Our Presenters


Injury Prevention Presenters – Western States

Symon Still

PBF Injury Prevention Manager WA

“No one is immune from a spinal cord injury. There is only prevention because there is no cure”

Program: Workplace/Road

At 24 Symon’s life was moving fast and on track. Head Physical Education Teacher, high-level triathlete and top sportsman, he was focused and he had plans.

On Symon’s way to work, his mind wandered to these plans and he was struck by an inattentive driver on his way to the office. The crash left Symon with a permanent spinal cord injury and as a partial quadriplegic.

Symon visits workplaces and high schools to share his story with the intent to make employees and young drivers think about their actions and inactions, both on the job and behind the wheel. His story leaves audiences with the powerful realisation that goals and dreams can be shattered forever in the aftermath of a spinal cord injury.


Rob Pike

“Your choices define your future, in a positive or negative way, it’s your choice!”

Program: Road (WA)

At the age of 17 and in year 12 Robert Pike’s life was ‘turned upside down’ in tragic car crash.  In the crash Rob lost 3 of his friends – one being his best friend, both his legs and broke his back.

Rob, a high level athlete with plans of a sporting career, was in the back seat of his friend’s new sports car on a wet Tuesday afternoon. The driver, Rob’s friend, lost control of the vehicle in the wet weather and they collided with a tree, slicing the car in half.

Rob the only survivor of the crash, shares with his audience what it is like growing up with great ambitions and how a tragic accident changed his whole life and the future he had pictured for himself.  Rob’s remarkable survivor story and details of the accidents causation factors, leaves everyone inspired and thinking about the type of driver they want to be.


Greg Willmott

“Work hard and enjoy life but make sure you’re getting enough sleep.”

Program: Workplace (WA)

Greg grew up on a farm, learning from an early age that work was hard and hours were long.   This mentality continued throughout his life, in particular when supporting his young family.

In the lead up to his incident Greg was only getting 4 hours sleep per night.  He always felt tired but was used to it, so continued to push himself.   Early one morning Greg’s fatigue finally caught up with him.  He fell asleep at the wheel, his car left the road and collided with a tree.  Greg was only 2km from his destination.

Sustaining life threatening injuries, overtime Greg made a decent recovery.  However he lives with quadriplegia from his C5/6 spinal cord injury.   Greg shares his personal story so that others can see how important healthy sleep patterns are, and avoid the risk of fatigue related incidents.


Adrian Hollis

Program: Workplace (WA)

Adrian worked in the high-risk industry of power line construction and maintenance for many years. Dealing with risks and hazards that could result in death was an everyday occurrence. Dangerous situations and environments where not a problem for Adrian, he carried out risk assessments and acted accordingly to reduce the possibility of injury.

Leisure time was a mixture of martial arts, gym and riding motorcycles, however a few seconds of inattention resulted in a horrific motorbike crash.

As part of our Injury Prevention Workplace program, Adrian speaks of how a moment of distraction changed his life. Adrian also gives an inspirational presentation on his return to work program, back to the power line industry.

Konnah Ruru PBF Injury Prevention Presenter WA

Konnah Ruru

“Don’t grow up too fast and don’t take life for granted.”

Program: Road (WA)

At the age of 16 Konnah had two passions, he was a musician and he liked to party with his friends on the weekends. On that fateful weekend Konnah and a bunch of his mates were driving from party to party, seven young men in a small two door hatch back. As Konnah was the youngest, the older boys made the decision that he would be the one to travel without a seatbelt.

When the car crashed Konnah’s injuries almost killed him. It took Konnah  6 months in ICU and the spinal unit to recover and he now lives with a high level spinal cord injury, C4 quadriplegia. Konnah shares his story with high school students, so they do not make the same mistakes he made, and to empower them to make the right choices on the road.

PBF_STUDIO-455 Karen Harvey – Copy

Karen Harvey

“I saw all the warning signs, but thought nothing would happen to me”

Program: Road (WA)

Karen is a paraplegic, at the age of 22 she was involved in a car crash in a vehicle driven by her boyfriend, who was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The car was travelling at 140km/hr and collided with a bridge. Karen’s many injuries included a severed spinal cord.

