Anthony Clarke

Onya Soapbox

Anthony Clarke

Anthony Clarke

Anthony Clarke is a multiple gold medal winning Paralympian, World Champion and National Champion… who is completely blind.

At the age of 17, Anthony was blinded instantly after a car accident in 1978. With very little education, no money and a bleak future, he has successfully re-educated himself and become one of Australia’s most prominent inspirational speakers. Anthony has also recently completed a contract with the Passenger Transport Department as a Project Officer to develop and has implemented training programs based around the Disability Discrimination Act.

Anthony’s keynote address and presentation style is unique, inspirational and entertaining. He draws from incredible personal experiences to show that any individual can ‘achieve the impossible’.

His presentations trace his life from the accident that caused his blindness to his success as an elite athlete.

Anthony talks about growing up in Kilburn (a traditionally rough area) and uses this as an example to highlight how to use your past to measure your present in order to move on to the future.

His wonderful story about hitch-hiking around Australia with his first guide dog, Marcus, shows the benefits of taking risks and that there are times to lead and times to follow.

Anthony speaks about finding your true potential and how to break the appropriate barriers to become a leader in your field. If you enjoy what you do, then you will be good at it!

Anthony believes that no one makes it through life alone and he talks about the importance of his support networks and role models in his life.

Achievements and Awards

  • Awarded The Order of Australia Medal in 1997
  • Paralympic and Duel World Vision Impaired Judo Champion
  • 2003/5, 1998/99 Australian Judo Champion (against sighted opponents)
  • Awarded the Judo Federation of Australia, South Australian Outstanding Judo Player of the Decade (an able bodied Judo Award)
  • A 3rd Degree Black Belt and Accredited Level 1 Judo Coach
  • Wrote and published his autobiography and motivational book
  • “Achieving the Impossible” (Foreword by Dawn Fraser and launched by John Cahill)
  • Hitch hiked around Australia and New Zealand
  • “Thrown” two Prime Ministers – Bob Hawke and John Howard


“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for your time and effort during the Clipsal Contractor Trip last week. It was an absolute pleasure to not only meet you, but to hear the stories you had to share and advice you had to give. It’s truly a remarkable life’s journey that you have travelled on thus far and I believe that the lessons learned from your presentation were invaluable to our audience. We received nothing but positive feedback from our guests who thoroughly enjoyed the experience with you, most notably your sense of humour, mental strength and certainly the demonstrations. I felt it was only appropriate to relay this information back to you. I would personally like to thank you for the photos you allowed me to take with you and your medals, as it is something that I will certainly treasure.

We at Clipsal wish you all the best in your future endeavours, especially the 2008 Olympic Games which we understand will be your last. We have no doubt that you will take the Gold for Australia. I can assure you that you are greatly respected and admired within the Clipsal organisation and we hope to see you again soon at another one of our functions in the near future. Thank you once again Anthony and the team at Onya Soapbox for making this an enjoyable experience for all involved.”
Marcus Capaldo – National Contractor Coordinator, Clipsal Communications

“The feed back we received about your performance was outstanding and again we thank you for making the time available to support our club. On behalf of all at Port Adelaide Football Club we wish you all the best in the future and we look forward to your continued support.”
Brian Cunningham – Chief Executive Port Adelaide Football Club

“The humour and manner with which Anthony discussed his accident and subsequent lifestyle had the audience quickly at ease. His approach to life as evidenced by his wonderful anecdotes gave many much to laugh about and think about. Anthony was certainly one of the highlights of the Congress. One trade delegate mentioned that he was completely unaware of the time during Anthony’s talk, which in the busy lives of these people is a sure indication of the success of the speaker.”
Wendy Lacoon – Convention Consultant

“The fact that you held each of your four audience groups captivated illustrates the timelessness and relevance of the messages you delivered. This particular age group is ruthlessly discerning, and highly critical of folk who they perceive as being non-genuine. None of the feedback received at the completion of the conference suggested that your sessions were anything but extremely well accepted. In fact, to a child, when asked to identify the single, most positive thing that would be taken away from the day’s programme, the resounding response was “Guest Speaker – Anthony Clarke”.  I can only concur with the student population. Your presence, and contributions, were powerful in there impact and have certainly set us all thinking about how we can over come ‘negativity of the mind’ by focusing on attainable success. Shortly after your visit, one of my students, a leader on the conference day, was hospitalised with a serious, and life threatening, eating disorder. In one of our last conversations at school, she mentioned how determined she had become to beat her illness as a direct result of the inspiration she took from your talk!”
Deb Porter – Highbury Primary School 

“On behalf of the year 11 students that you recently inspired while sharing your amazing life, stories, adventures and unexpected achievements I would like to once again thank you for coming. You have given us a new approach to life and showed us that no matter how hard one’s life is, one can always make it better. You have given us new challenges in life that none of us dared to do before. You have touched many of us and will always be embedded in our hearts and memories as “An Unlikely Champion Who Inspired Students.”
Ljiljana Ilic – Mt. Carmel College 

“Anthony Clarke was fantastic and everyone enjoyed listening to him speak. Anthony stayed after his speech and spoke with many of our staff which was so fantastic of him.”
Gillian Griffith – BHP Billiton