In uplifting news, Dylan Alcott has been named Australian of the Year for 2022. Since its inception 62-years ago, the ceremony has sought to platform the outstanding achievements of everyday Australians, yet it's the first time in the awards history that a person living with a disability has been recognised.
As a formidable athlete, paralympian, and advocate for those living with a disability, his contribution speaks for itself. As far as sport is concerned, Alcott is a seven-time Australian Open champion and is currently competing to tuck an eighth win under his belt. On top of that, the 31-year-old also has 23 quad wheelchair grand slams to his name, three Paralympic gold medals in two different sports, an Order of Australia medal, and a Logie to round it all out. This is all before we get to his advocacy work.
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He's a well-documented champion for those living with a disability, he himself born with a tumour wrapped around his spinal cord. In 2017, the new Australian of the Year founded the Dylan Alcott Foundation so that it might provide scholarships and grant funding to marginalised Australians with a disability. As well as this, he is the co-founder of Get Skilled Access, a start up committed to disability and accessibility training. And to top it all off, he is the brains behind AbilityFest, the first and only inclusive, fully-accessible music festival in Australia. Plus he's the author of Able. The man has done it all!
Grace Tame was always going to be a hard act to follow. Her tenacious advocacy for survivors of sexual abuse paired with her willingness to hold politicians, namely Scott Morrison accountable for their lack of action was a breath of fresh air. But given Dylan Alcott's track record and what he's managed to achieve in such a short public life, we are certain that he will take on this role with the same spirit, giving space to the causes closest to him.