They don’t come any livelier than the boy from the bush! Entertaining, motivational and an all-round larrikin; Don represented Australia in the athletics at four World Championships, three Paralympics Games, two World Cups and a Commonwealth Games.
Don Elgin was raised in the NSW town of Tocumwal. Being born without the lower portion of his left leg was no barrier for this boy who would make his first Australian team at 18 years of age, become a World Champion and–a staggering 20 years later–represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games.
One of the longest-serving scholarships holders at the Victorian Institute of Sport, Don first represented Australia at the World Championships in Berlin in 1994 winning a Gold and a Bronze, he became a Paralympian in Atlanta in 1996, then in the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, he won bronze in the Pentathlon. Two years later he finished with two Silver and a Bronze at the 2002 IPC World Championships.
At the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, he became a triple Paralympic medallist winning one Silver and two Bronze.
As a respected voice on sport both on and off the track, Don commentated at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and appeared on Andrew Denton's ABC TV show Enough Rope. The inaugural patron of Disability Professionals Victoria, he is a former president of Sandringham Athletics Club and former vice President of The Amputee Association of Victoria. Don is a founding board member for the Start Foundation and the inaugural ambassador for New Horizons Club, and after serving on the board member of Wallara Australia Ltd has moved to the position of lead Coach for Wallara Online.
A natural leader, Don was the Australian flag bearer at the 2006 World championships and went on to become the Australian Track and Field team manager at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He made a successful return to sport to compete at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. In 2015 Don added author to his credentials releasing his first book called ONE FOOT ON THE PODIUM. The book won a Silver medal 2016 Independent Publisher Book AwardsAustralia/New Zealand–best regional non-fiction. Don completed the Kokoda Trail twice and in 2016 released his second book called ONE FOOT BEYOND THE PODIUM.
Away from the sporting arena, Don is a highly sought-after motivational speaker. An accredited facilitator with the World Sports Academy Don is also the creator of Star Leadership, a horizontal leadership model that improves performance by focusing on culture and behaviours of teams and individuals.
Don is living proof that with the right attitude, anything is possible. Having excelled in elite sport and mixed it with some of the biggest names in the film industry, business and Leadership he creates powerful, tailor-made presentations based on his real-life experience.
Incorporating his battles both mentally and physically into his presentations, Don takes his audience behind the scenes on his extraordinary journey from little bush battler to world-beater.
A personable and very approachable individual, his approach to life has clients walking out with a spring in their step at the end of every presentation. He is upbeat and makes no secret of the fact that he considers himself the happiest bloke alive. And he can’t wait to share his real-life, practical strategies to get the most from every day. His message is one for all ages.
Don will leave you in no doubt as to why he is so highly regarded as a speaker and presenter in Australia and internationally.
“Don is a great communicator with a personable nature that really enthuses his audience. Don has always managed to be able to target his presentation exactly at the audience and get rave reviews, and subsequent bookings afterwards.”
“Excellent. Don has a very endearing and approachable manner. He also managed to weave in our conference message into his talk. A very inspiring speaker.”
-SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals
“Excellent. Most inspirational speaker, he made the night unforgettable.”
“Don spoke very well and was very entertaining. He has a fantastic story and is a great inspiration and motivator.”
“Don Elgin was an excellent choice for our audience of 190 Building Professionals and partners. In tracing the last ten years Don showed that he had courage and determination to succeed. An excellent role model. Thanks Don for an excellent talk.”
-Australian Institute of Building (Victoria)
“Don was great. He was just what we were looking for and his presentation was enjoyed by ALL in attendance at our team day. He is an inspirational person who has so much to offer. We look forward to his new book that is being released soon.”
-Khaled Jebara, Sydney Trains
“I have observed Don first-hand on a number of occasions and I admire the way in which he can amuse, inspire and challenge his audience. I would have no hesitation in highly recommending Don for any speaking engagement.”
-Paul Kiteley, Athlete Services Manager, Victorian Institute of Sport
“Don is an exceptional and intelligent speaker who draws heavily on his own background and experience as a Paralympic champion to inspire and motivate.”
- Greg Hartung, President, Australian Paralympic Committee
“Don gives you the feeling that you can do it – get off your bum and get stuck in.”
“Fantastic presentation, something that all our students would have benefited from, not just the athletics team.”
-Mentone Girls Grammar
“Don was an outstanding success. His bright, engaging personality, and natural sense of humour meant that staff could relate to him. Don is an ordinary person with an extraordinary story. Don is certainly entertaining, but more than that, he is positively inspirational.”
“Everyone thought Don was fantastic, inspirational, and some people said that what he spoke about couldn’t have been put better. He was sensational and a pleasure to listen to. He was rated as one of the ‘favourite’ presenters of the day. Please pass on our thanks to him.”
-The Investors Club®
“I thought Don was the perfect choice and I wasn't disappointed. He doesn't just inspire you for the hour he speaks, he leaves you with a lasting impression that I know will last a lifetime.”
-Nillumbik Shire Council