Hazardgirl - Born April 20th 1982. Born
prematurely 3 months early, spending the first 7 weeks of her life in a
At 10 months of age her family knew that
there was something wrong.
Hazardgirl’s legs had stiffened and become very
rigid. She was then subsequently diagnosed with
Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy. She had been born with this because of her
premature birth however it hadn’t become known til 10 months of age.
At the age of 5 Hazardgirl begun attending
school. She attended a special needs school for the disabled where kids with
disabilities could have access to physios and specialist Dr’s who visited the
school on a regular basis so that the kids could have treatment for their
varying disabilities whilst in the school environment.
At the age of 7 Hazardgirl had her first
operation. This was done on her feet and calves to help ease the spasticity and
pain in her feet and to enable to walk “flat footed” for the first time.
At 11 she then went on to have yet another
operation. This time on her hamstrings, again to ease the spasticity and pain
within these muscles. This operation was the most painful one that she had
faced so far. This was because Hazardgirl had to be in full length leg plasters
for 7 weeks to allow the muscles to heal. This was extremely painful in itself.
After the 7 weeks had passed and the
plasters were removed, Hazardgirl endured daily physio sessions to help her
recover from the operation. During the recovery period however, during each
session she faced undue torture. This was because her stepfather had taken it
upon himself to place hankies inside her mouth in an attempt to stop her from
screaming from the pain. He’d also tied her legs together by her shoes to try
to prevent her from moving.
Thankfully though Hazardgirl was able to remove the
hankies from her mouth with her left hand. If she hadn’t of managed to remove
them when she did she would’ve died.
At the age of 12.5 her mum gave birth to
her baby brother Steven (born 18 January 1995). Steven was a
welcome addition to the family. However at this same time Hazardgirl’s
stepfather (Steven’s dad) had started to sexually abuse her almost on a daily
basis. He also made her endure torment from physical and emotional abuse in
fact Hazardgirl endured every form of abuse possible all this while trying to
attend school so that she was able to get herself an education. On 19
May 1998 Hazardgirl’s mother gave birth to a baby girl – Melanie.
Even though Hazardgirl already had enough
her plate with attending school and being subjected to what seemed to be never
ending moments of torment and abuse, Hazardgirl took it upon herself to assist
her mother in helping to raise and nurture Steven and Melanie who were her
younger Brother and Sister.
When Steven had started preschool however
it became evident that something wasn’t quite right for her brother Steven.
After visits to the Dr for some tests and an official diagnosis, it was found
that Steven had been suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome – an autism spectrum
Hazardgirl and her mother did their best to
assist Steven throughout his early school years with his learning and to help
him achieve his best.
On March 1 2000, Hazardgirl with the help
of a friend was finally able to escape the abuse of her stepfather and go to somewhere
safe so that she was able to move on with her life as best she could. The abuse
at the hands of her stepfather went on from 1995 – 2000. Upon her escape she
went straight to the police to tell them of her situation.
It was then
decided that she should take her stepfather to court in the hope that would get
punished for what he had done to her. Any way to cut a long story short, after
going through 2 court trials, etc all the while Hazardgirl endured taunts from
the press etc, Jail time for her stepfather wasn’t to be. He got let off. He’s
now a free man. If the courts had been successful in getting a conviction,
Hazardgirl’s stepfather would’ve received a 40 year jail term.
In 2001 after speaking with her college
Hazardgirl was given permission to repeat year 12 so that she was able to
achieve better grades etc because of the fact that when she was in year 12 the
first time, she had to miss a lot of school due to the court cases. During this
time Hazardgirl also had to undergo another operation on her legs due to her
After completing year 12 the second time
around, Hazardgirl went on to major in Music and Legal Studies and also went on
to become the schools most outstanding sportsperson. This was because
Hazardgirl competed in sports for athletes with a disability outside of school
From 1997 - 2005, Hazardgirl was a member of the "Athletes With A Disability" squad. She competed at various events and competitions throughout Brisbane, Sydney and of cause Canberra. Competing in the F34 classification - for athletes with Cerebral Palsy or an acquired brain injury - Hazardgirl competed at these various events doing Discus, Shot Putt & Javelin. At her very first competition for the squad, Hazardgirl came away with her very first lot of medals for all 3 of her events and they of cause all GOLD. Because of this too it also meant that Hazardgirl had become the Australian record holder for all 3 events. Throughout this time, Hazardgirl went on to win more and more medals with every competition that she went to.
Although mostly winning GOLD throughout her sports career, she did bring home some SILVER & BRONZE medals too. In 2000, upon turning 18 Hazardgirl was then able to compete as an "open age athlete" - continuing to compete at the many events and competitions, her strength and determination as an athlete just kept getting better and better, thus bringing home with her more and more medals and of cause breaking more and more records too. Hazardgirl also went on to become the "open age champion" in Australia for these events in the F34 classification.
Not long before retiring, however, Hazardgirl, due to a change in function and range of motion, was reclassified as a F33, also for people with CP and ABI. Hazardgirl continued to win medals and break more and more records until her retirement in March 2005.
This was because it was found that she had developed a severe
spinal condition, in fact it was multiple. After Consulting with her Dr’s and
specialists, Hazardgirl was told that she had Osteoarthritis, Spondylosis &
Scoliosis all in the lower lumbar part of her spine. Dr’s had ordered her
straight away to cease her sport and to undergo and operation to ease the
stress, strain and pain on her spine.
