F o r e w o r d
Those of us who have had the good fortune to know Kevin Coombs as a friend have witnessed his sheer enthusiasm for life. As you read his story you will come to sense his great determination and resilience.
His optimism in the face of adversity comes shining through every page of his enriching life. Like all Collingwood supporters, Kevin has had to endure many difficult periods in life. From Balranald to Broady, through pain and struggle Kevin has carved out one achievement after another.
As a loving husband, father and grandfather ’Uncle' Kevin has shared his warmth and compassion with all those he comes in contact with.
In my formative years of learning about and working with the Victorian Aboriginal community in the early 1980s Kevin was a major mentor to me. It was Kevin who took me to Ebenezer, Cummeragunga, Framlingham and Lake Tyers. When we shared the driving I had to get my gangly legs around his car's modified driving equipment. In this context it was my legs that weren’t terribly useful.
Never once have I heard Kevin bemoan his time in his wheelchair. Indeed he took a deal of pride in technological advances in his chairs over time! To see him in action on a basketball court was a sight to behold. His reading of the game and his silky ball handling was reminiscent of Maurice Rioli on the football field.
Right up till today Kevin demonstrates a great commitment to community life through his involvement with the Koori Courts, Aboriginal Hostels and in the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
All of us will be touched by his story. Australia is lucky to have a bloke like Kevin Coombs.