Rehabilitation was tough for this young mum who had aspirations of being a sportswoman. She took on motherhood and further career development with a strong will to succeed in life. Her story reminds audiences to assess risky situations and to make decisions to preserve your own safety.

Mike Rowney 2010

Mike Rowney

“Safety is an attitude and can be adjusted.”

Program: Workplace (WA)

While fishing in Greece, Mike fell from a friend’s yacht in the dry dock. The fall resulted in spinal injuries that caused permanent paraplegia. In 2001 Mike returned to his home in Perth, and now works part time as a PBF Presenter conducting workplace presentations on the importance of safety.

Mike’s story reveals all of the challenges a paraplegic faces – from financial ruin to ongoing health issues. Mike is extremely passionate about responsibility and safety, and his engaging story resonates with workplace audiences and community groups. Sometime after his accident, Mike generously sailed to East Timor to deliver wheelchairs to underprivileged children.

Nick Tuhakaraina

Nick Tuhakaraina

“Even if you think you’re doing the right thing in working hard, ignoring the signs can have a devastating effect on family.”

Program: Workplace (WA)

Nick was an international rugby player turned pro-wrestler and thought he was invincible. He was driven by his own philosophy of working hard to provide for his family. However, he also played hard and ignored an injury, which over time became very serious.

When it eventually became too difficult to perform, Nick found out he had developed a pressure on his spinal column which needed urgent medical attention. He had waited too long before seeking intervention and when he underwent surgery the result was paraplegia – an injury gone too far. Nick emphasises to his audiences to listen to your body and take care of personal health and your own safety first.

Shane Agnew PBF Injury Prevention Presenter WA

Shane Agnew

“Live life to the fullest but make decisions with your personal safety in mind.”

Program: Road (WA)

Before his accident Shane worked Monday to Friday and partied on the weekend. Between partying with family and friends he enjoyed being part of a drag racing team, going to the beach, and surfing with mates. Most of all Shane loved to cruise in his HR Holden and ride his motorbike.

The accident was a direct result of Shane being distracted. He was looking away from the direction he was travelling, to see if people were watching him riding his motorbike. Not looking directly where he was going Shane struck a tree branch, which tipped his head backwards and dislocated his neck from his head, permanently and completely damaging the spinal cord.

Shane Agnew now lives with a spinal cord injury of the highest level possible, cervical level 1 (C1).

Kelly Rogers

Kelly Rogers

Program: Road (SA)

I went to my best mates 21st birthday party and at the end I got into the driver’s seat of my car to sleep. I don’t know how long I slept for but when I woke up I didn’t click my seatbelt in properly. I knew I was taking a risk by driving home but it was only 4km away.  Why did I do it?  To this day I can’t answer this.

The corner I crashed on was very familiar to me. It is a sweeping bend. An irrigation sprinkler had not long been turned off, so the road was wet. I thought I knew that road like the back of my hand but there is no such thing. On approaching the corner I lost control and the car hit a pole. On impact my head snapped backwards breaking my neck.

Kelly is one of PBF’s Injury Prevention Presenters based in Adelaide, SA.  She regularly shares her story to help people make smarter choices when it comes to driving.

Brad Ness Edited

Brad Ness

Program: Workplace (WA)

A talented, athletic country boy, Brad had a big future ahead of him playing top level AFL football.  When he was 19 he was working for a well-respected and busy boating company.  Brad was performing his usual work duties when a procedure went wrong, communication was too slow and a rope caught him around his leg.  Brad lost his leg that day, along with many of his dreams and goals.

Brad was able to return to different duties at the same workplace and has reignited his sporting prowess through wheelchair basketball – captaining Australia to Olympic Gold.  He understands the importance of teamwork, leadership and how poor workplace safety can change your life in a second.


Chris Kerr

Program: Road (WA)

Chris was into all types of sports:- basketball, netball, roller skating and swimming to name a few, however her passion above all things was horses.

At 15 years of age Chris was riding, doing track work for a racing stable, when her horse fell and crushed her. She sustained many injuries but the most severe was a permanent and complete spinal lesion. As a result Chris has created a new future for herself as a paraplegic.

