Dr David Stratton was born and raised in England where he graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Engineering in 1972.
He spent his childhood years traipsing the mountains of Britain, Scandinavia and Europe with his parents. Walking in beautiful and high-up places proved to be his life-long recreational passion.
David moved to Vancouver, BC, Canada in 1985 – the perfect place to walk through pristine landscapes and mountains.
In 1995, David was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
When Ballarat University offered a lectureship and the opportunity to complete a PhD (Computer Science) David and his wife and now carer Ros returned to live in Australia with their six children. By 2003 David was lecturing full time from his wheelchair.
In 2009, David and his wife returned to Canada for a holiday where he was most reluctantly introduced to BCMOS’s all-terrain wheelchair “TrailRider” by friends.
They were determined to take him out into the mountain forests around Vancouver once more. Once in this strange contraption, with friends and family as his first “Sherpas”, he fell in love with it…and wept to be amongst the natural beauty of a mountain trail once more.
On returning to Australia, David contacted Parks Victoria and began advocating with the staff to introduce TrailRiders into Victoria’s parks to make them accessible to people with disabilities.
There are now 11 TrailRiders in Australia. David’s vision is for there to be one in every National Park in Australia, all supported by a team of registered, trained, volunteer Sherpas.