Once a Commercial Pilot and Aircraft Engineer, Dale’s life took a rapid diversion in December 2002 after a motorbike accident left him a paraplegic.
The experiences that Dale has encountered during his new life in a wheelchair have forced him to think outside the square, regain the confidence to participate and reach out to seize the opportunities around him.
Dale grew up on a fruit property on the River Murray in South Australia. He obtained his private pilots licence in 1993 when he was 17. He is a patriotic Australian, joining the Army as a soldier after finishing high school. After leaving the army he studied and gained his qualifications as a Licenced Aircraft Engineer. He then followed his dream of becoming an airline captain after gaining his commercial pilot’s licence. He has flown over 2000hrs across Australia in all types of aircraft and is a qualified skydiver. He has also owned and operated his own twin engine aircraft. Since his accident Dale has mentored many young pilots and has volunteered his experience to youth as a commanding officer within the SA Air Cadets organisation.
After Dale’s accident, with no sensation or movement from his waist down, he spent 69 days in hospital, holding the record for the shortest paraplegic hospital stay. 7 days later, he was working full time as an Operations Manager with an Aircraft Charter company at Adelaide Airport. This provided him with beneficial business management experience and kept his mind focused on the more positive side of life.
Dale is an award winning sit-down/stand-up comedian and has traveled across Australia performing at comedy venues and functions explaining the hilarious experiences of his life both in and out of a wheelchair. In April 2007, Dale performed on the stage of the Melbourne Town Hall with an audience of 1500 during the Triple J Raw Comedy Competition National Final, which was later broadcast on ABC television.
Dale’s story has appeared on Channel 7’s Today Tonight program, highlighting the creation of the trauma and crisis management website, www.imthinkingofyou.com.au which is a world first and Dale’s latest initiative. He has also appeared on Channel 10 News and has been a guest speaker on radio programs across Australia on numerous occasions talking about new trends in the healthcare and compassion technology fields.
Dale has been married since 1997 to his ‘Trooper’ of a Wife, together they have endured and continue to conquer the challenges of Dale’s debilitating injury.
Dale lives by his motto “Adapt. Believe. Achieve.” and is in demand as a National speaker, providing a humorous and inspiring package that everyone enjoys opening!