NSW Physical Disability Council president, Chris Sparks has been awarded an OAM in the Queens Honours list for his service to people with a disability.
Sparks told F2L, receiving the award was “totally unexpected.” However, after a lifetime of achievements advocating for opportunities for others, Sparks said he felt humbled to be an OAM recipient. “I hope my OAM can bring some public awareness to groups I work with such as PDCN, ATSA and the Sargood Foundation.”
His has a diverse background in sports representing Australia in Wheelchair Basketball, as well as a media commentator and motivational speaker. He has also been heavily involved in working with children with disability, including a stint as chairman of NSW Wheelchair Sports where he set up the first sports camp for children with disability and was vice-chairman of Northcott Disability Services. In 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports medal for his contribution to sport.
He was one of the first ‘wheelchair kids’ to attend a regular high school, something he was determined to do. “In 1972 kids with disabilities went to a special school for ‘crippled’ children,” he said.