About Us

The Sargood Foundation

Formed in 2000, the Sargood Foundation is a DGR registered charity which exists to support and resource the work of Sargood on Collaroy to provide people living with SCI with the opportunities to live life to the fullest, and to plan for the long-term financial viability of the Centre. We fundraise for Sargood on Collaroy to provide equipment, facilities and subsidised stays for potential guests who otherwise could not afford this valuable experience.

We are a community-based organisation who initiated the concept of Sargood on Collaroy and we represent the community ownership of 25% of Sargood on Collaroy. (Other owners being icare and a private benefactor).

Without the support of our local community, Sargood on Collaroy would never have happened. Support from the local Clubs, businesses, local council and residents was paramount in securing the land and raising significant funds to bring about the creation of this world first resort, specially designed for people with spinal cord injury.

Vice Patrons

Wendy Harmer

Wendy Harmer’s media and entertainment career spans almost four decades. She has worked as a journalist, radio broadcaster, television host and stand-up comedian. She has written plays, stage shows and is now a highly successful author of children’s books and adult novels.

Anyone who has seen the vistas of sea and sky at Collaroy, cannot fail to recognise the capacity of such beautiful surroundings to uplift and inspire.

Alan Jones AO

Alan Jones AO is Australia’s top broadcaster. A graduate of Queensland and Oxford Universities, he began his professional life as a teacher. Alan coached Australia’s National Rugby Union team, the Wallabies, from 1984–1988. Prior to that, he had coached Manly to win their first premiership in 39 years.

He subsequently coached Balmain and South Sydney in the National Rugby League competition. He was a speechwriter and senior advisor to former Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser. He is now with Radio 2GB 873, the no. 1 radio station in Australia and is said to have won more consecutive radio ratings surveys than any broadcaster in the world.

It’s not a question of whether we can afford it or not, it’s the fact that we can’t afford not to afford it.

Rod Macqueen AM

Rod Macqueen AM is a leader in the sports world as well as a motivator, mentor and innovative thinker in life and in business. He is an internationally renowned coach, winning every trophy available during his four year tenure as Head Coach of the Australian Wallabies including; the Rugby Union World Cup, Tri-Nations Series and British and Irish Lions Series. He was previously an A grade surfboat rower and First Grade Rugby player. He is an Associate Member in the Australian Sports Hall of Fame and his autobiography One Step Ahead was a best seller.

He was also a highly successful businessman as Founder and Chairman of Advantage Line, a multi-million dollar point of sale advertising company. Rod Macqueen was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003.

The Collaroy community has embraced this special site as a place of healing and sharing for nearly 100 years. The Sargood Foundation ensures the continuation of this heritage of caring & interaction with the community.


Ambassadors

Nick Taylor

A native of South Africa, Nick grew up in a sports obsessed family of four siblings. Although he enjoyed a wide range of sporting pursuits, his true passion was basketball, in which he represented South Africa from a young age.

In 1998, just after he finished high school, Nick was involved in a serious car accident that left him paralysed from the waist down. At the time, Nick was leading his team in the South African National Basketball Championship and despite his absence from the grand final, his team would go on to win the national title in overtime. They dedicated the win to their fallen captain, who would also be named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

After many months of hospitals and rehab, Nick learnt to cope with the physical challenges of his new life as a paraplegic. With a great deal of encouragement from family and friends, Nick decided to undertake a Bachelor of Business Science in Cape Town, including spending a year on a wheelchair basketball scholarship at the University of Texas.

Going from strength to strength, Nick then secured a role with a leading international management-consulting firm in Johannesburg and got back to representing South Africa, playing wheelchair basketball in both the World Championships and the Paralympics.

In 2006 Nick immigrated to Australia to build a brighter future for himself in Sydney. He became an Australian citizen and sat out of international competition in wheelchair basketball for three years so he could switch his nationality in order to represent Australia. He did so at the highest level by playing in the London Paralympics in 2012, winning a silver medal and two years later in Korea, he and his team would be crowned World Champions!

Nick’s life is incredibly busy juggling a demanding corporate career, training and being a husband and dad to wife Sonia and sons Mitchell and Bailey.

Nick is the perfect fit for Sargood as he is extremely passionate about helping people with spinal cord injuries regain their independence and about changing the attitudes often displayed by people in the wider community towards this group of people.

The Sargood Foundation is honoured that a positive, motivated and successful man such as Nick is working with us to achieve our mutual goals.

Heidi Haydon

In December 2009, Heidi was out riding her motorbike when she decided to go the less travelled route to the shops to pick up a few things. Just a few streets from home Heidi was t-boned by a ute that failed to give way at a roundabout.

The crash left Heidi a T4 paraplegic, paralysed from the chest down. Heidi spent seven months in spinal rehabilitation in hospital, the last month was to simply wait for her house to be modified.

