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Des La Rance presents the first wheelchair to a disabled child, Fiji August 1997
The Surfers Sunrise Wheelchair concept rose to national recognition after Ray Martin’s ‘A Current Affair’ broadcast the delivery of the first 10 wheelchairs to disabled children in Fiji in 1997. The picture on the left shows the inventor of the concept, Des La Rance, meeting the first recipient. This year, in 2020, we have shipped the 10,000th wheelchair. They have been shipped to some 30 countries in the Pacific, South-East Asia, Africa, South America and even to Chernobyl. In 1997, $100 bought all the materials for a wheelchair.  Now, 24 years later, the total cost has even come a little below $100!  And as always there are no further overheads, no labour costs, no commissions:  All labour is voluntary, all monies go to buying materials at the lowest cost without sacrificing quality.
The wheelchairs start off with the frames of two discarded bicycles. The old bike’s handle bars are used again – as handles. In-between is some high strength plywood, two new wheels with solid tube tires (in developing countries it may not be easy to get a puncture repair kit), a seat and - the most expensive item - a heavy duty castor wheel at the front.  Every Saturday, around 20 volunteers are having a whale of a time helping out at “The Shed” at the Arundel Community Centre off Napper Road, Arundel.  In addition, a large number of other Rotary Clubs, Men’s Sheds etc throughout the nation are helping.
$100 buys all the kit for a wheelchair to help a disabled child who otherwise would simply have nothing.  The child may have stepped on a land mine or may suffer from Muscular Dystrophy.  It doesn’t matter.  Distribution is via other Rotary Clubs, recognized and registered charities operating or community organizations in the receiving country.  For example, the Samoa Victims Support Group is our counterpart there, to ensure that the goods get delivered to the children who need it.  Rotary Clubs in South Africa are taking care of distribution in African countries.  No bribes, no “bakshish”.
You can sponsor a single wheelchair ($100), five  ($500), ten ($1,000) or twentyfive ($2,500) wheelchairs. Donors from $500 upwards will be presented with a framed A3 size Silver, Gold or Platinum sponsorship certificate. All donations are fully tax deductible. Please make cheques payable to
Surfers Sunrise Wheelchair Trust (ABN 41 523 572 051)
P O Box 6695,
Gold Coast Mail Centre QLD 9726
or direct deposit to BSB 484799 Account Number 047306431