Our brave Nathan, NSW’s Young Australian of the Year
On Monday night the inspiring young man ‒ who overcome his left hand amputation after a military bus accident in 2015 to become a pilot and an Invictus Games gold medallist ‒ was named the NSW's Young Australian of the Year 2021.
On social media his father Anthony posted: "Well this has been an exciting night. So proud to say Nathan was chosen as the NSW Young Australian of the Year. It is a great honour and the other finalists were all so deserving."
It's a long way from when Mr Parker was working hard on making his dream of becoming a fighter pilot a reality.
But then, Mr Parker has never let his amputation define him.
Showing enormous courage and grit, despite his injuries, he returned to civilian flying in three months, resuming military and university duties within seven months and became the first upper-limb amputee in the Australian Defence Force Academy's history to complete his final 12 months and graduate.
After completing his degree in 2017, Mr Parker was medically discharged in 2019 to become a commercial pilot.
He works as a senior RA-Aus flying instructor in Lismore, obtaining his commercial pilot's licence and achieving his aerobatic endorsement.
A public speaker, mentor, flight instructor and now aspiring to provide joy flights for sick children, Nathan is also a gold-medal athlete.
He represented Australia in the Invictus Games in Canada 2017 and Sydney 2018, winning nine medals including three gold in Sydney and also brought home 17 medals from two USA Warrior Games.