An outspoken advocate for the rights of people living with disability, Dylan Alcott OAM has used his success in both wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis to highlight multiple issues throughout his career, including mental health issues.
Alcott, who is the newly announced Australian of the Year for Victoria, will headline a cross-border event to honour International Day of People with Disability.
The Albury-Wodonga International Day of Disability event will take place online on Friday, December 3, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.
In the lead up to his last Australian Open, the retiring tennis champion is looking forward to speaking at this event and taking questions during a 15-minute Q and A.
The event is supported by Wodonga Council, AlburyCity, Regional Disability Advocacy Service (RDAS), Icaria Health, MForce Security,Wheelchair Sports NSW/ACT and Zoom.
Alcott will be followed by local performers Oliver Hunter and Josh Campbell.
International Day of People with Disability is a United Nations sanctioned day celebrated internationally which aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with a disability and celebrate the achievements and contributions of people with a disability.
5.30pm to 6.30pm – Dylan Alcott – 45-minute speech and 15-minute Q and A
6.30pm to 7.30pm – Josh Campbell and Oliver Hunter performing
Registrations are essential. Show you support of this important day and register here.
Below we have a snapshot of Alcott's life and achievements.
Alcott was born with a rare type of tumour wrapped around his spinal cord, which required immediate surgery only weeks after birth.
After a three-year battle for his life, Alcott defied the odds and through sheer determination and hard work, he has been able to strive to become one of Australia’s best and widely recognised Paralympians.
The talented athlete started playing tennis aged 16, but earned his first international success as part of the Australian wheelchair basketball team, the Rollers.
In 2008, at the age of 17, Alcott and his basketball team, won gold medal victory at the 2008 Paralympic games in Beijing.
Alcott became the youngest ever wheelchair basketball gold medallist in history.
At the 2016 Rio Paralympics Alcott won gold in both the singles and doubles tennis making him one of an elite few to have won Olympic gold in two different sports at two separate Olympics.
From there, Alcott and The Rollers followed up their win in Beijing with victory at the 2010 FIBA World Championships, becoming the first Australian basketball team to ever win the title.
At the tournament, he was selected in the World All Star 5, making him the best player in his position in the world.
One of Alcott's greatest achievements was being inducted as a member of the Order of Australia in 2009 at the age of 18.
In 2012, he returned from the London Paralympic Games with a silver medal.
In 2013, Alcott re-launched his tennis career, and was granted a wild card into the 2014 Australian Open, reaching the semi-final.
After only 18 months into his comeback, Alcott won his first ever grand slam title, The Australian Open, and is currently ranked number one in the world.
Alcott has made sports history in 2016, as the first wheelchair athlete to win the Newcombe Medal, the highest individual award in Australian tennis.
Alcott won Gold in both the singles and doubles tennis at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, was the winner of the 2016 Australian Open and awarded the winner of the 2016 GQ Sportsman of the Year.
In 2021, Alcott won his seventh consecutive Australian Open title, and he has won 12 grand slam singles titles to date.
Alcott’s achievements are not only restricted to the sporting field.
In 2017, Alcott created the Dylan Alcott Foundation, a foundation to help young people who are struggling to come to terms with their disabilities.
The foundation aims to improve quality of life through mentoring, scholarships and grants which assists individuals to be involved in education and sport.
Alcott is also an entrepreneur, and is the co-founder of Get Skilled Access, a training provider educating corporates and governments on how to better understand and treat customers with disabilities.
He was also nominated for 2017 Young Australian of the Year.
Alcott is a keen philanthropist, and broke the world record playing wheelchair tennis for 24 consecutive hours non-stop, setting the new world record and raising an incredible $100,000 for two charities.
Alcott’s true passion is his work as a motivational speaker, and through his inspirational storytelling, he is continually trying to alter and change the way people with disabilities are perceived in the wider community.
Alcott works as a keynote corporate speaker, bringing disability awareness to schools.
He also works extensively in the Australian media landscape, regularly making appearances on Channel Ten’s The Project and Channel 7 Sports, and is a former Triple J Radio host. In 2018, Dylan published his autobiography, Able - Gold Medals, Grand Slams and Smashing Glass Ceilings.
He is also the founder of Able Foods, a purpose led business providing great quality food and opportunities for people with disability to lead healthier and happier lives. Dylan was the Australian Logies 2019 Graham Kennedy Most Popular New Talent Award winner.
In 2020, Alcott won the Governor's Award Victorian Male Athlete of the Year - Frank Wilkes Award.