ALWAYS A LOCAL
Paralympian and ex- Wangaratta boy Nick Morris talks about his world exploits.
Can you tell us about life as a kid in the North East?
Growing up in Wang and the surrounding areas was exceptional.
Riding to school from Wangandary, picking up mates on the way, swimming in the Ovens, but more importantly playing footy, cricket and basketball. Wang and sport is synonymous and it shaped my life. Being a local meant there was always someone who had an eye out for you, whether it be a coach, a mate’s parent, teacher or older team mate.
Mum and Dad were heavily involved in Apex so I also have heaps of family friends through that as well.
After my accident the community was amazing in its support to get me back integrated into life.
Whether that be as a cricket or basketball coach, assistant secretary of Rovers or being mentored by Michael Mcfawn who would drive us down to Melbourne twice a week to train or play wheelchair basketball, Wang gave me the springboard to get on with life. What did you love about growing up in the North East? Lifestyle, sport, community. I got to hang out with friends every day, go to great schools, play sport against and with people from all over the North East.
But also being able to head to Bundalong to water ski or Hotham to snow ski was awesome and feature of my upbringing.
What’s the first thing you do when you return to the North East?
Head to Mum and Dad’s place for home cooking, a swim and smell the fresh air.
Let us know some of your career high points?
Consulting on Sydney 2000, Beijing, Sochi 2010, Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics and being an advisor to the International Paralympic Committee.
Winning Gold in Atlanta 1996 and getting an OAM for services to sport. Gaining my degree in Human Movement. And in my younger years: being Superman in the Zap Pow Wham School production, being an Ovens and Murray schoolboys footy and cricket representative, scoring 116no for University in Dowling shield and being Wang High School captain and playing at VFL Park in 1987.
Can you tell us briefly what you do now and where you are?
I currently live in St Kilda with my wife Tobi and two kids ( Lucy 7, and Tom 5).
I have an office in South Melbourne with three employees, where I work as a consultant in the building industry.
My role is to review building developments and major events to ensure universal design, accessibility and Disability Discrimination Act ( DDA) compliance is achieved.
I am lucky that I am currently working with some great projects and clients, such as the 2016 Australian Open Tennis; 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games; Lend Lease; NAB; and the ANZ.
After living away from the region, what is it about the North East that has always stayed with you?
Friends, I still hang out and catch up with people I was in prep or primary school with. Wang will always be home to me. I know my way around the town, but every time I head home I always see a face I recognise who say hi.
You can take a deep breath and appreciate the lifestyle and community.
Also, heading out to the local footy or netball brings back why the country is so good - the passion, excitement and community.