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Our Region, Our People: Take My Seat Shopping Challenge Cairns

Published 18 September 2019

North Queenslanders coming together to support individuals with spinal cord damage and other physical disabilities.


A flagship Healthy Living Centre is one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to a fundraising event held at Coles Earlville in Cairns this morning (Wednesday 18 September 2019).

Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) CEO John Gregg took part in Spinal Life Australia’s inaugural Take My Seat Shopping Challenge Cairns, raising funds to build the Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre in Cairns.

The challenge is a fun way to raise awareness of the daily challenges faced by people with spinal cord damage and saw participants from the Far North Queensland community competing against each other to complete their designated grocery lists whilst using a wheelchair.

The Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre in Cairns will be built on the corner of Lake and Smith Streets and will be the first of its kind in Queensland and regional Australia, offering short-term accessible accommodation, allied health services, a rehabilitation gym, and community café.

The centre is being developed in response to feedback from Spinal Life members and their mission to enable solutions for people with spinal cord damage to live an accessible, equitable, and empowered life.

The project is part of Spinal Life Australia’s commitment to bringing specialist services closer to home, reducing the need for people to travel, and giving them access to support where and when they choose.

Coles Earlville are also using the event as an opportunity to consider accessibility in the store for shoppers who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices.

Mr Gregg said the fundraising event was a great example of Far North Queensland community members coming together to fill gaps in support services for those in need.

“It was inspiring to see participants from a variety of industries across the region taking part in the challenge, from the emergency services, Australian Defence Force, to construction and the local Council,” said Mr Gregg.

“I encourage the community to get behind the participant in your industry and show your support by making a donation online. Visit and choose the participant’s profile.

“If you’d like to make a donation to my profile directly, you can do so at

“Congratulations to all who got involved to raise money for a worthy cause. I’d also like to give a special shout out to the challenge winner Lieutenant Rebecca MacPherson from the Royal Australian Navy.”

Find out more about Spinal Life’s Healthy Living Centre at

Last updated: 16 November 2020