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The Hard Road to Triumph! November Foundation Business Breakfast

30 November 2023

What a way to end our Foundation Business Breakfast series for the year!

A brilliant line up of guest speakers with 3-time Tour de France green jersey winner Robbie McEwan, Medal winning Paralympian Bryce Lindores and ABC Journalist Tom Forbes, along with Headmaster Andrew Hawkins leading the chat - Inspirational is an understatement.

Robbie McEwen

“Getting selected for my first Tour de France, I was excited at the prospect of riding the biggest race in the world and potentially winning a stage. As I entered the mountains, I got a big wake-up call and realised how hard it is and what it takes to be successful at the Tour. It was a long three and a half weeks of suffering but it taught me a lot.”

Robbie McEwen is a Brisbane born former professional road cyclist, renowned for his exceptional sprinting abilities and is considered one of the most successful and inspirational sprinters in the history of professional cycling. As the icing on the cake of his illustrious and successful career, in his last professional cycling race at the Tour of California in 2012, he won the jersey for Most Courageous Rider.

Robbie competed in the Tour de France numerous times and won the prestigious green jersey (points classification) three times (2002, 2004 and 2006). He also secured multiple stage wins in the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and Vuelta a España throughout his career. Robbie says his success is not due to the rage or aggression often perceived about cyclists, rather a fierce determination and razor-sharp focus.

Robbie retired from professional cycling in 2012 and transitioned into sports commentating using his extensive knowledge and experience to provide insightful commentary for various cycling events and races. His charismatic and engaging style made him a popular figure in the world of sports broadcasting, and he often shares his expertise with viewers during major cycling events such as the Tour de France and other international races.

Robbie owns well known Gold Coast cafe Piccolo as well as Robbie McEwen Cycling and continues commentating around the world, dividing his time between Mermaid Beach and Belgium with his family.

Bryce Lindores

“Having more than one plan always helps, as does adapting to the hand you’re dealt.”

Paralympian tandem cyclist and multiple medal winner Bryce is a Gold Coaster with strong family links to St George. Amongst many other sports, he played rugby, tennis and touch football when he was young before being blinded in an accident days before his 18th birthday. Ironically for this champion, cycling was nothing more than an occasional pushbike around the local streets prior to his accident.

Bryce spent six weeks in a coma in hospital and then had to find ways to regain his life. Unable to celebrate his 18th birthday, his family turned it on for his 19th, and a friend gifted him a tandem pushbike. The rest is history as the next phase of Bryce’s life commenced.

Just two years after he began riding, Bryce was invited to try out at the Adelaide SuperDrome where the Australian Institute of Sport’s Track Cycling Program is headquartered. His times were good enough to secure a spot at the 2006 paracycling world titles in Switzerland where he and his pilot won a bronze medal and Bryce was awarded 2006 Queensland Tandem Cyclist of the Year.

Then followed a bronze medal in the Men’s Track Individual Pursuit at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games; numerous medals in track and road events at world and national titles; silver in the Men’s Individual Pursuit at the London 2012 Paralympics; and gold in the 2012 Para-cycling Track World Championships.

Bryce’s stellar achievements haven’t been limited to cycling. In 2009, he was one of six blind and visually impaired Australians accompanied by sighted guides to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, setting a new Guinness World Record in the process.

A bulging disc stopped Bryce’s plans to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and he was forced to retire from cycling. On to the next adventure, the Lindores family bought a farm in Beaudesert and pivoted to turf as the opportunity arose. The business has massively expanded, with Bryce now general manager of the successful operation.

“My experience has given me solid preparation for what I do - coping with adversity and operating in a team environment. At the Olympics it was not just one person, everyone was there to help each other, which I encourage my team at the farm to do.”

Tom Forbes

“Whenever I'm in my car and I see anyone pedalling along with their life packed on a bike I immediately ask myself, ‘Who are they, where are they going, and what’s happened to them?’”

Gold Coast media personality and ABC journalist Tom Forbes accidentally ended up with a cult following as he became that person on a loaded pushie and travelled 4500 kms across Australia from the Gold Coast to Perth. Word spread and followers counted the hours for Tom’s daily updates over his 48-day journey, visiting some of the most remote parts of the country, while raising over $75,000 for cancer charity Red Kite.

With up to 180km between stops and on his own, Tom carried all his own water, food, and mechanical equipment. The first leg took him from the Gold Coast over the Great Dividing Range and into Warwick; then he tracked southwest through New South Wales; into northern Victoria; on to Adelaide – before tackling the gruelling Nullabor Plain and finally finishing in Perth.

Tom set off on the arduous journey to “shake things up a bit and challenge myself.”

Moreover, service and community minded Tom wanted to use his trip to help raise awareness and money for Redkite, an organisation that has helped his family, with three-year-old nephew Sam battling leukaemia. Tom has raised over $92,000 so far!