Where inspiration lives
INSPIRATION has always been a large part of what Australian Geographic is about and it’s in abundance throughout this issue.You’ll be moved and motivated by the story of young Aussie aviator Ryan Campbell, who spoke exclusively to AG about his remarkable recovery from the traumatic injuries he received during an air crash three years ago (see page 42). Ryan, who’s used the life-changing accident in a positive way to reshape his career, was AG’s 2013 Young Adventurer of the Year. He’s one of the best exponents I know of the ‘never say never’ attitude that exemplifies the adventuring spirit we acknowledge each year at our annual awards.
In fact, the theme of inspiration is never as clear to me as when we are considering the nominations for our annual awards, which is what we’ve been doing for the past month.This year I’ve been struck by the number of adventurers nominated who have achieved truly extraordinary outcomes against extreme physical adversity.That includes people like Steve Plain, who this year completed the Seven Summits challenge – climbing the highest peak on each continent – in world-record time after breaking his neck in 2014, and Paul Pritchard who, although partially paralysed by a climbing accident in 1998, last year led a team of disabled cyclists on a 2000km journey up Mt Kosciuszko (page 30).
It’s timely that just as we announce the winners of our annual awards, the Invictus Games – one of the world’s most inspirational sporting events – will be underway in Australia (see page 28).We urge you to go along to an event or two if you can get to Sydney, not just to be transported by the improbable physical achievements of the athletes taking part, but to be entertained by an awe-inspiring elite sporting competition.
Inspiration, of course, comes in many forms and I have no doubt that you’ll be transformed and stirred by the beauty and insight of the best images from this year’s Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.The quality and quantity of the photos get better with each year. We bring you a taste of the winners and finalists in this issue (page 50), but do go and see the images in their large-format glory at exhibitions in Sydney and Adelaide (page 53). I guarantee you’ll be inspired!
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