Ellie Cole will share her personal story and the journey that led her to become a Paralympian and a disability advocate. She is also excited to talk about the work she is doing as an Ambassador with APM to promote inclusion opportunities for people with disabilities.
Ellie will discuss what it was like to grow up with a disability that made her stand out, and how she felt differently to those around her. She grew up in a world that wasn’t designed for people with disabilities. She will speak to how she was inspired by the Olympic role models of the Sydney 2000 Games and how her life changed when she saw Paralympic athletes for the first time in 2004. Ellie saw a place where her disability wasn’t a barrier but instead was celebrated and she realised that she could do anything she set her mind to. It was after 2004 that she started working towards becoming a Paralympian, but it took almost two decades to be considered as equal to her Olympic counterparts.
Today, as an Ambassador with APM, Ellie is working to raise awareness about the importance of inclusion and opportunity for people with disabilities. Just like in the Paralympic Games, everyone should have the chance to reach their full potential and achieve their career goals regardless of their physical or intellectual abilities. Just like the Paralympic Games, it’s important to break down barriers and create inclusive workplaces and communities where everyone feels valued and supported.
Paralympian Ellie Cole is like no one you’ve ever met before. After losing her right leg to cancer at age 3, in 2021 she became Australia’s most decorated female Paralympic athlete, with a record-breaking 17 Paralympic medals and OAM to her name.
In her 15yrs in the pool, Ellie has risen to prolific heights and, in recognition was honoured as the flagbearer at the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony.
Ellie is raw and real, funny and wonderfully charismatic, refreshingly humble and completely unaware of the true inspiration she is. A popular speaker, she finds ways to connect with her audiences; whether students, corporate teams or senior boards and she is incredibly passionate about the subject of diversity and inclusion, leveraging her strong platform as an athlete to highlight important causes.