Creative Award

Proudly sponsored by Marmalade Melbourne 

This category aims to celebrate stroke survivors’ contribution to creative industries, including writing, photography, music and fine art. The award is open to stroke survivors in the community who are actively pursuing creative achievements. The only requirements to apply for this award are that you are a stroke survivor and you have a specific creative project to share.

2018 Winner

Caleb Rixon (Vic) – recognised for founding the Genyus Network, an online platform that brings together survivors of trauma, after surviving a life-threatening stroke himself at just 24.

Caleb was a fresh graduate from a music theatre course at Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts when he survived a major stroke while at the gym. Caleb had a rare and unexpected congenital brain abnormality which caused him to have an aneurism and left him in an induced coma. He had to relearn how to walk, talk and swallow and spent weeks in hospital and suffered a number of setbacks along the way including pneumonia, golden staph, septicaemia and meningitis. His dreams of performing on Broadway were gone and his new goals were learning how to sit, stand and swallow properly. Caleb founded the Genyus Network - Trauma Survivor Support Team a social media support platform with huge potential for reaching people affected by trauma.

2018 Finalists

Mal Norton


Dubbo resident Mal has his first two strokes on the same day in 2008. They left him paralysed and a patient in the high-dependency unit at Maitland Hospital for seven months. Mal went from managing a store and in a band to being told that he will probably never walk or talk again. Instead he managed to learn enough guitar and singing to release a CD, the Yobbo from Dubbo, with all sales to the Stroke Foundation. 


Maria Danuta Zaklikowski

 Dana Zaklikowski

Lake Illawarra resident Maria (Dana) suffered an acute stroke in 2015 that has a massive impact on her life. All her life she was a practising artist painter/graphic designer; fashion designer and arts teacher, and after her stroke was determined to get back to doing what she loved. After few months at home, during the occupational therapy sessions, Dana started sketching on the paper and as the months went on, started painting. Her remarkable resilience brings her satisfaction and meaning to her daily life and healing after stroke.