Greenslopes Grandfather With Spinal Cord Injury Plans Travel Fundraiser

Bevan, a Greenslopes grandfather, will attempt something he has never done before. As a person with spinal cord injury who has been getting around with a wheelchair, he’ll be travelling from Brisbane to Townsville, through QLD’s western corridor, and then back home to Greenslopes, in his makeshift wheelchair-accessible camper van.

The retiree said that he had the idea to go around the region in the hopes of raising funds for spinal research. Bevan also wants his upcoming trip, set for late August or September, to raise awareness for inclusive tourism and his not-for-profit Miller Chase Foundation and Accessible Australia Ride, a free and helpful tool encouraging people with disabilities to safely explore the country. 

Bevan said that since getting his Freedom Trax, a powered off-road wheelchair from the NDIS, he’s enjoying more independence and outdoor recreational activities, such as camping and fishing, with his grandchildren. Having a wheelchair has allowed him some fun with the great outdoors but a trip around Queensland remains his goal for some time. 

Photo Credit: Supplied

“I was retired and looking for something to do and a challenge to raise funds for a reasonable cause. I had the wheelchair scooter and always wanted to go around Australia and thought I’d combine the whole thing together.”

“I ripped the seats out of my Toyota HiAce Commuter and converted it into a wheelchair-accessible camper van so I have somewhere to sleep, and my mate will drive the van behind me as a support vehicle.

“I am hoping late August or early September and will start from Brisbane and go up the Queensland coast, then go across to Mt Isa from Townsville, then down the western corridor through Winton to Charleville across the bottom of the state, back to Brisbane.”

Photo Credit: Supplied

Bevan suffered a spinal cord injury in a motorbike accident almost 30 years ago and was in the spinal unit for six months during his rehabilitation. Three decades on and Bevan said that there isn’t a decent facility for spinal cord injury patients and their families during the rehabilitation. So, he’s also hoping that this trip will also enable him to secure funds to build a rehabilitation centre.

“It would be nice to have a place where you can move out of the spinal unit and instead of living in the hospital ward, you can be in a rehab centre with gym, hydro pools and units designed with wheelchair facilities, so the families and patients can be rehabilitated together; even the families need that rehab.”

Aside from NDIS, the Greenslopes grandfather also has the support of Spinal Life Australia. After Queensland, he’s hoping to continue his travels in the rest of the country in 2022. 

To avail of the support Bevan has received from the NDIS, enquire from Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or