Healthier Illawarra International Men's Day Lunch 2024

Friday, November 22, 2024

Venue: Novotel Wollongong

Healthier Illawarra Men will host its third annual International Men's Day Lunch featuring inspiring guest speaker John Maclean.

Join us at Novotel Wollogong Northbeach for a fun-filled afternoon of fellowship and frivolity.

Tickets will include a two-course lunch and drinks package. Tickets are expected to go on sale on August 1. 

Image 11-6-2024 at 3.44 PM

Tickets will go on sale on August 1. Do not miss out!



Would you like to partner with us for our 2024 IMD Lunch? Click on the link below

Special guest

John head shot hi-res B&W (2019_08_22 03_27_09 UTC)

John Maclean

During fitness training near his hometown in Sydney, Australia, in June 1988, John was hit by an 8-tonne truck as he rode his bike. The impact resulted in John suffering multiple breaks to his pelvis and back, a fractured sternum, punctured lungs, a broken arm, and left John a paraplegic. It took astonishing courage and determination, but somehow this near-fatal accident was the making of him. Despite the grief of what he had lost, the excruciating physical pain and the challenges of daily life in a wheelchair, John decided he would become bigger and stronger than ever. He set about proving himself in the toughest sporting events the world had to offer.

In 1995 John made history by becoming the first wheelchair athlete to finish the course at the world's toughest multi-discipline sporting event – the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, drawing on all his inner strength to continue to the finish line after falling outside the able-bodied cut-off times in the bike section.

The following year John narrowly missed the cut off time again, this time due to a flat tyre but proceeded to complete the entire course once again.

In 1997 he not only finished within the able-bodied cut-off times, he beat a third of the field and became the first ever wheelchair category winner. In 2002 John became the first non-American, and the first wheelchair athlete to be inducted into the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon Hall of Fame.

Many more extraordinary sporting challenges followed, including becoming the first wheelchair athlete to swim the English Channel in 1998, and complete the gruelling Molokai Ocean challenge in 2005 (World Championships for open water paddling). He represented Australia at the Sydney 2000 Olympic, and Paralympic Games, and in 2001 he sailed in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.  In 2006 he took part in the invitation-only extreme endurance event, the Ultraman World Championships, in Hawaii

Early in 2007, John was invited into the sport of rowing. In September 2007 he and his rowing partner claimed a silver medal at the Rowing World Championships and followed up with GOLD at the International Regatta in Italy in April 2008. John won Rowing silver at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.

Parallel to his sporting career, John sought to further focus his tremendous energy and determination on helping others. John established a charitable foundation in 1998, The John Maclean Foundation, which is now a national scale organisation providing support and assistance to Australian wheelchair users under the age of 18.  The foundation's mission is to inspire, motivate and enable physically challenged kids to chase their dreams and live life to the fullest. The Foundation has currently raised $4 million.

In a moment of fatigue and exhaustion a few years after his accident, John’s father consoled John by saying “son, look how far you’ve come… now how far can you go?” this became John’s mission statement, and when he approached NeuroPhysics therapist, Ken Ware in April 2013, John was living by the mantra how far can you go?  That April, after 25 years in a wheelchair, John took his first steps towards achieving his dream to walk again ...


Our event host

Image 12-6-2024 at 8.17 PM

Bruce Roberts

A journalist and newsreader with WIN News, anchoring the Network’s news bulletins in the Illawarra, Canberra, regional Victoria and Tasmania.​
As a senior member of the WIN News team, Bruce is passionate about delivering regional audiences a full half hour of local news, sport and weather every weeknight on the WIN Network.​
During his time at WIN, Bruce has anchored more than 18,000 prime-time bulletins and written countless stories on a wide range of topics affecting regional viewers.​
After graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) in 1990, Bruce worked for the Seven Network, BBC and Sky Sports before joining the WIN News team.​
Bruce holds both a Graduate Diploma (2010) and a Master’s degree in Journalism from Charles Sturt University. ​
Away from the news desk, Bruce is often recognised as a talented MC, hosting various events from charity galas to sporting functions and awards ceremonies. ​
He has a deep passion for military causes and emceed numerous services for state and local RSLs, the national POW Memorial, Legacy and the Weary Dunlop Foundation.​
Bruce has been open about his own health challenges.  He encourages all men to see their GP regularly to stay on top of their health no matter what age they are.


The venue

Novotel Wollongong Northbeach



Grab Your Ticket Soon

You can secure your ticket to the 2024 Healthier Illawarra Men Lunch on August 1.

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