CoAct - Community Activation

Impact Report 2015

National Body Impact

Raising Our Voice - A New Brand
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Matthew Cowdrey OAM

In London 2012, Matthew Cowdrey made history by becoming Australia's most successful Paralympian. Matthew won five gold, two silver and a bronze medal in London to bring his total gold medal haul to 13 and eclipse track sprinter Tim Sullivan's previous record of 10 gold medals. He also passed Australian swimmer Kingsley Bugarin's overall medal haul of 19 medals, with Matthew now having won a total of 23 Paralympic medals.

Matthew's successful London campaign backed up his Beijing Games where the multiple world record holder was Australia's top-medalling athlete along with fellow swimmer Peter Leek, and was named the IPC's Male Athlete of the Year as well as the APC's Paralympian of the Year.


Born with a congenital amputation to his lower left arm, Matthew started swimming at the age of five and was determined to not just be as good as any able bodied person, but to be better.

As well as multiple Paralympic titles, Matthew also holds six world championship titles after the 2010 World Championships and has two Commonwealth Games gold medals both from the 2006 Games where he was the only Australian male swimmer to win individual gold.


  • 13 Paralympic Gold (23 in total)
  • Medal of the Order of Australia
  • Set five world records in Beijing alone
  • Australian Flag Bearer 2008.

Why is Matt our Ambassador?

He challenges people who are disadvantaged to overcome their barriers

He has an inspirational story that relates to everyone

He believes in our vision and mission and wants to help motivate Australians overcome whatever barriers they face in their lives.

Matt officially became our Ambassador at the launch of CoAct on June 23, 2015.

Driving Performance
Raising Our Voices
Building Social Capital
Building Knowledge
Member Sustainability
A National Voice
CEO & Chair Yearly Summary
2015 CoAct Ambassador