She has worked hard to return to her active lifestyle, education, travel and family. Along the way Chris has overcome many barriers, both physical and attitudinal. She speaks to groups about resilience, recovery, and the power of personal choice in the decisions we make. Discussing how she has faced the consequences of life changing events. Events that altered her life path in ways you could never imagine happening to yourself.


Carl Akira Fujinami

Program: Aqua (WA)

Carl Akira Fujinami was a competitive teenage wrestler in his homeland of Japan, but a summer holiday in Perth changed everything.

Carl walked out into the shallow waters of Cottesloe Beach and dove into an approaching wave. Hitting his head with force on the wet compacted sand, Carl instantly broke his C4 vertebrae.

Now residing in Perth, Western Australia this young man shares his story of survival. As a quadriplegic presenter for PBF’s Aqua Program, Carl uses his story to highlight safe methods for entering and behaving in aquatic environments.

Life is a battle for Carl but it is far from over. His important message of resilience and keeping a positive approach to life regardless of adversities stays with his audiences long after he has finished speaking.



Hilary Weeks

Program: Road (WA)

As an active 8 year old, Hilary spent most afternoons playing outside with the neighbourhood kids. The infamous Mr Whippy (ice-cream van) was a weekly visitor and an exciting ritual.  One afternoon, ice-cream in hand, Hilary stepped out from behind the van and tragically an 18 year old driver hit her.  The impact resulted in multiple fractures and a complete spinal lesion at T4.

Hilary’s presentation to senior students is gripping and profound, creating empathy as she describes her life as a teenager. A very different life to that of the young teenagers she presents to. She challenges students to be responsible drivers. Emphasising that driving to the current conditions is vital, as the driver who hit her had not considered the residential speed limit or the children gathered on the road.   You must consider other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and the lives that your driving could permanently alter.

On the positive side Hilary explains how getting her licence at 16 gave her much joy and freedom. She has achieved many accomplishments in life, sport, family, and travel. Keeping a happy frame of mind regardless of the adversities she has faced.


Jess Semark

Program: Youth/Road (WA)

Coming home from a party in 2006 changed Jess’s life forever.

She was 18, living in Bunbury and had started a career in aviation.  The party involved drugs/alcohol and Jess had a bad reaction to them, so she just wanted to go home.  Jess decided to get into a friend’s car but unfortunately the driver was also under the influence.  She felt uncomfortable about the situation, however her need to get home outweighed her perceived risk.  So she put her seat back and hoped she would wake up safely in her own bed.

That wasn’t the case as the driver lost control crashing the car.  Jess’s body went under the seatbelt and into the dashboard, breaking her neck.  Since that moment in time Jess has lived with C4 quadriplegia.

Still living in Bunbury, Jess is now part of PBF’s Road & Youth programs.  Speaking from her wheelchair, Jess’s presentations challenge young people to see that if they indulge in risky behaviour (such as drugs and motor vehicles) they too could end up living with permanent catastrophic consequences.


Ben Chivers

Program: Youth/Aqua (WA)

The last thing Ben remembers on the day of his incident in 2006 was playing pool with some mates.  The crazy thing is Ben was involved in a diving accident at the beach, but was so intoxicated that he does not even recall going to the beach.  Diving into shallow water, Ben broke his neck at C4/5 and is an incomplete quadriplegic.

Move forward to today and Ben is a 35 year old talented artist who loves music.  He presents for PBF Australia as part of the Juvenile Justice programs in WA.  “It is the best feeling to be able to help people.  Kids in class come up to me afterwards and shake my hand.  My story is making a difference to their lives.” Ben


Clare Nott

Program: Road / Peer Support

Clare was just 2 years old when her family was involved in a head on road collision.  The crash damaged Clare’s spinal cord at the thoracic level, resulting in Clare using a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Although this was incredibly traumatic for all involved, Clare adapted to her way of life better than many expected.

She attended school and was involved in swimming.  At the age of 16 Clare discovered wheelchair basketball.  Instantly she fell in love with this team sport and currently represents Australia as part of the Gliders, winning 2 Paralympic medals in 2008 and 2012.

Clare works with PBF’s Peer Support Team at the new Perth Children’s Hospital, and is a presenter for our Injury Prevention Road program in Western Australia.


