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Jonathan Goerlach


Image of Kimberlee Brooker"My name is Jonathan, and I am legally blind. Now, at age 30, I look back at the last decade of my life and reflect on all that I have achieved. I believe my most significant achievement has been accepting my visual impairment, my sight narrowing with each year, and not allowing my personality or life be defined by it.

I consider myself an Athlete With a Disability, striving to participate in Sport as much as possible. I also see myself as a role-model for younger people with degenerative visual impairments, providing guidance as the Youth Ambassador for Retina Australia NSW.

Lastly, continuing on with life's reflection, the most important thing to me is family. Without the love and continued support from a close family I don't believe I would be half the person I have become after 30 years."

Winning Entry

At age 4, in my Dads backyard, I have my first life-changing moment...I come too close to drowning. For the next 25yrs I avoided swimming and anything water-related. My subconscious fear of being submerged in the blue liquid provides nothing but anxiety on the surface. Finally, I reach a point in life where I need to face my fear, conquering this I know will open up a whole World I am yet to experience

Providing you with this insight into my past, a suppressed fear, paints a picture that tells you I am yet to indulge in the many natural wonders our island country has to offer. Forcing myself to learn how to swim this year has allowed me to actually fathom the idea of taking up activities such as snorkeling and diving.

Having faced my fear, and opening doors to potential new and exciting experiences, without doubt my dream holiday is to travel to the Great Barrier Reef. With the continued degeneration of my vision, I may only have a small window of opportunity to embark on this dream holiday, so now is the time for me to capitalise on my achievement and really see one of the most incredible parts of the world.

Jonathan's Travel Blog

Would you like to know how Jonathan is enjoying his trip up to the Great Barrier Reef? You can follow his trip via his travel blog