Heidi and her mother Jenni worked incredibly hard for 18 months trying to find Heidi’s way back to independence. They both believed that it was a long life for Heidi to live with her mum so they went about learning everything they could so Heidi could move out. It took months for Heidi to be able to go out in public feeling so conscious of people staring at her, wondering what had happened – after a while she regained the courage and self-esteem to understand that it didn’t matter what people think and this injury was about adjusting to a new lifestyle.

It was a long, hard and emotional 18 months of trying to gather all there was to know about living with spinal cord injury. Since then she has travelled with her boyfriend across Europe and to the USA, rediscovered her love of riding a modified trike and been able to discover the joy in doing many of the activities that she took pleasure from before her injury.

Heidi believes that Sargood gives guests the freedom to be the person that they were before acquiring their spinal cord injury despite the challenges that pop up along the way. The staff specifically trained to work with people living with SCI, guests and the community in and around Sargood are so welcoming and accepting.
In 2015, Heidi was invited to represent the Sargood Foundation as one of their Ambassadors spreading the word of Sargood and all it has to offer. Since the building of Sargood on Collaroy, Heidi has re-joined the team as their Booking Coordinator working closely with guests to customise stays to suit each and every guest.

The Sargood Foundation plays such an important role for people with a spinal injury. They know the community like the back of their hand and have tirelessly fought to make this dream come true.

James Gribble

James personifies what Sargood stands for: he is passionate, positive and extremely good fun. In 2008, Sydney boy James was in Africa waiting to go Tiger fishing on the mighty Zambezi River when he started to feel faint. He was dehydrated from a run he’d been on earlier that day and passed out whilst sitting on a stool, falling backward onto hard sand.

The result of this seemingly innocuous occurrence was catastrophic. The impact of the fall severely bruised his spinal cord and broke his C4 and C5 vertebrae, leaving him with voluntary movement only from his shoulders up. Due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the location, it was 30 hours before James reached fully qualified medical care. This delay worsened his condition by causing fluid to collect in his lungs, leading to respiratory complications. Prior to his injury, James was a very handy golfer with a handicap of four.

On the evening of his accident and the subsequent evenings, James would pick his favourite course and play it in his mind, shot by shot, hole by hole. This was a technique that calmed him down, whilst reinforcing just how important the game was to him. A few years on, James founded Empower Golf, which facilitates and promotes golf for less able Australians. James is an advocate for golf to be included in the Paralympic Games and knowing James, we’re pretty sure he’ll make it happen.

Empower Golf recently partnered with The Sargood Foundation to bring a Paragolfer, a German designed cart that provides people with Quadriplegia and Paraplegia the opportunity to play golf again, to Long Reef Golf Club, which is great news for Sargood on Collaroy guests and the less-abled population. James brings a wonderful positive can-do energy to Sargood. He’s a team player with not only endless enthusiasm, but also a quick wit and cheeky sense of humour.

The Sargood Foundation presents a unique opportunity for spinal injured individuals and their families to benefit from collaboration and communication in a relaxed, supported and interactive setting

Lee Ferrier

Lee was born in Queensland and grew up playing soccer, surfing, skating riding pushbikes and motorbikes He has always been an active person. Lee moved to Sydney when he was twenty and did an apprenticeship as a printer, he also drove a truck for a period of time.

Lee met his partner Rozina and they have been together for ten years. They have 2 children, Nikola Lee’s stepson who is 13 and Jett who is 5. Lee has continued his hobbies and is particularly passionate about motorcycling and attended track days at eastern creek regularly.

His motorcycle was also his main transport and after going and watching his eldest son play rugby league in April 2015 he was involved in a serious accident, which has left him paralysed from the chest down. Lee spent three months in Royal North Shore then a further two and a half months at Royal Rehab Ryde.

Since leaving rehab he has got his license, he swims, surfs, enjoys archery & golf. Lee also intends to modify his motorcycle to go to the racetrack once again.

Lee’s life has completely changed since his accident but he doesn’t want his injury to dictate his life, he intends to continue doing the things he did in his life prior to his injury only a little different.

Kevin Hitchcock

Kevin is a writer and journalist with more than 40 years’ experience spanning newspapers, radio and television.

As reporter for the Ten Network he covered the Azaria Chamberlain case from the first inquest through to the trial. Concerned by the guilty verdict he tracked down and interviewed key witnesses who supported Lindy’s version of events. His subsequent award-winning documentary, ‘Azaria: A Question of Innocence’, prompted the royal commission which eventually proved the couple’s innocence.

Kevin’s rough and tumble rugby days were spent playing alongside his life-long friend and former Wallaby coach, Rod Macqueen, who is now a Director and Vice Patron of the Sargood Foundation.

His fitness and determination would once again be called on when, in 1991, he broke his neck diving into the Hawkesbury River while playing with his children. From that moment onwards his life would change forever.

Kevin tackled a rigorous rehabilitation program of physical and mental exercises. With the help of a long-time friend and osteopath he used a unique method to reconnect his mind to non-functioning nerves and muscles. An inspirational story that was covered by Channel Nine’s flagship program 60 Minutes. He later documented his battle against the odds in his biography, ‘Walk With Me’.