Jodie Nikolic

Program: Road / Workplace WA

Jodie’s life changed forever when she was struck by a motor vehicle whilst cycling. The driver, was over the legal alcohol limit, found to be fatigued at the time as well as using their mobile phone whist driving!

Working as a dietician and gym operator, the spinal cord injuries Jodie sustained in this cycling accident completely changed the course of her life.

Jodie is an engaging presenter and has a passion for educating drivers. Her goal is to help minimise the number of drivers on Australian roads that continue to use their phones or drive whilst intoxicated.


Rollo Craib

Program: Workplace WA

Rollo’s working career began at the age of 15 spanning the hospitality, transport, oil and gas and agriculture industries. Over the years, he experienced many varied workplace safety systems and cultures. Rollo made the decision to invest in his own business managing and driving heavy haulage trucks across Australia.

Drawing on his previous workplace safety experiences, Rollo implemented his own approach to ensure safety at work was always a focus and compliant. Unfortunately, this did not protect him from sustaining a permanent injury.  Rollo was riding his motorbike on a Saturday morning when he was hit side on by a car, being driven by a distracted driver. As a result, Rollo lost his leg and sustained significant spinal damage.

As part of PBF Australia’s Injury Prevention workplace team, Rollo shares his experience of adopting different workplace safety systems, along with his own story and experiences of a serious incident resulting in permanent life altering injuries.  Engaging with his audience, Rollo’s presentations aim to initiate constructive conversations regarding workplace safety cultures, to encourage safer choices in the workplace.


Tayla Stone

Program: Road WA

Tayla was 16 and completing her first year of a hair dressing apprenticeship when her accident happened. Looking back now, Tayla identifies that she took too many risks in her life and never considered the possibility of negative consequences.
Tayla broke her back and permanently damaged her spinal cord during her first ride on a 2 wheel motorbike. Attempting a jump, Tayla was catapulted over the handlebars and hyperextended her back causing permanent damage. Her friend saw the whole event and his quick thinking and knowledge of CPR saved her life.
Tayla, like most people who acquire this catastrophic injury struggled at first, but was pragmatic, found a new job and has now has a young family of her own.  Tayla’s message is simple, “think before you do.” All teenagers will benefit greatly by hearing her story in the Road or youth programs.

Marco Sanmartino

Program: Workplace WA

“An injury is a lifelong commitment that I don’t want you to have to live with.”

On the 7th February 2016, Marco’s life changed forever when he almost lost his life due to an accident at work. Marco was experienced, loved his job and was deeply committed to his duties. Even this high level of dedication towards his occupation did not prevent him from getting injured.

His plans and dreams were tossed away in a split second; left in shattered pieces. Marco sustained catastrophic injures to his right hand, arm, shoulder and neck. The drilling rig he was working on trapped his hand and ripped his arm out of its socket; permanently tearing the nerves out of the spinal cord and causing massive internal bleeding. He was hospitalised for 4 months and will forever carry his disability and all the long term physical symptoms of paralysis.

Marco doesn’t want others to carry the same physical and mental scars and hopes that we will look after each other. Team work is important; we need to guide and look out for each other, as someone’s careless actions can permanently change the life of another.

Marco is a charismatic speaker who brings awareness of safety to the audience through his personal story.  He wants you to remember that it’s everyone’s responsibility to be safe at work, so that we can all go home to our families at night.


Chris Easter

Program: Youth/Road WA

“Think before you act because you are not invincible”

Chris was 17 years old and into his second year as an apprentice mechanic. As a risk taker in general Chris lived his life thinking he was “ invincible”…. that was until an accident whilst riding his motorbike at a friend’s property left him with a broken back and fighting for his life.

In hindsight Chris realises that the choices he was making were likely going to end badly at some stage; it was just a question of when, and how badly. For Chris the personal cost of his choices was paraplegia. He lost his ability to walk and now lives with the daily challenges associated with permanent spinal cord injury.

After his injury Chris quickly returned to the activities he really enjoyed; travelling with friends, partying and riding motorbikes again, albeit with a new found appreciation for life and a much more responsible approach to risky activities. The message he wants to share is that we are not invincible and while risk is a part of life the consequences of your actions should be considered before rushing into things. Think before you act.

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