Cattle farmer Sam Bailey shared his inspirational story with more than 600 students from Year 9 to 12 in Warwick in Stanthorpe during Disability Action Week and R U OK Day.

A farmer, pilot and best-selling author, Sam became a C6/C7 quadriplegic at age 19, following a car accident while working as a jackeroo in the Northern Territory. Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said she was thrilled to welcome Sam to the Southern Downs after first hearing his story at the Barastoc Polocrosse event held in Warwick in May. “Sam’s story is about resilience and the power of the human spirit in the face of extremely trying times,” Cr Dobie said. “He has conquered some profound challenges and his motivation for life and resilience to adversity is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Sam inspires children to follow their dreams no matter what hurdles they come across along the way. His is a story they will remember, and we extend our sincerest thanks to Sam for inspiring our community.”

Paralysed from the chest down, Sam has limited use of his arms and hands and is unable to regulate his body temperature. He has also lost bowel and bladder control and part of his lung capacity. However, his disability did not deter him from beating the odds where he became the best-selling author of the book Head over Heels and was also a farmer, ultralight pilot and public speaker.

His story has touched thousands of Australians of all ages and walks of life and his next goal is to become the first quadriplegic in the world to fly a helicopter.

Readers also enjoyed this story about TradeMutt campaigning for better mental health.