Past Award Nominees and Recipients
Australian of the Year
2014 VIC Australian of the Year Nominee
David JackaState: Victoria
Aviator and Disability Advocate
Life changed forever after a motorcycle accident in 1988 left David Jacka with high-level quadriplegia, with just six per cent of normal physical function. David re-learnt how to feed himself, returned to full time work, established a charity, married, and is now a well respected aviator. David has become a master of finding solutions to seemingly insurmountable obstacles. David designed and developed novel modifications to enable him to fly a powered hang glider, becoming the first person with quadriplegia to do so. He re-engineered the controls of a fixed-wing aircraft, qualified as a pilot and became the first person in the world with quadriplegia to fly solo around the coast of Australia – a feat he achieved in 2013. An educator, David aims to smash disability stereotypes. David founded the charity On a Wing & a Chair to raise the public’s expectations about what people with disabilities can achieve. He inspires both disabled and able-bodied people to reach their full potential.