In April 2006 the first spinal fusion along
with a spinal laminectomy was performed. This wasn’t to be a success because
the graft/fusion didn’t take thus causing 2 of the screws to come loose. So
after another review and discussion with the specialist, Hazardgirl underwent
another spinal fusion in October of that year.
The second fusion however was a lot more
invasive and intense. This was because bone from the hip along with steroidal
bone powder which when wet sets hard like concrete had to be used.
Due to the fusion Hazardgirl is now
wheelchair bound and able to walk only a few steps with assistance.
In 2002 – 2003, Hazardgirl attended the CIT
tafe to do studies in the area of music. Her time there was like hell. The Head
of Department in the Music area had made her life hell by not giving her
assistance to complete the classes with her class mates, and by not providing
sufficient disabled access to the building for her.
To add insult to injury
with the CIT if you failed one assignment you failed the whole course. The
stress and torment that Hazardgirl had received whilst at the CIT had caused
her to want to attempt suicide by overdosing on medication. After leaving the
tafe, she later found out that the HOD had been saying horrible things about
her to other staff members and students. He had said to a fellow staff member
that Hazardgirl’s disability had tarnished his reputation and that she was a
brat etc just for asking for extra help in her classes.
Never fear – These operations and the bullying didn’t stop
her from doing what her inner passion and her first love was & is – MUSIC.
She did everything possible to help her
achieve her new goals and direction in life. Hazardgirl has had 13 years of
vocal lessons and has also gone on to achieve a Certificate 3 in news media as
well as a certificate in public relations and events management. Both achieved
in 2008. These were achieved through distance education, studying at home at
her own pace.
Over the years since 2001 through going to
various concerts etc Hazardgirl has had the chance to meet with and become
friends with other artists and industry professionals. This of cause has been
of tremendous support and encouragement to Hazardgirl and also given her a
wealth of knowledge along the way too.
Some of the artists that Hazardgirl has met over the years and that have inspired her
as a singer/songwriter/performer include the likes of Kasey Chambers, Bill Chambers, Bob Rodgers, Mahalia Barnes, Adam Brand, Adam Harvey, Jasmine Rae, Karl Broadie, Drew McCalister, Rose Carleo, Katie Brianna, Katrina Burgoyne, Kevin Bennett and his band - "THE FLOOD", Melinda Schneider, Steve Balbi, Simon Meli, Ashleigh Mannix and many many more.
Her biggest influence/s though however have been, Kasey Chambers and her father Bill as well as Bob 'Uncle Roy' Rodgers. Having loved Kasey's music and
her voice ever since she first her heard her in 2001, Hazardgirl has been a "true die hard fan" ever since.
"I was drawn to Kasey and her music because of the ways she writes her music and the fact that she writes about life's experiences, everytime I hear her sing, I
feel as if it's my life too" says Hazardgirl. Her voice is just "pure bliss", the tones and the way that she sings is just second to none.
Her Father Bill has been extremely supportive of her also, saying to her once after doing a show with his daughter Kasey, he said " If anyone tells ya ya crap or that ya can't do something, tell em to go shove it and don't ever listen to em"
There have been many times in her life where hazardgirl has had to use the advice given to her from Bill and she's proud of it. People have and will continue to think that because of her disability Hazardgirl won't be able to make it within the music industry. And Just like Kasey, despite being told by others within the industry to do it their way, Hazardgirl has continued to forge her way and make her career succeed her way and will continue to do so until the end.
Bob 'Uncle Roy' Rodgers has also been extremely supportive of Hazardgirl and her music as well. In early 2006 prior to Hazardgirl going into hospital for surgery, as a present for Hazardgirl, he had written a song titled "Hazardgirl". In it he sings about all that she wants IS to be called 'hazardgirl' and that she lives for her music and that she doesn't need a man and a ring on her finger to keep her happy in life and the she enjoys and loves the support from her Pseudo Uncle, Uncle Roy as well as her dear friend Bill Chambers and that she sees them as her special friends.
In July 2009 Hazardgirl begun her own home based
business – Hazardgirl Promotions – putting to use her skills and knowledge that
had gained when studying through home school. As it says on her website –
Hazardgirl promotes music with attitude, passion and soul. Hazardgirl very much
enjoys what she does in helping to promote the music of the artists that she
works with in every way possible. Through her business Hazardgirl does
everything that is involved in the area of promotion.
Through her music in many ways more than one, despite her disability and dispite what people may think of her, Hazardgirl is a force to be reckoned with forging her way to the top to enable herself to stand out from the rest. Hazardgirl does not see her disability/conditions as a hindrence. And although her childhoood and teenage years were extremely traumatic and stressful, Hazardgirl believes that these experiences have made her a stronger and better person.
Hazardgirl also works extremely hard to
assist other promoters and managers around her home town of Canberra Australia
to promote events/gigs and festivals to ensure that they are a success. Hazardgirl is currently studying Freelance Journalism with Cengage Education (distance education) so that she is able to branch out further to write articles on music and sports.
would like to contact Hazardgirl or to find out more about what she does, then
please feel free to go to any of the links below.
Thanx for reading and for your continued
support of Hazardgirl. It is greatly appreciated.
The above info is (p) & (c) 2013 Hazardgirl
and Hazardgirl Promotions.