Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Blind Dancing Star Took First Steps with Guide Dog in CQ

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Blind Dancing Star Took First Steps with Guide Dog in CQ

Article excerpt

BLIND adventurer and soon-to-be national Dancing With the Stars celebrity Gerrard Gosens has a Central Queensland background.

That's right - it's a little-known fact that Gerrard, the first blind person to compete on the internationally acclaimed reality dancing show, took his first steps with his guide dog here and used to live in Yeppoon.

Blind from birth, Gerrard became Australia's youngest guide dog recipient at 16.

An Australian Paralympian, Gerrard has also co-piloted an ultra-light motor glider around Queensland three times to raise funds for charity.

In 1989 The Morning Bulletin wrote a front-page story about Gerrard with a picture of him receiving his driver's licence from a police officer.

The story, which was published on April 1 as an April Fool's Day joke, said Gerrard's guide dog would help alert him when to turn corners.

His many achievements saw him named 1995 Young Queenslander of the Year and he was a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year.

Gerrard was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship in 1998 for humanitarian service and in 2003, received a Centenary of Federation Medal for service to sport.

A sought-after conference presenter and after-dinner speaker, Gerrard is presently special projects manager for Vision Australia. He is constantly looking for ways to improve the lives of children who are blind, like his 11-year-old daughter, Taylor. Gerrard is currently writing a book entitled My Eyes Had A Wet Nose.

The Buzz wishes Gerrard the best of luck when the nation tunes in on the show's debut on the Seven Network this Sunday at 6.30pm.

You can vote for Gerrard and support Vision Australia - SMS "GERRARD" to 19 77 77 or call 1902 55 77 20.

CQ's links with dance show fame

KEEPING with dancing, it's not the first connection Central Queensland has had with the hit TV show.

Here's what The Buzz has revealed in the past:

* During her stint in Rockhampton during Beef Week, international funny woman Fiona O'Loughlin told a Buzz insider she had accepted a role on the show, months before the star line-up was officially released.

* Next week, Dancing With The Stars star Adam Brand will visit Rockhampton with Jimmy Barnes. …

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