Media releases


Think I can’t? Think again! Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week 2015

Think I can't? Think again!Tim McCallum was embarking on his career in the music industry when, at 18 years-old, a diving accident left him with a spinal cord injury (quadriplegia).

Despite being told he wouldn’t be able to sing like he used to, Tim defied expectations and returned to the stage by adapting his singing technique to compensate for the physical challenges of his disability.

Tim now sings better than ever and performs some of the greatest tenor arias to a national audience – famously appearing on The Voice Australia earlier this year.

Tim is the face of Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week (8-15 November 2015), a national campaign raising awareness of spinal cord injury (SCI). As Tim demonstrates, people with SCI have the ability to overcome barriers and achieve their goals.

But it’s also up to people in the community to ensure our society is inclusive and accessible for everyone – and ensure we don’t miss out on the skills people with SCI have to offer.

Locally, Rhiannon Tracey is sharing her story for Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week to encourage people in the community to do what they can to make our society inclusive and accessible for people with SCI.

Think I can't? Think again!

Just two weeks before her 21st birthday, Rhiannon also had a diving accident. She hit the bottom of a resort swimming pool in Bali and the injuries resulted in quadriplegia. The trip became the start of a new life and an unplanned journey for Rhiannon, but not as you might expect.

Rhiannon explained, "I'm now a Spinchat presenter, the founder of the Next Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Centre, and a mum to five 'furkids' - three dogs, a cat and a horse.”

Peter Turner is Chief Executive Officer of Independence Australia, part of the Australian Spinal Injury Alliance – a collective of the country’s eight leading SCI charities that hold Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week each year.

Peter commented, “The Alliance represents the interests of all Australians who have sustained a SCI. We hope Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week helps Australians understand that whilst SCI is a serious and life-long disability, people with SCI are involved in all aspects of life and are contributing to the community in many different ways. We can all support people with SCI by making our society as inclusive and accessible as possible.”

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week activities are running across the country from 8 to 15 November 2015. Events hosted by Independence Australia include:

Visit for more information and resources to help promote inclusiveness and accessibility.




Notes to the editor:

  • More than 10,000 Australians are living with spinal cord injury and around 350 to 400 people sustain a spinal cord injury every year in Australia.
  • The Australian Spinal Injury Alliance represents eight of Australia’s state-based spinal cord injury organisations to provide a national voice for all Australians with spinal cord injury.


To download the full media release, please click here.