Ayr local Scott Stidston has been selected to appear on the cover of this year’s Townsville Yellow Pages® and White Pages®, which starts distribution from 14 March 2015.
Scott has been selected under the theme, Australian Stars Rising Above, which celebrates up and coming Australians who are achieving beyond their years and making positive changes in their community.
Scott is a tireless advocate for disability and spinal injury awareness. At 20 years of age, he sustained quadriplegia after breaking his neck in a motorcycle accident.
With 50 per cent of all spinal cord injuries caused through road trauma, Scott, now 48, is committed to using his disability as an inspirational driving force by contributing to road safety in the community as well as campaigning for people experiencing disadvantage.
Scott is a presenter for Spinal Injuries Australia (SIA) and has shared his experience with thousands of people across Townsville and surrounding area, through the Spinal Education Awareness Team, talking to local community groups, schools and workplaces to educate on issues of fatigue, distractions and peer pressure on the roads. Scott also speaks on inclusive communities, helping to break down the barriers and stigma for people with disability.
On a national scale, Scott has been responsible for improvements in infrastructure and services, including the installation of upper torso harnesses on domestic Virgin Australia flights, which provide support and restraint in aircraft seats for people with spinal cord injuries. The torso restraints are now also available upon request with other airlines.
“By sharing my own story and raising awareness of the risks faced on the road, I am able to contribute to the prevention of spinal injury and improve services for those already affected. Since the implementation of the Spinal Education Awareness Team program 27 years ago, Queensland has gone from the state with the highest incidence of spinal cord injury to the second lowest and I am committed to making even more progress,” Scott said.
Each year Sensis, the publisher of the Yellow Pages and White Pages, has recognised the efforts of local people in their communities by celebrating their achievements on the covers of its regional books.
Yellow Pages Marketing Specialist, Belinda Di Pietro, said this year’s theme, Australian Stars Rising Above, recognises young Australians volunteering their time to champion projects that are helping their community thrive.
“This year we have discovered young change makers across Australia who are stepping up to make a difference in their community. We wanted to honour these rising stars and elevate them to a place where everyone can celebrate them,” she said.
“This year we are thrilled to recognise Scott’s efforts in creating a brighter future for his community.”
Residents and businesses can choose not to receive a copy of the Townsville Yellow Pages and White Pages by visiting www.directoryselect.com.au.
Did you know? The previous local people to appear on the cover of the Townsville Book were:
2014/15: Townsville local Sarah Chapman appears on the current cover under the theme Inspiring Others to Achieve. Sarah is recognised for her work developing a mentoring program to help primary school teachers present science in an engaging way. By donating her own personal time, Sarah and her faculty of science teachers have helped increase senior science enrolments by 104 per cent.
2013/14: Mundingburra resident Angie D’Arcy appeared on the cover in recognition of her efforts connecting local families with special needs children. Angie was selected under the theme, Keeping Our Communities Healthy, for establishing The Umbrella Network, a support network for parents of children with special needs.
2012/13: Mystic Sands resident John Muller appeared on the cover in recognition of the major role he played in the community after Cyclone Yasi. John was selected under the theme, A Helping Hand, The Aussie Way, for initiating the Lions clean-up program Feet on the Streets and for his lengthy history of community service.