At 18, LaMelo Ball was already a global basketball and social media phenomenon. Now 20, he has had extraordinary success on and off the court. Winning the prestigious NBA rookie of the year award as well as an “ESPY” for outstanding young athlete of the year, his drive to be the best on and off the court, coupled with his desire to bring joy to others, makes LaMelo a truly special human being.
LaMelo’s contribution to society for people who need help belies his age. When in Australia, he was the first sports star to donate to help families devastated by the NSW South Coast bush fires.
But it is at home where his heart is. In 2017 LaMelo’s mother, Tina, suffered a debilitating Aphasia stroke. It is a condition which affects all aspects of communication including speech, comprehension, reading and writing. LaMelo knows firsthand how difficult life can be for people with a disability and is proud to be an ambassodor supporting the Festival of FUN, making a difference for people of all abilities.
Dinesh was the first quadriplegic medical intern in QLD and the second person to graduate medical school with quadriplegia in Australia. Dinesh is a doctor, lawyer, disability advocate, and researcher and passionate supporter of the Festival of FUN.
He is also a member of the wondeful Griffith University Staff and is a true believer of working together to ensure true accessibility and inclusion. So much so, that he has joined the Festival's accessible and inclusive advisory panel to help us truly make the Festival of FUN a very speical day.
Dinesh works in the busiest Australian emergency department and is a doctor for the Gold Coast Titans physical disability rugby team. Dinesh was the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Junior Doctor of the Year in 2018. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2019 and asked to be a guest speaker at the famous “TEDx” conference. He was the third Australian to be awarded a Henry Viscardi Achievement Award and was Queensland’s Australian of the Year for 2021.
Olivia Hargroder is driving the campaign: ‘Change The Box’ - to have athletes with Down syndrome included in the Paralympics. Told she would never speak,
she uses the gift she was to be denied, advocating for change and equality. She
has taken her message across the globe and addressed the United Nations in New York. Tireless in her efforts, she is thrilled to see this dream becoming a reality.
A graduate of NIDA, Olivia is forging ahead with her acting. She released her
own short film ‘See Me For Who I Am’ with Citrine Sun Entertainment and co-starred with Anna McGahan in ‘Sunshine’. Lookout Hollywood she’s on her way.
Olivia advocates on the Down Syndrome Advisory Network, is an Australia Day
ambassador and a Young Australian of the Year finalist for QLD. She is honoured to be an ambassador for the Festival of FUN. The very values and core beliefs she champions so eloquently are embraced by Macca and the Festival team. She’s all about FUN and ready to bring it on!
Trent is a loveable, live-life-to-the-fullest character, who is a performer, loves working, playing basketball, acting, singing, dancing. He comes from an awesome large family or, as Trent will tell you “his own travelling personal cheer squad”.
When he was younger, he used to think he had a (self-diagnosed) “dance syndrome”, which he has now manifested into real life, as he loves to dance, anywhere, anytime.
We are so very proud of his achievements and honoured to have Trent Potter as an ambassador for the Festival of FUN.
With Trents love for dance and performing he was a clear choice to be one of our MC’s for the talent quest, and if we are lucky, he may just bust out a move or two for us.
Passionate, strong and intelligent, a proud family man who cares, is how most would describe Jermaine Jackson. Hard work and determination saw him achieve his dream to make it to the biggest basketball league in the world, the NBA. Now he is giving back and helping others achieve their dreams. He has a positive impact on all he meets and clearly is at the top of his game. His most recent protégé, LaMelo Ball, not only made it to the NBA, he was named Rookie of the year and set the NBA on fire.
In his hometown, Detroit, he started a very special foundation / facility, with a focus to have a positive impact on youth of all abilities. JJ is proud to be a Festival of FUN ambassador and continues to help Macca have a positive impact on people of all abilities.
Tristan is one of the world’s most decorated wheelchair basketball players having represented Australia at 5 Paralympic Games and 4 World Championships. He was selected as captain of the National Team for his fifth Paralympics in Japan in 2021.
He has a degree in Commerce from the University of Wollongong leading to his career in finance.
When not working in the 9 to 5 financial work environment, or playing and honing his basketball skills, Tristan works tirelessly to help people of all abilities and often is asked to be a guest speaker. He continues to live life to the fullest with passion, love and a joy for life that most can only dream of. A proud Festival of FUN ambassodor and one who cannot wait to belt out a few songs with his hidden, Michael Buble crooner voice.
Jess is an up-and-coming, young wheelchair basketball star-player with a huge future. She is from the mighty Wollondilly Shire (NSW) and has her eyes set firmly on cementing her spot in the Australian Gliders wheelchair basketball team. She achieved her dream of playing for her country at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021. Along the way she inspires others to work hard and follow their dreams (as she is already doing).
Jess is an already established role model and revered by all who know and have met her. We are honoured to have Jess with us as an ambassador for the Festival of FUN.
A very proud husband, father, Queenslander and Australian, Tige is a professional digital marketing expert with a drive for success in all he does.
Tige throws himself into every challenge in business and also on the court, having amassed Gold, Silver and Bronze medal success on the basketball court, throughout a 15-year career. He was also honoured with the Order of Australia, for his contribution to basketball. Since retiring from the Australian Rollers, Tige is married, has a beautiful daughter and his priority now is being the best possible role model for her. One of the nicest guys you will ever meet and a proud Festival of FUN ambassodor.