Trish Jackson

Footsie Photos

Author: Trish (page 2 of 6)


Recently the ABC TV did a stoty on my public speaking, my drawings and photography… Here are the links if you would like to have a look at them. I am just 1 of the women who the ABC are showcasing in their “womens work’ series…




If you would like to see the extended version of my story, then this is the link. This longer version was shown on the ABC morning news show.

Kindergarten fun.

I spent the morning at a kindergarten with around 44 three and four year old children. What a great time we all had. I showed them some of my drawings and photography. We chatted about how I did things with no arms. I then read them a book, did puzzles, played with magnets, I was shown the hermit crabs they had. Lastly we did a music song about making pizza but we all played and used our feet to use the rhythm sticks to beat to the music. It was such great fun. The poor teacher aide kept getting cramps in her feet from holding the rhythm sticks in her toes… . this is the gift they gave me for giving up my time and visiting them.

Later that afternoon I did a radio interview about my life for a community radio station. Which was great fun

Toowoomba region

‘I CAN’ is the motto we should all live by!

Trish Jackson is an amazing inspiration for Year 5M and other upper school classes at Newtown State School.  Born with no arms she has learnt to do everything with her legs including some lovely art she chose to share with students.  Trish told us that when she walks down the street people call her mean names, which she has learnt to overcome during her life where everything has been tough and done differently.

Trish encouraged the students to give everything their best especially when it’s tough.  The art she shared allowed the students to draw lovely Australian animals and scenes.

‘We know we can- ‘cause Trish has proven that to us!’ said one 5M student.

By the teacher of 5M

Trip to Maryborough

Took a drive up to Maryborough (216km) last weekend stopping along the way to spend Saturday night catching up with friends, then early Sunday morning we turned the car north for our last bit of our trip to Maryborough, where we had a lovely coffee and breakfast at Restaurant 71 on the wharf looking out over the Mary river.

After some sightseeing, it was off to the Anglican church hall for lunch, as I was asked to be the guest speaker for their annual lunch with around 94 people in attendance. Unfortunately, my A/V presentation did not go quite to plan (photos were hard to see, technology is great when it all works) luckily, I had my cards on display for them to see my artwork.

When I finished my presentation I was overwhelmed, even a little embarrassed to receive a standing ovation from all the attendees. It is amazing how people both children and Adults relate to stories of my life. If only I was a famous sporting Celebrity or a would-be politician I could easily get speaking engagements to share my story, being an un-known name makes it harder to find places who want to hear my story.

Thank you to Tricia for asking me to be the guest speaker.


On the Monday, I spent the morning whale watching on Whalesong out of Hervey Bay, with Trevor and some friends. I was very excited to be going whale watching, it must be one of the things that you have on your bucket List. The experience is just amazing when you see your first whale. I was excited at the prospect and hoping with everything crossed that I would get that one, award-winning shot that I could be proud of but the odds were stacking up against me. The first thing that was against me was that it was a very rough day on the water, now I don’t usually get seasick, I have only ever been seasick once and that was more than enough, it is just the worst feeling, I took a seasickness tablet just in case, I didn’t want seasickness to spoil my day. Sadly, many people on the boat were a very lovely shade of green, happily I was not sick at all. When I got on the boat I promptly headed to the bow of the boat and plonked myself down and that was going to be my spot for the day nothing was going to move me from that spot because being a bit rough in the water you had to hold on to the railings with all your might to steady yourself. This leads into my second thing stacking up against me of taking any photos, I don’t have any arms to hold on, so I had to wrap my legs around the railings of the boat to anchor myself. Which is why I grabbed my spot at the front of the boat as I knew there was no way I could ever walk around the boat once it set sail. My feet were not only busy trying to hold on but were also trying to hold my camera so that I could take photos. My wonderful hubby stood behind me so that I did not fly backwards off my seat in case my feet let go of the rails, he too had to do this while he was holding on to steady himself. It was not rough the whole trip just when we got out of the bay it got rough, so most of the time it was very pleasant. When I got home to look at my photos I have beautiful photos of either the sea or the sky, there were just no whales swimming or jumping in any of them, they were just pretty shades of blue photos, then again none of the other passengers were taking photos with their feet, so I’m pretty excited that I have at least half a dozen that I am quite happy with. It just makes these photos all that sweeter because of the effort and difficulty of me taking photos with my feet.

