"Life is one giant social experiment"
Mandy's zest for life shines through when she talks. As a speaker, writer, regular face on television and most recently as a presenter on ABC Radio, she loves to explore what makes people tick.
In 2013 she became a quadruple amputee due to Sepsis and since then has become an advocate for people with disabilities. She began the first international support group for quadruple amputees and is a peer supporter to those here in Australia.
Mandy regularly volunteers with prosthetic students helping teach the next generation how to make prosthetic limbs. She also recently helped establish a local disability support group and hopes to spread it across her home state of Victoria.
On Australia Day 2019, Mandy was named the Mitchell Shire Access & Inclusion Champion. She has also been nominated for the 2014 Pride of Australia Award - Courage Catergory; 2017, the Brenda Gabe Award, celebrating the contribution women with disabilities have made in support of others just like them and in 2018 she was a semi-finalist for the Victorian Regional Achievement & Community Awards.
For ten years Rod was an incredibly enthusiastic seondary school teacher. His passion and exuberance were legendary amongst his graduating students and to this day he regularly gets shouts of "Crackers!" from across the street.
Since leaving his role as House Co-ordinator to look after Mandy and their three girls, Rod's focus is sharing his experience of building resilience both for himself and his family.
Be it making acoustic guitars, discovering skateboarding or leading teenagers through rope courses, Rod brings resilience to every aspect of his life. Even the biggest unforseen change of direction, he believes, can be for the better.
Rod's latest adventures have seen him open The Guitar Room, a place where he now teaches people to build acoustic guitars. Situated in Central Victoria, it has been enourmously welcomed by the local community and has students coming from as far away as Perth.