We are extremely grateful for the dedication and contribution Kevin made so early in the development of Sargood on Collaroy.

Sebastien Ducarme

Sebastien is a world citizen. Born in Belgium from a German mother, he has studied and worked in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and France and speaks five languages.

In 2005, aged 18, life was promising for Sebastien. A straight-A student, he was planning to study commerce. Passionate about sport, Sebastien was captain of his field hockey team, sailed and played tennis.

During the summer holidays with his family in Portugal, life as he knew it changed forever… Sebastien dived into shallow water in the Atlantic Ocean and broke his neck at C5. After this life-changing experience and his 3 first years of International Economics and Diplomatic Relations, Sebastien decided to study Rehabilitation at Maastricht University in The Netherlands, dedicated to studying in a field where he could help others.

In 2004 he obtained his Master’s degree, developing a protocol comparing the quality of life of spinal cord injury patients. The paradoxical outcome from his study showed that independence and mobility are not correlated with the quality of life. Sebastien’s life experience and research enabled him to expand his spinal cord injury knowledge, giving him an empathetic viewpoint for understanding patients’ needs. He provides regular peer-to-peer coaching and visited numerous rehabilitation centers throughout Europe.

Sebastien always dreamt of developing a cutting-edge facility for Spinal cord injured patients— then his path crossed ‘Sargood on Collaroy’.

“My incomplete spinal cord lesion has changed the way I see and live life. It has truly confirmed my strong belief in ‘growth through adversity with the right attitude’. Enthusiasm and positivism are key to any success. But you cannot do it all alone; that is why I am thrilled to join forces and contribute to the success of “Sargood on Collaroy”. I am grateful to be able to give back and hopefully inspire others.”

Sebastien moved to Australia in 2012 and now lives in Mona Vale on the Northern Beaches with his wife Alexandra and their three children, Pablo, Joan and Lila-May. He often takes his boys surfing to Collaroy Beach and coaches their field hockey teams. Sebastien is passionate about rehabilitation and always up for new challenges. That’s what makes Sebastien an inspiration for all and a precious ambassador for Sargood.

Our Partners

The Sargood Foundation is very grateful for the support of the following organisations, and is proud to partner with them to equip people with spinal injuries with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to lead independent, full and rewarding lives.


Major Partners

Rosalind Nicholson Trust

Mr and Mrs Matheson


Partners

ISG Foundation
Lady Fairfax Charitable Trust
Christine Bishop

Our Community

The Sargood Foundation embodies community. In fact, the original name for The Sargood Foundation was The Collaroy Community Group. The Sargood Foundation has always enjoyed overwhelming community support from the local residents, local clubs and businesses and all three tiers of Government.

The Residents

The Sargood Foundation was originally the Collaroy Community Group, so the very foundation of this charity is thanks to the local residents. You will be hard pressed to find a more supportive and proud local community!

The Local Government

The Sargood Foundation enjoys very strong relationships with representatives at all levels of government. In fact, the former Warringah Council, now the Northern Beaches Council has been consistently and deeply supportive of the project, deeming Collaroy to be an all abilities area by providing accessible pathways, an all abilities playground and surf club, and a free wheeler chair for swimming. To read more, click here to visit council website.

The Local Clubs & Businesses

Businesses from local cafes to the Collaroy Beach Club and Long Reef Golf Club have been outstanding in supporting The Sargood Foundation. Such support includes holding fundraising events for us and in the case of Long Reef Golf Club managing the Paragolfer, a golf cart for less abled people. Dee Why RSL is also a great supporter, awarding us a local grant and supporting our fundraising initiatives. We very much welcome our new partnership with The Collaroy, part of the Merivale group.

The State & Federal Governments

Sargood on Collaroy would not exist without the tremendous financial support from icare, a new organisation created to deliver the State’s insurance and care schemes within the Ministry of Finance, Services and Innovation of the NSW State Government.
The former NSW Premier Mike Baird MP, our local member Brad Hazzard MP (State Member for Wakehurst) , Rob Stokes (Member for Pittwater) and Jason Falinski MP (Member for Mackellar) are very aware and incredibly supportive of The Sargood Foundation and Sargood on Collaroy.

Financial Reports & Constitution Documents

The Sargood Foundation is a DGR registered charity

Click to View on the ACNC Website

Sargood Foundation’s Collaroy facilities were born of community enthusiasm to do more for the people with spinal injuries. It will be an incredible place of hope for a better future.

Brad Hazzard MP

Sargood represents the best of what we can achieve here on the northern beaches. A world first, a health and wellness resort purpose built for people with a spinal cord injury, built by the community, for the community. The vision of the Sargood Foundation to improve the lives of people living with spinal injuries through innovative solutions delivered in the most remarkable natural setting shows why community lead solutions always deliver the best outcomes.

Jason Falinski MP

Sargood is truly an inspirational place that turns people’s despair into hope. I am so proud to be part of the community that is supporting the wonderful work of the Sargood Foundation.

Former NSW Premier Mike Baird