CSU congratulates Kurt Fearnley on an inspirational career

Monday 23 Apr 2018

* CSU Pro Chancellor Kurt Fearnley recognised by Charles Sturt University on his retirement from international competition

* Pro Chancellor appointment made by the University Council in 2014 recognising his outstanding career and affinity with CSU and rural and regional Australia

* Kurt Fearnley graduated from CSU with a degree in teacher education in 2006

* YouTube congratulations here: https://youtu.be/bikPQs7UiNA

Charles Sturt University (CSU) has formally congratulated its Pro Chancellor, Mr Kurt Fearnley, OAM, retiring Commonwealth Games and Paralympic wheelchair marathon champion, on an outstanding career and as a leading ambassador for inclusion and social change.

Mr Fearnley (pictured), who was born in Cowra and grew up in the central west town of Carcoar, graduated from the CSU School of Teacher Education in Bathurst in 2006, and in 2014 was made a Pro Chancellor for the Northern Region of the University.

CSU Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Toni Downes said, “Kurt Fearnley is an outstanding Australian who has inspired the nation throughout his sporting career as a national and international champion.

“Throughout his impressive sporting career and in every aspect of his life, Kurt represents the very essence of what it means to be a role model for inclusion and diversity in our society.

“To use the platform of the Commonwealth Games as an opportunity to show how sport can promote inclusion in all areas of life for people with disabilities, demonstrated further his capacity as a role model who challenges us all to accept difference.

“In all his international sporting success and achievements, Kurt continues to value his connection to the people in regional and rural communities across Australia and has demonstrated how the experiences of growing up in country NSW and at Charles Sturt University gave him the courage, strength and determination to go on to achieve so much,” Professor Downes said.

Mr Fearnley, who has numerous sporting achievements including 35 wheelchair marathon wins and an additional 15 podium finishes in 10 countries on five continents, also crawled the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea in 2009, which he described as “ … the hardest thing I’ve ever done”. He was also a crew member of the Investec Loyal which won the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 2012.

Head of the CSU School of Exercise Science, Sport and Health Professor Frank Marino, said, “As a former student of Charles Sturt University, Kurt brought with him a sense of adventure and goodwill.

“As a student he showed maturity beyond his years and was able to create an atmosphere of hope, resilience and determination. His moral compass as a man is perhaps his most impressive attribute.

“Nevertheless, his physical capacity is what astonished my fellow academics in the School of Exercise Science, Sport and Health. Kurt was able to undertake the most strenuous of physical challenges, as can be plainly seen. The reason for this is that you simply cannot separate the spirit from the physical entity, which is Kurt.

“While we marvel at his sporting achievements we must never forget who Kurt really is; a genuine example of a man determined to be the best he can be in all things,” Professor Marino concluded.


Media contact: Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362

Media Note:

Photo: CSU Pro Chancellor Kurt Fearnley.