Karni Liddell is a former world record holder, Paralympic swimmer, speaker, TV presenter, “Mama” and clinical social worker. Karni was born with a neuro-muscular wasting disease and her parents were told that their first-born child wouldn’t walk, crawl or live past her teenage years.
Karni broke her first World Record at the age of 14 and she went on to win Paralympic medals at every Paralympics she competed at, and she regards being captain of the Number 1 team at the Sydney 2000 Games her greatest sporting achievement.
Karni has risen over $1million dollars throughout her career for the various disability charities she supports.
Karni is currently the QLD Manager for the Public Service Commission whereby her role is to increase employment of People with a disability across the Public sector and the community to 8%. Karni was the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Ambassador and officially opened the NDIA head office in Geelong, she is a member of the Qld Premier’s Domestic and Family Violence Council and is a Domestic and Family Violence specialist and trainer (Karni delivers the Lifeline DV-alert Working with Women with Disabilities and the Griffith University Mate Bystander workshop).
She is a presenter for Channel 7 ‘The Weekender’ and was a talkback radio presenter. She is the Ambassador for Kids Help Line, Muscular Dystrophy QLD and Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association. Karni was the Patron of the International Day of People with a Disability and was awarded the Pride of Australia medal. Karni was just awarded the Bond University Alumni Community Achievement Award (2021); she has also won the Qld Teacher and Trainer of the year (2015) and was awarded the Alumni of the Year award for the faculty of health at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Karni holds a Clinical Masters in Social Work (QUT) and a double Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Bond University.
Karni is an Internationally acclaimed and sought after keynote speaker and has just done a TED speech, which has been watched by thousands of people around the world and was the only TED speaker on the day to receive a standing ovation.