Expo ambassador Karni Liddell takes centre stage in her stride

Karni Liddell

Brisbane Disability Expo ambassador Karni Liddell has inspired people nationally and internationally for many years. The Paralympian swimmer and former World Record holder shows that while we may not be able to control what life throws at us, we can certainly control how we handle it.

Currently on a mission to increase employment for people with disability as State Manager of the Queensland Public Service Commission, the 43-year-old has had a finger in many pies over the years.

She is an engaging and accomplished speaker. In a 2014 Tedx Talk, she discussed her belief in the power of words and how we should confront language that diminishes the worth of those who live with disability.

Karni is a specialist and trainer in the field of domestic and family violence, and a current member of the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Council. She delivers workshops for Lifeline’s DV-alert Working with Women with Disabilities and Griffith University’s Mate Bystander programs.

She has been a radio host, is a presenter for Channel 7’s The Weekender, and ambassador for Kids Help Line, Muscular Dystrophy Queensland, and the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association. She has raised over $1 million for various disability charities.

Karni’s work has resulted in a 2021 Bond University alumni award for Community Achievement. She has also received the 2015 Queensland Teacher and Trainer of the Year and Alumni of the Year awards from the Faculty of Health at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) where she studied for a clinical Master of Social Work.

Yet, when she was still a baby Karni’s parents were told by doctors to expect a very different future.

Their daughter would not live past her teenage years, they predicted. She had a neuromuscular wasting disease, which meant that she would never crawl or walk either. And although she found out much later that she had a different neuromuscular condition than the original diagnosis, by the age of 14 Karni broke her first World Swimming Record. She went on to represent Australia at the Atlanta Paralympic Games in 1996 and captained the Number One team at the Sydney 2000 Games, returning from both Games with medals. Karni was appointed Ambassador for the Australian Paralympic team and commentator for the Athens Games.

At the Brisbane Disability Expo on Friday 14 of October, Karni will talk with attendees about her approach to the tough times, health obstacles, and sport, and how family support and personal persistence helped her lead an extraordinary life. She discusses how goal setting, and facing adversity head-on is her tried and tested method.

The My Future, My Choice Brisbane Disability Expo brings together a wide range of products and services to help people live their best life, including:

  • government and advocacy organisation
  • aids and equipment providers
  • financial and legal services
  • education, training and employment providers
  • social and leisure options
  • transport and vehicles
  • health and medical products and services
  • allied health professionals
  • support services, including in-home care providers

The expo will also feature a range of informative and interactive presentations delivered by industry experts, all-abilities adult and children’s entertainment, and food vendors.

Jump the entry queues by registering your attendance for the free Disability Expo on Friday and Saturday, 14 and 15 October 2022 at the Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane Showgrounds. Get organised with the Expo Guide that will give you the lowdown on parking, exhibitors, floor plan, and the stage and entertainment schedule.