Nicholas Gleeson returns

UPPER Hunter Shire Council is bringing inspirational and entertaining speaker Nicholas Gleeson back to the Upper Hunter in May.

RETURNING: At Murrurundi’s Australia Day 2016 celebrations, Citizen of the Year Debbie Eather, Ambassador Nick Gleeson and deputy mayor Maurice Collison.

RETURNING: At Murrurundi’s Australia Day 2016 celebrations, Citizen of the Year Debbie Eather, Ambassador Nick Gleeson and deputy mayor Maurice Collison.

An athlete, accessibility advocate and global adventurer, Mr Gleeson will share his story of overcoming the challenges of living with blindness.

Mayor Wayne Bedggood said the public information sessions in Merriwa, Murrurundi and Scone with Mr Gleeson would help contribute to a Disability Inclusion Action Plan for the shire, that council is preparing over the next year.

”As Australia Day Ambassador for Murrurundi this year, Nick bowled the crowd over with his warmth, humour and honesty,” Cr Bedggood said.

“Do not miss out on hearing him speak.”

Come along and meet Mr Gleeson:

  • 5pm, Monday, May 16, Murrurundi Library
  • 10.30am, Tuesday, May 17, Merriwa Council Chambers, Vennacher Street followed by an Access Walk in the main street.
  • 4pm, Tuesday, May 17, Council Chambers Scone

Mr Gleeson’s visit will be the first of a number of community consultations and targeted focus groups to discuss issues around key areas identified by people with a disability. 

These include developing positive community attitudes and behaviour, creating liveable communities with good access for all, supporting access to meaningful employment, and improving access to services through better systems and processes.

For further information or to register your interest contact Community Services Officer Amanda Catzikiris on 6540 1153.

​About Nicholas Gleeson

Nick’s life changed at age seven when an electronic door to a supermarket hit him on the side of his head, causing a retinal detachment. He attended a boarding school for children who were blind and was one of the first of his peers to finish Year 12. Nick went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University.

Nick has represented Australia in athletics, racing in America, England and Hong Kong. He also played blind cricket (using an audible ball) for almost 20 seasons, representing Victoria, New South Wales and Australia. His sporting and travel adventures include three times crossing the finish line in the New York City Marathon, carrying the Sydney Olympic Torch, racing up the 1,576 steps of the Empire State Building and completing the gruelling 90km from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in the Comrades Ultra-Marathon.

Nick put together an expedition named Blind Ambition to climb Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. While climbing in New Zealand, Nick had the privilege of telling his hero – Sir Edmund Hillary – of this achievement. In 2009 Nick climbed to six thousand metres on Mount Everest.

Nick describes himself as a very ordinary person who has managed to follow many of his dreams – among them marrying Heather, who is also blind, and raising two children. A highlight of Nick’s year is visiting rural communities as part of his Australia Day Ambassador duties.