Tony Purkiss lost his sight in the Bali terrorist bombing in 2005. He defied death three times before this, surviving a light plane crash, the disastrous Sydney to Hobart yacht race in 1998 and a heart attack. Despite these near disasters he continues to lead a fulfilling, active and adventurous life, regularly racing, cruising and delivering yachts here and overseas. He was most recently involved in the International White Cane Day NSW road safety awareness campaign, works the corporate speaker circuit and lectures at TAFE NSW.
Who or what inspires you?
Anyone who has achieved greatness or made a difference, especially if they have a disability.
Your proudest professional moment?
Running a successful newsagency and inspiring others to overcome their challengers through my corporate speaking.
The most challenging thing about your life?
Trying to do the things I used to do prior to my injuries now that I am vision impaired.
Any comments about the NDIS?
I hope the scheme will benefit those that are genuinely in need of its help and support.
The hardest decision you have ever made in your life?
Accepting my vision loss and moving forward with life.
Advice for dealing with a disability?
Accept the disability, remember that there is someone worse off than you are and embracing the help and support that others offer you…and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Your favourite cause or charity?
Guide Dogs and Vision Australia.
What makes you laugh?
Enjoying good times with family and friends.