Meet the Tullipan Family.
Hello! We are the Tullipan family and welcome to the “Follow our Traxx” Blog.
We love showing people that having a disability doesn’t have to stop you from having fun and making the most of opportunities. More people are hitting the road in their caravans, campervans or with their tents than ever before. More than likely for screen free getaways. Families spend so much time in front of screens these days. TVs, laptops, phones, tablets, kindles, heck even most fridges have digital displays on them!
There’s just so much to see in this great country of ours, so get out there and see it!
Ben Tullipan is Australia’s worst injured survivor of the 2002 Bali Bombings, losing both his legs, most of his stomach muscles and receiving 63% full thickness burns to his body. He was flown home by the Australia Air Force in a Hercules and given a 5% chance of survival. Not only did he fight on and survive his horrific injuries, but he learnt to walk again thanks to two prosthetic legs and his ‘never say die’ attitude.
Ben is passionate about promoting sport, in particular Golf, to those with a disability, encouraging less able Australians of all ages and abilities to play Golf as a viable form of rehabilitation and recreation.
He is living proof that life is about living and not wasting time wallowing in self pity. It is about re-building one’s self esteem and sense of worth, developing skills and building new friendships, regardless of life’s challenges and obstacles.
Ben currently volunteers for Empower Golf Australia, running the Empower Golf Queensland division. Empower Golf facilitates and promotes Golf for less able Australians by making the impossible possible with an all-terrain revolutionary mobility device which manoeuvres individuals, particularly quadriplegics and paraplegics, but also amputees, the deaf, the blind, those with cerebral palsy, brain injuries, vision impairments, etc into a standing position to replicate a full Golfing experience.
More recently Ben has become an advocate for showing Australians that having a disability doesn’t have to stop people from having fun and making the most of opportunities.
The Tullipan family hit the road in 2019 with the Dometic Follow the Sun Relay. The Relay was a collaborative effort between Dometic, Winnebago and Caravan Industry Association of Australia. They travelled in a Winnebago motorhome showing what holidaying in a motorhome is like for a family with a disability.
Ben was also named the Inclusive Ambassador at the 2019 Caravan Industry Association National Conference held on the Gold Coast.
In October 2019 Ben was invited to speak at the Australian Regional Tourism Convention in Tasmania talking about the current situation in the tourism industry in regards to accessible tourism for the disabled and it’s lack thereof.
Ben and his wife Kerrie live on the Gold Coast and have been together for 15 years, they have 2 children, a daughter Sheridan who is 13 and a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo and a Baton Bearer for the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and a son Rory who is 7 years old.
Kerrie has a passion for writing and photography. She loves how photography is a great way of storytelling. She enjoys taking people on a journey through a photograph and capturing a moment. She says you never know when you’ll be right in the middle of a changing event and your camera will create the record for generations to come. You can follow the family on Instagram @keeping_up_with_kerrie
The family were featured in a documentary on terrorism called ‘LOVE HATE LOVE’ that was Executive Produced by Actor and Humanitarian Sean Penn. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The film offers a refreshingly inspiring look at the way real people all over the world are choosing to respond to terrorism – proving that even the most horrifying acts of hate can be conquered by the most astounding acts of Love.
Ben brings substantial awareness to communities via the media, raising the awareness of disabled sports, participation and its benefits, as well as increasing the profile of disabled people not just locally, or interstate, but nationally as well.
Ben’s determination and strength of character to triumph over personal adversity earned him the 2006 Pride of Australia Medal for Courage. He also has the following accolades:
2006 Moncrieff Community Award
2008 Gold Coast Citizen of the Year
2016 Gold Coast Father of the Year
2016 Queensland Father of the Year
2016 United Nations Volunteer Award Finalist (Final 3)
2016 Northern Gold Coast Community Award
2016 Sporting Wheelies & Disabled Association Inclusive Services
Award (in conjunction with Club Parkwood) for Best Inclusive
Sports Programme in Queensland.
2017 – current: Ambassador for Parkwood International Golf Course
2018 Ambassador for the Gold Coast Disability Expo
2018 Service to Sport Award (Sports Stars Award run by Gold Coast Bulletin)
2019 Finalist in the Westfield Local Heroes
2019 Inclusive Ambassador Caravan Industry Association of Australia