On April 29th 1989 whilst playing Australian Rules Football for Warrandyte in the outer Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Gary Allsop suffered a broken neck in and on field incident leaving him a quadriplegic.
Gary was no longer able to work as a nightclub DJ, had to sell his house and his marriage fell apart. Never one to be negative, Gary slowly picked up his life and set about educating thousands of primary and secondary students about life in a wheelchair and the dangers of diving. He also speaks to many other people in varied community groups about overcoming hurdles, coping with adversity and self-motivation. His audiences have ranged from students at Melbourne University to AFL Clubs St. Kilda, North Melbourne Kangaroos and Richmond, as well as local football clubs, Lions and Rotary Clubs, Riding for the Disabled and various other community groups at luncheons, dinners and other social and corporate functions.
Gary is now an accomplished public speaker and is able to tailor his inspirational and uplifting presentation to suit any audience, though the underlying motivational message remains the same, with its common thread to all. He allows each person, in a friendly, informative and humorous way, into his world and shares with them the personal struggles he has endured, the mental strength and attitude it has taken to cope with his disability, not only now, but also in the initial stages of his injury.
Gary also informs his audiences about the many and varied activities he is involved in, and shows how it is possible to live a full and productive life in spite of a major disability. His hope is that each person will take away something positive, that is of motivation for them personally. His motto is “Never take things for granted and cherish the precious life that we all have”.
Prior to his accident, Gary worked as a nightclub disc jockey for 7 years and was also in Sales and Marketing. Gary is also an accomplished songwriter and he has written and recorded songs for major sporting events and provided voice-overs for local community radio.
He is an Honorary Director and Victorian Chairman of Spinal Cure Australia, a charity organisation raising much-needed funds for Spinal Cord Research. His work involves creating public awareness, gaining publicity and lobbying the State and Federal Governments, corporate sector and general public. In May 2003 Gary held a fundraiser Celebrity Shirts for Spinal Cord Research and single-handedly raised $80,000. For his efforts, Gary received a Tattersalls Award in March 2004 for enterprise and achievement having demonstrated persistence and determination above the norm.
Gary’s determined passion is to one-day walk again and regain some semblance of his life back. He is doggedly working towards being part of that solution.
Gary’s presentations are highly motivational, very inspiring and a must see to any audience.
WHAT THE CLIENTS SAY:
Gary gave a thrilling and extraordinary account of his experiences as a quadriplegic.I was struck by the sparse, cogent and carefully thought out presentation. It was deeply moving and succinct, and clearly accessible to a general audience. Gary Allsop is an extraordinarily powerful public speaker, and I have no hesitation in commending him with great enthusiasm, as a force for good.
Geoffrey Raisman, D.M, D.Phil, FAMSci, FRS Head, Division of Neurobiology Director, The Norman and Sadie Lee Research Centre
I highly recommend Gary to anyone who is looking for a truly motivational speaker with an inspirational story. He presented a wonderful talk based on facing and overcoming adversity by concentrating on the future and moving forward with a positive mind set. Don’t fail to hear his Story.
Gary’s talk was inspirational. My students sat in awe of him throughout the presentation. They valued his honesty and openness. They admired his courage and his spirit and Gary’s visit was the highlight. I commend Gary Allsop to you as a guest speaker. His words will make a difference.
Gary Chapman Ivanhoe Grammar School
Gary gave a fascinating and inspiring lecture. All participants including many of the quite sophisticated clinicians, told me that they found his talk outstanding. I am sure that any audience would find his story an inspiration.
Professor Elspeth M McLachlan D.Sc. F.A.A. Co-Director Spinal Injuries Research Centre Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute
Gary’s passion and enthusiasm for the things he believes in is so evident. He gave our players a strong message on opportunity and he made an enormous impact with everyone in the room. I couldn’t rate Gary’s praises highly enough and his ultra positivity had a big effect on me.