Don’t tell me I can’t. I can!!!


Tuesday, I headed off to spend a couple of hours at Maryborough special school, with Teacher Rose and her art students, though I think the whole school showed up. I did my first special school presentation, after complicating of my presentation and answering their questions a group of us did a quick smiley face foot drawing then we changed students then did a quick painting of a football again with our feet. Thank you to Rose and Maryborough Special School. I had a great time.

The beautiful hall at Maryborough.

Foot paintings from the kids at Maryborough special school.

I was given a beautiful plant at the end of my presentation.

You certainly made a great impression on our students. Feedback from grade nine students in FNQ.

It had a good, human appeal. She talked like she knew us and was comfortable with sharing her story

She spoke and presented in a more casual and relaxed way which allowed her to connect with her audience a bit more and it made her presentation more interactive. Her powerpoint gave us many examples of what happens in her life and what she has achieved which really captured the audience and made the presentation really interesting.


Trish spoke to us in a relaxed manner and really from the heart. I enjoyed that she did this and did not just read off a piece of paper which I felt I had a personal connection with her. I loved her powerpoint; it put her presentation on a whole other level. Overall, I truly loved the fact that it was her telling us her story and she was open and honest with us. I loved listening to her. She is an extremely inspirational person; one I will never forget.


Trish spoke with so much confidence and the presentation inspired so many of us and talked to us like she has known us all along and was happy to tell us two amazing stories about her childhood which were funny.



Trish’s presentation was very inspiration and I believe, had a connection with her audience. She was quite comfortable in communicating with us and that meant that she was relaxed. She was very interesting and confident in her presentation and spoke with ease and with her heart. Trish, is a very inspiration woman and helped us understand what we all have so many things that we should be grateful for.

