Speakers Profile - Sam Bailey

Travels From:
Regional New South Wales/ACT

Fee Range: E

Every once in a while, along comes a speaker who stands out from the crowd. Sam Bailey is one of those.

A farmer, pilot, husband and now best selling author, he has achieved all of those from a wheelchair and has an incredible ability to take an audience on the journey of his life.

It's a rollercoaster ride that promises to make people laugh, cry, appreciate what they've got and realise that nothing is impossible.

Sam tells his story in his own down-to-earth laconic style that captures the great Australian spirit of 'having a go' and he's changing the lives of people of all ages, from all walks of life.

One of Australia's leading speakers and MCs, Robyn Moore said, "Standing ovations don't happen often in Australia, however Sam Bailey's story is so powerful it lifts people to their feet."

Sam's talk chronicles his life, from a childhood growing up wanting to be a farmer just like his dad, through to the day his life changed forever at the fork in a road in the Northern Territory and its aftermath.

The road accident turned the schoolboy sporting hero and outback jackaroo into a quadriplegic.

But Sam's is not a story of sadness rather of triumph. You can hear how he turned tragedy into hope and how he beat the odds to fulfil his life-long dream of being a farmer.

Despite being paralysed with only limited use of his hands and arms, and an intolerance to heat and cold, he went home to the family farm against the advice of the medical experts.

He learnt to ride a four wheel motor bike, which became his "legs" around the property, devised a hoist to lift him into the farm machinery and converted tractors, the harvester, front end loader and dozer so he could drive them.

He learnt to drive a car again, travelled overseas and even tried snow skiing.

As if he hadn't already achieved enough he "climbed" his very own "Mount Kosciusko" when he learnt to fly an ultralight aircraft.

But Sam's story is much more than that.

It's also a story of love and romance that will send your spirits soaring.

Sam found his soul mate in former Tamworth-based ABC radio Rural Reporter, Jenny Black who he proposed to "live" on regional radio. The real-life proposal jammed the phone lines and the fax ran out of paper.

Their story appeared on ABC TV's "Australian Story" in 2000 with an overwhelming response and then in April 2006 hit the bookshelves in their book 'Head Over Heels A story of tragedy, triumph and romance in the Australian Bush'

Within weeks it was on ABC Books' best sellers list, was chosen in the Australian Government's 2007 Books Alive Great Read Guide and has now been reprinted 10 times.

Today they live and work together on their 1250 hectare beef cattle property in northern NSW, in between travelling the country telling their story and giving inspiration to others.

They are also working towards their next big goal for Sam to become the first quadriplegic in the world to fly a helicopter.

Their ultimate goal is to fly into schools to speak to students and inspire them to fulfil their own dreams in life.