Dean Clifford — awarded September 2018
Dean Clifford was born with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), an incredibly rare and debilitating skin condition with, currently, no cure. The more common term used by the media is ‘Cotton Wool Kids’.
Dean continues to baffle medical science as one of the oldest survivors of what should be a fatal genetic skin condition. He wasn’t expected to live past the age of five but instead has become an inspirational, valuable and productive member of the community.
At ten, Dean was told he would never walk again. He was also told he would never be able to get a job or “fit into society.” Despite this, Dean not only walks, but currently holds the record as one of the strongest (able-bodied or disabled) power lifters in the world. And he is one of the most in-demand motivational speakers in Australia.
Disability Employment Australia has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Dean, and one of his first speaking opportunities was at a DEA (then known as ACE) conference back in 2004. Dean’s presentation received a standing ovation and the momentum it generated helped to quickly establish him on the national speaking circuit.
The feedback that ACE received after the presentation was so overwhelming that Dean was later invited to join the team as the first official Ambassador for ACE, lobbying for the rights of people with disability in the workforce.
Dean created his professional speaking company, DMC Motivational, over ten years ago. Since then he has travelled the world speaking with groups and organisations from primary school children to prime ministers. When Dean is not away speaking, he is the Business and Marketing Of?cer for Ken Mills Toyota.
Dean motivates, encourages and empowers all who come into contact with him, His presentations inspire everyone to follow their dreams and believe in themselves, just the way Dean has throughout his life.
Dean is incredibly passionate and vocal about advocating for equal opportunities for people with disability in the workforce. He encourages both jobseekers and employers to find out first-hand the benefits of partnering with a DES provider.