Speakers Profile - Darren Lomman

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Darren Lomman is the CEO and Founder of the Dreamfit Foundation. Darren is a Churchill Fellow, and has been recognised for his role at the Foundation and his commitment to the engineering and disability sector. He has received awards such as the 2008 Engineers Australia Young Mechanical Engineer award, 2007 WA Young Australian of the Year, and the 2007 National Disability Award.

Darren Lomman is the founder of the Dreamfit Foundation. The Dreamfit Foundation aims to help people with disabilities fulfil their dreams and to raise disability awareness in the community so that everyone has a greater understanding of the issues facing people with a disability.

Dreamfit engineers solutions to overcome the struggles faced by people with disabilities every day. Innovations created by Dreamfit have included a hand-controlled motorcycle suitable for paraplegics, a wheelchair-accessible hovercraft, a modified ski boat and a seated surfboard.

Darren was first inspired to start the Foundation after meeting Shane, a motorcycle enthusiast who dreamed of one day being able to ride a bike again. At the time, Darren was studying mechanical engineering and decided to make a motorcycle for Shane as a project for his studies. What started out as a small project turned into a three year mission to create the hand-controlled motorcycle, and so began the first steps of what is now the Dreamfit Foundation.

Darren says that the focus for Dreamfit is to break down barriers so that people living with a disability can achieve a higher level of participation and inclusion.

"My vision for Dreamfit is to create a world where having a disability doesn't hold someone back from achieving their dreams."

Just as he did when he was a student, Darren seeks to teach other young people about social responsibility. Through Dreamfit, Darren has instigated a partnership with the University of Western Australia to encourage engineering students to volunteer their time to assist in the creation of solutions for people with disabilities. Currently, students from the University are building bicycles for children with no arms, with occupational therapy students from Edith Cowan University also volunteering their expertise by helping to assess equipment for particular disabilities.

"At Dreamfit Foundation, we focus on promoting the strengths and abilities of people living with a disability. Our projects show the community how much is possible if people take the time to see beyond the disability to the person and see all that can be achieved with the right equipment and support."