Par­a­lympian and ex- Wan­garatta boy Nick Mor­ris talks about his world ex­ploits.

North East Living Magazine - - Contents -

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.

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