Speakers Profile - Gerrard Gosens

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Gerrard Gosens is recognized as one of the most outstanding young people in Australia today.

Congenitally blind, Gerrard became Australia's youngest Guide Dog recipient at age sixteen. Using a lap top computer with speech output to assist his studies, Gerrard achieved an exceptional High School score and gained entrance to the Bachelor of Business Management at Queensland University of Technology. Gerrard's commendable academic achievements are matched by his skill and success at sport.

Gerrard lives by the philosophy 'Success is a journey, not a destination', but jokes he has hit many signposts while training for his chosen sport of long distance running. Gerrard has competed in many marathons and has run 2,000 kilometres from Cairns to Brisbane five times to raise money for charity. Gerrard represented Australia at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games in the team sport of Goalball, which is specifically for the vision impaired. Gerrard decided to return to his former sporting love - running and represented Australia at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games in the 5000 metres, 10,000 metres and marathon (42.2km). He is currently in the Athletics squad for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games where Gerrard aims to pursue his quest for gold in the 800 and 1500 meters.

Gerrard believes in preparation. Back in 2003 he spent many weeks at Everest Base Camp and high altitudes in the Himalayas. Gerrard returned to Everest in 2005 and climbed to Camp Three on Everest 7,300 metres. Gerrard plans to return to Everest in 2009, as he aims to be the first congenitally blind person to climb Mount Everest.

Blind adventurer, Gerrard Gosens has a head for heights and distance. Having three times co-piloted an ultra light motorglider around Queensland to raise funds for charity.

Gerrard's many achievements; strength and determination to succeed at whatever he does, saw him named Young Queenslander of the Year in 1995, and a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year and in 2003, received a Centenary of Federation Medal for service to sport.

A well sort after conference presenter, after-dinner speaker, and adventurerist, Gerrard is presently, Special Projects Manager for 'Vision Australia' and is constantly looking for ways to improve the lives of children who are blind, like his 10 year old daughter, Taylor.

Meanwhile, Gerrard is writing a book called 'My Eyes had a Wet Nose', which provides an insight into the many unique and entertaining experiences that Gerrard encountered with his guide dogs, Joey, Anchor and now Summit. Everything from spending the night with Stevie Wonder, landing my first fulltime job a week out of high school through to pulling off one of Queensland's best ever April Fools Day jokes.