Jason McCartney became one of the faces of the Bali Bombings and seen by many as the human face of the attacks – “a person who epitomised the Australian Fighting Spirit".Despite suffering horrific injuries in the bombings, Jason assisted two sisters from the burning wreckage, and then gave up his seat on an evacuation aircraft to those he believed were worse off than himself.
Returning to Australia with extensive burns, Jason was almost unrecognisable to his parents. Lapsing into a weeklong coma, it was touch and go, but Jason fought back. His determination to survive and win the battle for recovery against his terrible injuries saw him not only make it to his wedding on time but also play Australian Rules football. But Jason had another goal to achieve and that was to once again play in the elite AFL for his club, North Melbourne, and for his “88 mates" (those Australians killed in the bombing).
On the evening of June 6th 2003, playing in virtually a complete protective body stocking, Jason again played AFL Football. In a game that will be remembered forever by all those watching, Jason not only scored a critical goal during the game, but was also instrumental in scoring the final winning goal and a 3 point fairytale victory over the opposition, Richmond. It was a night when there was not a dry eye in the stadium; Sports broadcasters voices wavered and their eyes filled with tears. The entire stadium stood to applaud Jason as he was carried off the field by his teammates, being cheered by his competitors.
Jason’s return and ultimate glory was a victory over terrorism and a “win" for all the victims of the Bali Bombing. A return made possible not only because of his character and courage but a team effort from which all drew strength.
Following his retirement from the game, he took up a post as Development Coach at Fremantle before becoming List Manager at the Western Bulldogs.
"Jason spoke from the heart and captured the attention of every one in the room. He delivered an inspirational story and one that clearly motivated our audience."
Toyota Motor Corporation
“Jason’s presentation to 160 KPMG Tax and Legal delegates was truly inspirational. To sit in a room where there was complete silence for the full 45 minute presentation was amazing. The extended standing ovation and the end of the presentation was not only a mark of respect to this very humble man, but also allowed the delegates to collect their thoughts and emotions after the delivery of such a powerful message. Perspective is a powerful word – of which Jason taught us the true meaning. He certainly showed us that “it is not you are dealt with in life, but rather, how you deal with it". A truly unforgettable presentation and experience."
“Excellent. Jason exceeded our expectations. He touched the audience through his genuine, honest and moving presentation. Jason told his story as if he was amongst friends and family."
“Jason McCartney was excellent. He had everyone spellbound, not a word in the crowd while Jason was speaking. Well spoken, well presented and a true gentleman. No hesitation in recommending him. Nothing but good reports from our guests."
National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA)
“Excellent. Jason has a great story and a wonderful personality that shines through."
The Extra Mile Co.
"Jason was inspirational."
Kaniva Rotary Club
“Excellent. Jason is a natural presenter. Well done."
Wimmera Primary Care Partnership
“Fantastic….my guys were very, very happy… both from an entertainment view and some excellent business messages"
KAZ Computer Services
“Excellent – I appreciated the fact that he spoke without notes, focussed on “telling the story" and addressed the broader range of experiences beyond his link to football"
“Jason’s speech was great. It made me see everything in a different perspective"
BGL Corporate Solutions
“What a great day it was. What a powerful story!!!"
Yarra Valley Water
“Excellent. Jason was very friendly towards all of the guests at the function. He was
happy to talk, have photo's and give autographs all night. He also stayed longer than required, which was fantastic. Jason's presentation was very moving. It was amazing to see how far he had come in terms of his recovery in just 12 months, he really is an inspiration. He spoke very well, and he was happy to answer the audience's questions at the end. I have had nothing but positive feedback about his presentation from the guests, and I would highly recommend him to others."
“I was very impressed. There were even a few people on our table that had to wipe a tear or two"