Where in­spi­ra­tion lives

Australian Geographic - - From The Editor-in-chief - Fol­low me on Twit­ter at: twit­ter.com/chris­sigoldrick

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!

Spe­cial­ist Mag­a­zine Brand of the Year

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