Making a mark: Dylan Alcott talks purpose and passion

In his new role as Grant Burge ambassador, Dylan Alcott shares a unique glimpse into his motivations, future aspirations and how he strives to leave his mark on society.

Australian of the Year 2022, Dylan Alcott AO, is one of the country’s most successful and well-recognised Paralympians. In 2021 he became the only male in any form of tennis to win the ‘Golden Slam’. Winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open Championships, and a gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

In 2017, Dylan Alcott Foundation was created to help young Australians with a disability achieve their goals in the workplace, on the sporting field or at university. So, he knows a thing or two about how much is possible, personally and professionally, with the right mindset.

Now he’s encouraging all Aussies to leave their mark on the world, too. In an exclusive chat, he talks purpose and, in the lead-up to Father’s Day, shares his special relationship with his father, Marty.

Why are you encouraging all Aussies to leave their mark on the world?

To me, leaving your mark is about being purpose-driven and authentic, doing something meaningful that will positively influence you. Whether that’s the relationships with people around me or having a voice on the social issues that are important. Everyone has an opportunity in their own way to leave their mark. I think that is something we should all embrace. I’m super pumped to join the Grant Burge family and be part of Leave Your Mark campaign. It shares my desire to motivate people to be the best version of themselves and make a difference.

How do you feel that you’ve left your mark?

I hope that by championing the voices of other young Australians living with disability alongside my own. We have been able to leave a mark when it comes to changing perceptions historically associated with disability in society. There is still a long way to go. However, I believe the marks we continue to make will gradually bring us closer to a happy, accessible and inclusive society. For me, it’s purpose-driven, and I feel incredibly proud of the work we’re doing at the Dylan Alcott Foundation.

Tell me about some of the best meals you’ve had while travelling?

I am a sucker for a good pub feed, but it’s all about simple food done well. I spend a fair bit of time in Sydney, and a personal favourite is Poly in Surry Hills. At home in Melbourne, I’m frequently at New Quarter in Richmond. And more recently, my brother and his fiancé, Chantelle, and I were lucky enough to visit Noma in Copenhagen, which has been on our bucket list for years. Safe to say it lived up to expectations!

Inside the Noma kitchen in Copenhagen

What are your go-to wines?

I love a good red and primarily a bold Barossa Shiraz. So it’s hard to go past the Grant Burge Filsell Shiraz; it’s a really generous drop, rich in flavour. This would be my go-to wine to pair with a good juicy steak. I haven’t been known to venture too far from a Pinot or Shiraz. However, the Shadrach by Grant Burge shocked me (in a good way). Pronounced ‘Shad-rack’, it’s an unbelievable Cab Sav ideal for a special occasion or makes a good gift.

Dylan is a fan of a bold Barossa Shiraz

Now that we’re all spending more time near home, what is your favourite place to visit in Australia? 

For me, it’s all about getting outside. I spent the last 13 odd years playing sport outdoors. Now that I’m no longer on the court, it’s important for me to continue to get out and about when I can. I love discovering new accessible paths, there is a fantastic one along the river in Collingwood to Fitzroy. I put my headphones on and just see where I end up. Sometimes my dog Sauce comes with me, too. As for cities, Hobart is a favourite. I have family there which makes it even more special.

It’s almost Father’s Day. Tell me about your relationship with your Dad, Marty.

My Dad has been a crucial part of my life from when he was by my hospital bed when I was born to, more recently, courtside at the Grand Slams. He has been instrumental in ensuring I know that there is no limit to what I can achieve. He is the first person to support my many aspirations. We work together at Get Skilled Access, my consulting company, and he is also the chairman of my foundation. I am fortunate to have such a guiding father figure in my life.

What’s next for you?

Music is a big passion of mine. Our major fundraising initiative of the year is Ability Fest, an accessible and inclusive music festival. It’s always my favourite day of the year. A big focus of mine is my foundation and the mighty work we do to encourage and empower young Australians living with disability. We’re a small team, but as we grow, we’re able to leave more of a mark on the community, and that’s incredibly fulfilling.

For more information on the Grant Burge Leave Your Mark campaign, visit

Looking for more inspirational Vacations & Travel stories? Try these…