Australia’s own Adam Hills has just this week been presented with an MBE by Princess Anne at Windsor Castle. The medal for Member of the Order of The British Empire is awarded to those who have made a positive impact in their line of work, and Adam received his MBE on Tuesday for the role that he has played in promoting disability in sport.
As documented in his 2018 memoir Best Foot Forward, Adam was raised in the south Sydney suburb of Loftus by parents Bob and Judy Hills. Despite being born without a right foot, Adam described his childhood as happy and sporty, filled with rugby and gymnastics. (He claims he can still do a cartwheel). In fact, he revealed in his memoir that as a boy, he didn’t like to think of himself as disabled, which he attributes to internalised negative connotations associated with the term “disabled.”
In 2008 Adam hosted the ABC’s coverage of the Summer Paralympics. An experience which he determined to be eye-opening. As he writes in Best Foot Forward:” It was the first time I’d seen people who looked like me do anything sporty. And not just a bit sporty, properly elitey sporty.” Following this, Adam was engaged by the UK’s Channel 4 to host a short-term program for 2012 Summer Paralympics called The Last Leg, co-hosted by UK comedians Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker, which would function as a daily review of the events.
Having felt first-hand the positive impact of representation, Adam has become public advocate for disability in sport. He has been actively involved as a player and promoter for the Warrington Wolves, the first ever Physical Disability Rugby League team set up in the UK, and he represented Australia in the first PDRL World Cup which was shown live on the BBC. Most notably, The Last Leg is heading into its 27th Season, having been on the air for some eleven years.
Upon receiving his MBE medal, a very proud Adam was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. “chuffed” said Adam on Twitter.