“I love being involved with JMF because it feels so good to GIVE”.

A Little Bit About John

In 1988, a promising young Rugby League player, John Maclean was hit by an 8 tonne truck, whilst cycling on the M4, near his home town. The impact resulted in John suffering multiple breaks to his pelvis and back, a fractured sternum, punctured lungs, a broken arm, and left John a paraplegic.

John went on to become the first wheelchair athlete to have completed the famous Hawaii Ironman triathlon and is the first wheelchair athlete to swim the English Channel. He has represented Australia at the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In 2006 he took part in the invitation-only extreme endurance event Ultraman World Championships, in Hawaii. In 2008 he sailed in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race before winning a silver Olympic medal, in his FIFTH different sport, Adaptive Rowing, at the Beijing Paralympic Games. John continued to set the standard for what is physically possible for a wheelchair athlete.

However 2014 brought a new chapter into John’s extraordinary story.  After 25 years John literally took first steps on his journey to walk again, and leave the wheels behind.

Why John Founded JMF

John’s personal mission statement is: “ONLY POSSIBILITIES”. His desire was to expand this mantra beyond himself and help the many children in Australia who require wheelchairs. Therefore he set up the foundation to recognise and encourage each child’s abilities and harness their strengths to achieve extraordinary things on their own terms. JMF is an advocate for the cessation of the word “disability” and believe that is has negative connotations for the development of children with special needs. The term “disability” is not welcome in the house of JMF. Just try and tell John he is disabled – you’ll get an interesting response!

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