Trish’s presentation to us was very inspirational, and wonderful. Unlike any other speaker, she didn’t use palm cards or read off a sheet of paper which created a connection between her and the audience. The powerpoint was beautiful, along with the pictures, they were great! I loved her personal stories and how she overcame her challenges in life, she is truly inspirational. We learnt so much from Trish, especially how to be more resilient and accepting ourselves for who we are already.
Trish’s presentation was very inspirational and made me not take things for granted, and to always try my hardest at everything. She had created a connection with the audience as she told very interesting and funny stories, and in all she is truly inspirational.
Trish’s presentation was truly inspirational to all and very funny. She spoke from the heart and with great ease. She taught me to not take thing for granted and live life to the full. The stories she told along the way were funny and showed a very personal experience. She spoke of her life in a very personal level making it inspirational and unique from other presentations we have seen in the past. Trish is a truly inspirational, very funny and loving person.
Trish’s presentation was told by the heart and was very touching. I found her stories that she shared to be truly inspirational and gave me an insight into how lucky we are and how fortunate we all need to be. The hardships that Trish shared with us made me think twice about how i perceive things and that you must drive yourself to be better than what people limit you to be. The presentation was spoken on a personal level which helped to create a connection with the audience and truly engaged everyone. The powerpoint gave more insight into what Trish gets up to on a daily basis and images of her family and from when she was younger made it more interactivel. In the end, I understood more about not letting hardships get the better of you and accepting ourselves for who we are. Trish is a very inspirational woman and I am grateful for the time she spent talking to us about what she has gone through and no matter what to always keep your head high and move forward and push beyond the boundaries no matter our ability.
Other then Trish’s amazing, natural and definitely inspiring way of presenting to us, I felt as though she was very confident and assertive when sharing her personal and ongoing difficulties she is put through everyday. I knew life without arms would be difficult but Trish definitely put it into perspective as she had to learn to do a lot things we do with our arms, with her feet! As she said her arms were not the only thing interfering with her life as she also had a heart condition, which made a few more everyday exercises strenuous, this even included walking a short distance. But here she was today doing the things everyone said she was never going to be able to do, this made me realise how capable people without a heart condition or no arms are even when they are still complaining about doing simple tasks. The presentation itself was very engaging because its not everyday we get to hear about someone’s personal life experience without arms and a heart condition, and we were interested in discovering how life would be in other circumstances. Obviously Trish’s aim is to show us how we can overcome hardship and still do whatever we want to do with our lives and she certainly changed my outlook on how we should be living our lives.
Trish was an inspirational women, she inspired me and many other people who listened to her . She overcame challenges that could seem impossible in our eyes, she’s a true inspiration and it’s so lovely to hear from.
Trish is such an amazing, brave and inspirational women. Hearing her speak really changed my perspective on life. The things that I constantly take granted for, she isn’t even able to have. It was very interesting to hear her amazing journey and how to she came to cope with life challenges.
Trish is truly inspiring not to mention very cool. I really enjoyed listen to her stories and learning how her childhood was and how she overcame her struggles
Trish was such an inspirational person. She was confident in expressing her story and taught us to be comfortable with ourselves and focus of the positives rather than the negatives in life.
Trish was an amazing inspirational speaker, her way of talking, you could tell it was from the heart, it was very touching. She seemed so confident about herself, and talks about here disability as a gift. Showing us her a different way of life. I could just listen to her childhood stories for hours. She is someone i would want to be friends with, i hope she can come back to the school next year and talk with us again.
Trish was such an inspirational speaker. She was confident in explaining her story and taught us to be comfortable with ourselves and focus of the positives rather than the negatives in life.

More feedback from teachers at schools in the Toowoomba region.

  • “I can” is my new motto after hearing Trish’s story of diversity.  Trish was very interactive and open with the students and no question was unanswered.  A very worthwhile speaker.


  • I thought Trish’s talk on Thursday was inspirational and she aimed it at a level suited to the little ones also. She showed them

photos and videos which helped them to understand how she copes with daily tasks in her life.  They were so amazed at the drawings that Trish does

and the photos that she takes.  The length of the presentation was just right for the P-2 year levels.  We went back to the classroom and the Preps

shared their ideas on what Trish had told them and also about how everyone needs to give things a try and not give up.



  • Regarding the guest speaker yesterday, I could say that children in my class were very interested in what Trish had to say and amazed at what she can do. I thought Trish came across as a warm and encouraging person with a good message for children.



From a school in the Toowoomba region.

The children of 5M were all very attentive and listened carefully to what Trish was saying about her life.  They were inspired and very accepting of her situation and her skills.  When discussing her in class afterwards, they commented on how bad it must be for her to be treated horribly by community people, as she spoke of in the session.

I asked them about what they would do if they saw someone needing help in the community and they were all full of great suggestions.

If her talk touched just one child, like it did this teacher, then it was worth coming here for the day!

Thank you for bringing such a shining light to our hum-drum lives!!

We live for moments such as these!

More feedback

Feedback from a teacher from a school in Toowoomba region


Kids were mesmerised by her fabulous artwork. Came away inspired and in awe of how she overcame diversity to create an amazing life for herself. “She’s so flexible!! More flexible than you Miss S!” hahaha

From the teacher who started my journey of speaking to students.

My dear friend Trish has been an inspiration to me all my life. So the year I taught Year Six in my Primary school and came across an Australian Curriculum Unit of work about inspirational people my mind went directly to her. The unit of work mentioned now famous Australians who had overcome incredible obstacles to achieve extremely successfully in their lives. Amazing achievements actually, but my thoughts went to Trish who has shown such courage, persistence and love to be the incredible person that she is and what she has overcome to be successful in life.

