2009, English, Sound, Interview, lecture, talk
Kevin Coombs interviewed by Robin Poke in the Australian Centre for Paralympic Studies oral history project [sound recording].
Coombs, Kevin, 1941- (Interviewee)
Kevin Coombs reflects on his early life and family history; his biography 'A fortunate accident'; the Ebenezer mission, Balranald; schooling; the accident when aged 13 which left him paralysed; treatment and rehabilitation for spinal injuries; playing wheel chair basketball; representing Victoria at Australian Wheel chair basket ball championships; being chosen for Rome Paralympics (1960), medals won; Stoke Mandeville Games (1957); fundraising; having to travel on a British passport; Tokyo Paralympics (1964); his work life; the Paralympics held in Israel (1968); the Gold Cup World Championship Basketball, Melbourne (1986); weightlifting; his marriage to Linda; the role of the Aboriginal Advancement League; Sir Doug Nicholls; the birth of his daughter (1969); his selection for the Heidelberg Paralympics (1972); the improvements in fundraising and increased government funding; becoming Captain of Paralympic team; Silver Jubilee Games in England (1976); the inclusion of blind and amputees in Paralympics from 1972.
Coombs speaks about working in the Victorian Public Service from 1979; Aboriginal health and employment; Rene Ahrens; coaching improvements; Don Perryman; winning a gold medal at the Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled (FESPIC), Hong Kong (1983); being awarded the Order of Australia medal; his final Paralympic Games held in London at Stoke Mandeville (1984); Sir Ludwig Guttman Award; naming of streets at Olympic Park, Homebush (1998), one named in his honour; serving on the National Indigenous Advisory Committee to SOCOG; his Sydney 2000 Paralympic experiences, carrying the Olympic torch into the stadium; his involvement with Victorian Aboriginal justice system and the Koori Court; being Chairman of the taskforce to encourage Indigenous involvement in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games (2006); being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame (2007); the changes in wheelchair design; trends in treatment of and services for disabled people in Australian society; being the first Indigenous member of an Australian Olympic team; the interest being shown in the history of the Paralympic movement; how he would like to be remembered.
The wife of Mr. Coombs, Linda Coombs was also present at the interview.
Recorded on August 4, 2009 at Melbourne, Vic.
Mode of access: Internet via World Wide Web.
Timed summary (6 p.) and corrected transcript (typescript, 114 leaves)
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