Release date: 02 March 2021

Queensland’s first medical graduate with quadriplegia is offering his time to raise money for a free legal service on the Sunshine Coast at a Wine Dinner – hosted by Travis Schultz & Partners and sponsored by Coastline BMW and Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants – on Thursday 11 March at the Lakehouse in Mountain Creek.

The Sunshine Coast legal fraternity is supporting the Suncoast Community Legal Service as Queensland’s Australian of the Year, Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, will share his experience about rising above adversity.

Leading Compensation Lawyer Travis Schultz said it is an honour to be able to welcome Dr Palipana to the region as he shares his incredible story.

“Dr Palipana – who has graciously donated his time for the event – was just 25 years old when he became quadriplegic following a car accident,” Mr Schultz said.

“But that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dreams and becoming Queensland’s first doctor with quadriplegia, adding to his repertoire of being a university lecturer and lawyer.

“His tale resonates with so many people in our community – people who are left feeling like they have no option when life throws the unexpected at them.

“But I firmly believe in the importance of these people receiving the right support so they can move forward in their life and that’s one of the reasons we’re hosting this dinner so the vulnerable can access free legal services through the Suncoast Community Legal Service.”

Working in one of the busiest emergency departments in Australia Dr Dinesh Palipana said he learned long ago that life will have its up and downs and he hopes to share his wisdom and perseverance.

“Life has definitely thrown some challenging experiences my way but nothing in life is permanent so if you’re having a bad day, you know that a better day is coming,” Dr Palipana said.

“I hope by listening to my experience that the people in the room will know that anything is possible. I survived a car accident and despite my disability and people telling me I couldn’t, I managed to become a doctor.

“I feel incredibly privileged to be in my position to give back and I believe it’s my responsibility to do so.

“There are many vulnerable people in our society who don’t have access to employment but still have a right to justice so if I can give some of my time to help raise money for this service – sign me up!

“I might not be able to change the world but if I can help one person, I can make the world a whole lot better for them.”

Suncoast Community Legal Service is a not-for-profit organisation, which provides free legal advice to financially disadvantaged people in the community.

Suncoast Community Legal Service Managing Solicitor Julian Porter said the independent community organisation has been operating for more than three decades and has relied on the support of the Sunshine Coast lawyers, volunteers and the public.

“Law can be confusing and it is important that people know what their rights are and not be afraid to ask for help so they can make an informed decision about their future,” Mr Porter said.

“Most people don’t know where to begin, and our lawyers make the process as simple as we can without costing them a fortune.

“To be able to do that, we have to rely on the generous donations from our community. Events like the Suncoast Community Legal Service Wine Dinner go a long way in helping us provide this life-changing service.”

Mr Schultz said his firm along with other law firms on the Sunshine Coast also offer up their advice to the service throughout the year in a volunteer basis.

“Everyone in our community should have access to justice no matter their background or circumstance – support and a fair understanding of the law shouldn’t be reserved to those who have money,” he said.

Tickets to the event have sold out and all proceeds will go to the operation of Suncoast Community Legal Service.

The keynote speaker is Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM who is the co-founder of Doctors with Disabilities Australia.

For more information on the Suncoast Community Legal Service, visit

Dr Dinesh Palipana