A WORK place accident two decades ago that left Jason Morris without a hand became the catalyst for him to focus positive energy on a life and career that has led him to inspire thousands of others, especially children.
"After my work accident (at a tannery in NSW) I came to Queensland without a job but determined to set up a business," Jason said. "My wife and I had a baby three months after the accident and I had to deal with a missing hand. I had to get on with life and help look after our daughter, dress her and feed her, with one hand.
"My parents were good. They presented me with challenges. My mother made me practice and practice tying up my shoe laces with one hand and my father said 'don't let this beat you, you have another hand' and I really pushed myself after that."
Jason learnt to play the
didgeridoo from a member of the Gubbi Gubbi tribe and went into Sunshine Coast schools and kindergartens showing the children his new skills.
The children's innocent and natural curiosity about his missing hand led Jason to talk about his accident, let them shake "hands" with his hook, and talk about overcoming a disability.
Jason then embarked on a mission to get into as many schools and kindergartens as he could to teach children about overcoming difficulties and accepting people who were different.
"I started a show called The Dude That's Different," he said. "It deals with bullying, why some people look different, and shows people what they can do for themselves. It gives them motivation and hope. If I can do it so can they."
Now Jason is a motivational speaker in demand and he plans to take his message further.
"My wife and I have bought a big safari bus and we've converted it to a home," he said.
"We want to go out west, talk to kids and hit towns we haven't been able to get to."
Jason has been a regular visitor for the past 10 years at the Peregian Beach Community Kindergarten.
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