Gerrard Gosens OAM (Patron for International Day of People with Disability)
Paralympian and Owner
Gerrard Gosens is one of Australia’s true high achievers. Gerrard is a totally blind adventurer, three-time Paralympian, Project Manager, Chocolatier and motivational speaker. He is currently aiming to be selected to represent Australia in the triathlon at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Gerrard was asked while swimming at his local swimming pool in 2016 if he would like the opportunity to complete a triathlon. Since then Gerrard has gone on to be ranked inside the top ten Paralympic sprint triathletes in the world. He won bronze at the 2017 World cup, placed ninth at the 2017 World Championships, and in December went the extra distance and won the Paralympic category at the Busselton Ironman. He continues to develop as a triathlete, and this year, has won the 2018 Oceania Triathlon Sprint championships, and was a silver medalist at the World Cup.
Gerrard was honoured with an Order of Australia (OAM) award in 2012, for his outstanding service to sport, and people who are blind or have low vision. He has been awarded the Fervent Global Love of Lives Medal, which has been recognized by the international media as “The Nobel of Life”.
In 2009, in a television world-first, he faced one of his greatest challenges ever, when he took to the dance floor on” Dancing with the Stars”. Gerrard made it to the semi-final despite never having danced a step in his life. While the show was the first glimpse of this inspirational man for many Australians, corporate audiences have been motivated and uplifted by Gerrard’s life story for many years.
Gerrard has run the 2,000 kilometers from Cairns to Brisbane five times to raise money for charity. He represented Australia at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games in the team sport of Goalball. Gerrard returned to his former sporting love – distance running and represented Australia at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games in the 5000 metres, 10,000 meters and marathon (42.2km). He has gone on to represent Australia at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic games, six Athletics World Championships, and 2012 Marathon World Cup.
Gerrard also has a head for heights! He has, three times, co-piloted an ultra-light motor glider around Queensland to raise funds for charity.
Gerrard believes in preparation! During 2003 / 2004 he spent many weeks at Everest Base Camp and high altitudes in the Himalayas. He returned to Everest in 2005 and climbed to 8300m.
His many achievements; strength and determination to succeed at whatever he sets his mind to, saw him named Young Queenslander of the Year, and a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year.
Gerrard was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship for humanitarian service, and in 2003 received a Centenary of Federation Medal for service to sport.
Gerrard Gosens was appointed the 2018 Patron for International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD). He is a passionate advocate for people with disability.
Mr Gosens also manages MAX Foundation, MAX Solutions charitable arm funded by the generous donations of staff. MAX Foundation donated $49,000 to 14 local organisations in 2017, and will donate over 125,000 in 2018 to Australia charities.
Gerrard and his wife Heather own two chocolate shops in Brisbane called Chocolate Moments. They create their own hand-made chocolates, and conduct chocolate cooking experiences.
In addition to his full-time job as a Project Manager with MAX Solutions, and owner of Chocolate Moments, sporting and adventure pursuits, Gerrard is writing a book called “My Eyes had a Wet Nose”, which provides an insight into the many unique and entertaining experiences that he has encountered with his guide dogs, Joey, Anchor, Summit, Chief, and now Boss.
Gerrard said, “Everything I’ve done and everything I’ve achieved has been made possible through the support, assistance and commitment of a dedicated team of people who have been beside me, no matter how difficult, dangerous or crazy the challenge… “I’ve always believed that success is a journey, not a destination.”