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Bill Mather-Brown interviewed by Robin Poke in the Australian Centre for Paralympic Studies oral history project [sound recording]
Bib ID 4901270
Format AudioAudio, OnlineOnline [sound recording]
Mather-Brown, Bill, 1936-, Interviewee
Online Access
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2010 
2 sound files (ca. 136 min.) 

Australian Centre for Paralympic Studies oral history project.


Bill Mather-Brown born in Freemantle, W.A. talks about his parents and family background; his brother Donald; contracting polio at the age of two; the family living at Agnew near Kalgoorlie at the time; spending two years at Kalgoorlie hospital; the effects that it had on his body; his philosophy of life; Kevin Coombs; working as a sports reporter with station 6IX; seeing wheelchair basketball for the first time; basketball training; the court at Trenton Park; Sir George Bedbrook; the beginnings of the wheelchair basketball teams in Perth; the spinal injury unit in Perth; Johno Johnston; patients encouraged to become fit and strong; winning some weightlifting competitions; Ludwig Gutmann; Stoke Mandeville Games in England (1957); John Rayne; medals; competing at the first Australian Paraplegic Championships (1960) in Melbourne; his selection for the team for the first Paralympics, Rome (1960); fundraising; support staff; his definition of the Paralympics; the standard of officials at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Mather-Brown discusses meeting his future wife, Nadine (1967); Tel Aviv Paralympics (1968); patients rights; the importance of fitness for paraplegics; Heidelberg Paralympics; Commonwealth Games in Dunedin, New Zealand (1974), Kingston, Jamaica (1966) and Edinburgh, Scotland (1970); the decision to stop taking part in competitive basketball; Winter Paralympics; being made a life member of the Wheelchair Sports Association and W.A. Citizen of the year for sport (1981); Frank Ponta; being awarded the Australian Sports medal (2000); Tony South; coaching wheelchair rugby; his thoughts on wheelchair sport and competition; the classification of disabled athletes; his children; inventing a hand control for automatic cars which is commercially produced; the East Fremantle football club; using his links to the team to inspire his athletes to play at their highest level.


Bill Mather-Brown has been a wheelchair sportsman for over fifty year. He is a three-time Paralympian and has also contested several Commonwealth Games for the disabled. In 2002 he co-authored a book, The fight in the dog, about his life in wheelchair sport. He has also published two volumes of poetry.


Recorded on 3 June 2010 in Perth, W.A.

Mode of access: Internet via World Wide Web.

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary (5 p.) 
Subjects Mather-Brown, Bill, 1936- -- Interviews.  |  Paralympics.  |  Athletes -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Athletes with disabilities -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Sports for people with disabilities -- Australia.  |  Basketball players -- Western Australia.  |  Wheelchair basketball.  |  Poliomyelitis.
Other authors/contributors Poke, Robin, Interviewer  |  Mather-Brown, Bill, 1936- Fight in the dog

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Details Collect From
ORAL TRC 6112/2
Copy: Recording
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 6112/2 (summary)
Copy: Summary
Special Collections Reading Room

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