I contacted her about coming to talk to my class, which then snowballed to the whole year six cohort of approximately 100 students. Fortunately for me, she accepted the invitation and challenge as she had never done anything like this before, but I knew it was in her capabilities because this would be nothing compared to what she has faced in her life. Trish was ‘Oh I’m not that inspirational Robyn’, ‘Omg, yes you are,’ I said. So we planned a time for her visit. She arrived at the office, I sent the two school captains to greet her and bring her into class. I remember that moment, she was very timid and I’m sure nervous coming in, as you would be to face 100, 12 year olds, but that particular year our year sixes were incredible young people just wanting to know how she coped with life and its many challenges as a Thalidomide sufferer.  What started as going to be a short half hour visit became two hours. She told her story; the children were glued to her every word. A few of us shed a tear when she told us of her birth and the aftermath. The kids were full of questions which Trish answered honestly and without reservation. They felt honoured to know such an incredible person.

Trish showed them how to write with their feet and how she does the everyday life tasks which we so take for granted. The children tried to write with their feet too, there were many giggles at how their writing and drawing turned out, also an appreciation, which they would never have had in their life without Trish. There were many comments of, ‘Are you kidding, how does she do that?’  I was so, so proud of my friend.  Trish showed the kids her photography skills and all she has achieved. On completion of our talk, the children didn’t want to let her leave so the whole class walked her to where her husband picked her up at the front of the school. They waved her off and the constant chatter about her life was the topic of many days later.  I haven’t had her back to school because now I teach Year Two and that unit of work has moved on to High School Year Seven. But this became a teaching moment that the students and I will never forget. I see these students some times and they talk about Trish’s visit and how amazing she truly is. They ask me how she is going and I have told them that they were just the beginning of an amazing public speaking career moment for her. They smile and are proud of her and themselves.

That day ‘my’ children; our year sixes, were taught many life lessons which they carry with them today. They are now in Year Nine. The hand print Trish painted for us is still hanging on my classroom wall and when asked, I proudly tell my new students just how precious that painting is and exactly what it stands for. That day the kids certainly learnt lifelong lessons and what the word ‘inspirational’ truly means. Trish made her mark on those students and changed and enhanced their lives; she made a difference! I am forever grateful to have her in my life!

Feedback from St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Barcaldine

Thank you to St. Joseph’s school for allowing me to use this feedback and photos from my visit to their school.

On Wednesday we had a visit from Trish Jackson who is a motivational speaker. Trish was born with no arms but that has not stopped her from achieving great things in her life. You can find out more about Trish by visiting her website:

Trish spoke to all of the students as part of our buddy activities in rotations, which was very good timing as we have been doing some work around resilience during these sessions. Trish had lots of valuable messages for us. She showed us photos to demonstrate how she goes about daily activities and even hobbies such as fishing. Trish took the time to write every child’s name using her feet as a keepsake for us. After the talk, we reflected on what we took from the talk and each student came up with a goal that they are going to try really hard to work on over the next week. I thought I would share them with you so that you can provide your child with some gentle encouragement!

Our goals:

Matilda – Don’t give up

Bryce  – I will try my hardest

Ben – I will treat others the way I want to be treated

Tim – I will try my hardest in everything

Korbin – I will help people

Reuben – I will never give up and try my hardest

Mia – I will think positively instead of negatively

Bryson – I will never give up

Riley – I won’t laugh at people even if they are different to me

Enzo – I will never give up even if I don’t think I will make it

Cooper – Don’t give up

Joseph – I will show pride and confidence in what I’m doing

Edith – I will put my best effort into maths

Sarah – I will always have a go

Roko – I will try my best because if I do I will succeed

Beau – I will treat people kindly even if they are different

Emma – I won’t judge people by what they look like

Brayden – Don’t give up

Sol – I will help people when they fall over

Reannon – I will always try my hardest

Bryce – I will help other people tidy up

Ellie – I won’t judge people by how they look


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