Tim McCallum was embarking on his career in the music industry when, at 18 years-old, he sustained a spinal cord injury in a diving accident.
Despite being told he wouldn’t be able to sing like he used to, Tim defied expectations and returned to the stage, adapting his singing technique to compensate for the physical challenges of his disability.
Tim now sings better than ever and performs some of the greatest tenor arias to a national audience – famously appearing on The Voice Australia earlier this year.
Tim is now the face of Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week (8-15 November 2015), a national campaign raising awareness of spinal cord injury.
“This year our campaign message is ‘Think I can’t? Think again’ because we’re challenging the way people think about spinal cord injury,” Tim said.
“During my time on The Voice, I wanted to raise awareness about people’s abilities to overcome adversity, along with the achievements of people who have a disability.
“It’s up to everyone in the community to play their part in ensuring our society is inclusive and accessible – and that we don’t miss out on the skills people with a spinal cord injury have to offer.”
More than 10,000 Australians are living with spinal cord injury and around 350 to 400 people sustain a spinal cord injury every year in Australia.
Michael Powell is Chief Executive Officer of Spinal Life Australia, which is part of the Australian Spinal Injury Alliance – a collective of the country’s eight leading spinal cord injury support organisations.
“The Alliance represents the interests of all Australians who have sustained a spinal cord injury,” Michael said.
“Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week aims to help Australians understand that while it is a serious and life-long disability, people with a spinal cord injury are involved in all aspects of life and are contributing to the community in many different ways.
“We can all support them by making our society as inclusive and accessible as possible.”
Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week activities are running across the country from 8 to 15 November.
Visit www.sciaw.com.au for more information and resources to help promote inclusiveness and accessibility.