Incredible inner strength and an unbreakable spirit to win are just some ways you could describe Brooke Hanson.
The former golden girl of Olympic swimming and Australian sport is an inspirational mother, businesswoman, ambassador of causes close to her heart and continues to be a source of admiration for women throughout Australia - several years after the end of her sporting career. And what a sporting career it was.
Following a host of disappointments and narrowly missing out on making the Olympic squad for both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, Brooke’s determination paid off, as she reached the pinnacle of her career in 2004.
Brooke claimed Gold and Silver medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics and then followed this up with 6 more gold medals at the World Short Course Championships. Five of those six gold medals were achieved in individual events, something that had never been seen before at a big international race meeting.
She went on to win further honours, including a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Having such powerful traits to win however does not always relate solely to sporting excellence - but life itself.
In 2007, Brooke was swimming in a swim spa, a small pool that produces a strong current to swim against. Shortly after exiting the pool tragedy Brooke collapsed to the floor. She had received an electric shock – an event which subsequently brought an end to her glittering swimming career.
For anyone who has followed Brooke’s story since 2007, they will know she has faced more ups and downs than most people experience in a lifetime. This included the incredibly sad death of her son Jack, at just 9 months of age, following his battle to survive after being born 12 weeks premature, weighing just 663grams, severely growth restricted and only 32cm long.
Her resilience and determination to keep smiling and to raise awareness of the issues that have touched her life however have never wavered.
She is an ambassador of both Life’s Little Treasures Foundation, supporting families of premature and sick babies and Jim’s Test & Tag, Australia’s leading electrical test and tag organisation.
Jim’s Test & Tag, for example, have one aim – the same aim that drives Brooke’s support of the company – to ensure that every time someone goes to work, they return safely to their family and loved ones at the end of the day.
Brooke hopes that by highlighting her own experiences, attention can be brought to where the real importance of electrical safety lies.
“I hope that my continued support of Jim’s Test & Tag, alongside the fantastic work they do as leaders in electrical test and tag, will continue to offer lifesaving benefits both now and for the long-term”, stated Brooke.
If this article and others like it make just one more person pick up the phone, or prompt their loved ones to check that their employer has electrical safety high on the agenda, then it will be a success.