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Priya Cooper

Since winning gold at the Sydney Paralympics, swimmer Priya Cooper has taken the plunge into the world of public speaking and corporate fundraising, as well as running her own business.

Alumna Priya Cooper isn't doing countless laps of a swimming pool anymore. Instead, she's making a splash for herself in other areas.

Priya has a Bachelor of Health Promotion, a degree she completed over 10 years due to her sporting commitments and a shift to Sydney in the lead up to the Paralympics.

But now it seems she's swapped the winner's podium for a dais and microphone. "I'm doing a lot of public speaking to corporates and various groups," she said.

"I also work for the Dennis Lillee Disabled Sports Foundation helping them to raise money. My background in health promotion has really given me good ideas on how we can promote sport for people with disabilities.

'It's been really good, not just for the degree but also for the contacts I've made through Curtin."

Motivational speaking is a topic well-suited to Priya. Born with cerebral palsy, she's gone on to achieve fame and success in a number of areas.

With nine gold medals and a swag of world records for Paralympian swimming, she's been an Australia Day Ambassador and has been voted into the Australian Institute of Sport's Hall of Fame. She's also a recipient of one of Curtin's highest accolades - the John Curtin Medal for community service, leadership and vision.

And while not swimming so competitively these days, it seems you just can't keep her out of the water.

"I'm doing the 20-kilometre Rottnest Island swim in February," she said. "I did it a few years ago solo, but this time I'll be doing it as a duo with Shane Gould to raise money for the Dennis Lillee Disabled Sports Foundation."


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