Australia’s most decorated female Paralympian Ellie Cole OAM has announced an exciting new career in the wake of her retirement from international swimming, helping disabled and disadvantaged Australians find fulfilling employment.
Following the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and her final career swim at the Duel in The Pool event in Sydney, Ellie announced her new role as Ambassador for APM, Australia’s largest provider of Disability Employment Services.
Group CEO Michael Anghie said APM is looking forward to working with Ellie to help drive the change agenda and shine a light on the impact that an inclusive society can have on the Australian community and business.
"Ellie is a remarkable talent and we know she's only going to continue to rise to new heights following her retirement from professional swimming," Mr Anghie said.
"When we first approached her about a partnership, we were drawn to her confidence and determination as much as the inspiration she provides for people living with a disability. We are thrilled to welcome her to the APM family.
"Ellie through her ambassador role will highlight the importance of supporting inclusion and diversity in all aspects of work, sport and recreation, and will assist our teams to continue to strive to achieve this.”
“A long career as a Paralympian has certainly provided me with an insight into how others can flourish when provided with opportunities to apply their unique skills in an environment that supports them to reach their potential,” Ellie said.
“It is still significantly harder for those with a disability to secure employment and become active members of our communities.
“Because of this, I am delighted to be partnering with APM and look forward to working closely with their team towards driving social inclusion in both the workplace and our communities.”
Since 1994, APM has supported greater diversity and inclusiveness across the community through its core businesses, including supporting people with a disability to achieve sustainable employment and enhancing an individual’s employability, health and wellbeing, and social and economic participation in their community.
Ellie’s appointment as ambassador follows APM recently signing a three-year partnership with Hockey Australia as the Major Partner of the Hockeyroos, Official Partner of the Kookaburras, and Exclusive Category Partner - Disability Service Provider.
At age three, Ellie’s right leg was amputated after she suffered a life-threatening sarcoma cancer. Rather than dwell on adversity, Ellie has instead shown an incredible ability to overcome the odds.
In her 17 years on the Australian swim team, Ellie has risen to prolific heights and, in recognition of her success was honoured as the flagbearer at the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony.
It was at the Tokyo Games that she became Australia’s most decorated female Paralympic athlete, with a record-breaking 17 Paralympic medals to her name. Ellie is also an OAM.
APM started in 1994 as a small team in Perth looking to provide better vocational rehabilitation for injured workers so they could recover their health and stay in their jobs.
The organisation is now an international human services provider. APM’s services focus on enhancing an individual’s employability, health and wellbeing, and social and economic participation in their community.
APM takes great pride in empowering people to realise their ambitions and aspirations through sustainable employment, independence, better health and wellbeing, and increased social participation.
Each year, APM supports more than 2 million people of all ages to live a better quality of life.