Fotheringham.


Tim Action