George Bedbrook, father of the Paralympic movement in Australia

George Bedbrook sought to put into practice his mantra that “if life is worth saving, it must be given the opportunity to be worth living”. In 1954 he was appointed Director of the Royal Perth Hospital Spinal Unit, the first of its kind in Australia. Bedbrook was dedicated, stubborn and even arrogant, but his priorities were his patients and he would do everything in his power to provide them with the best care possible. Bedbrook said that: “Competitive and team sports provide a physical and psychological stimulus far more profitable than routine remedial exercises. Not only do these activities develop and strengthen the body musculature and promote spontaneous coordinated movements, but also of equal importance they recreate the sense of comradeship and normal human association and help to eliminate any self-consciousness suffered by patients in relation to their disabilities.”