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Help to “get on with life”

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Bad things happen to good people. For some people, those disasters define a life. But for others, one awful moment doesn’t hold them back. They face the world with a smile and an unstoppable attitude.

That’s the Knox Gibson story. He lost an arm at the age of three: but today his life is defined by what he achieves, and not by his disability. He is determined not to let one awful accident hold him back and Perpetual is pleased to be able to help.

One minute to change a life

When Knox was three, he was with his grandparents at their farm when his grandfather was testing a ride-on lawn mower he had just fixed. Told to stay in the car, fatefully Knox didn’t. When his grandfather reversed the lawn mower it knocked Knox over and the blade severed his arm just below the elbow. Luckily, the tough boot he was wearing was sucked off his foot and got stuck in the blade, saving his life.

Since then Knox has had to learn to live with just one arm, but his incredible attitude and the support of his family have held him in good stead. As Kate, his mum says:

“We’ve never seen it as a disability. Because it happened when he was so young, he’s been able to just get on with life and…if there’s something that he can’t do, he finds a way.”

Knox loves sport: rugby and swimming in particular. And his drive, enthusiasm and natural ability mean that he doesn’t just play these sports, he excels. He has been swimming at a State level for years and in 2019 he competed at Nationals for the first time.

Making money the last of their worries

While Knox is thriving and loving life right now, it may not always be the case. He received a compensation payout after the accident, which eased his immediate financial concerns, but his family wanted to make sure that they made the best use of the money, throughout Knox’s life. As Knox’s family were not experienced investors, they turned to Perpetual for help. As Kate, his mother, puts it:

“We’ve got no idea about investing, at all, so I feel that Perpetual provides security for us in managing the money and helping it to grow.”

Perpetual helps Knox and his family by managing the compensation he received, using cash to meet his immediate needs and investing the balance to give him greater choice later in life. For Kate it not only helps her manage the financial side, it’s also a welcome check that she’s doing the right thing:

“I think it’s great that there’s a trust company that will look after his money and…his best interests. So, if we were trying to buy something that we possibly shouldn’t be, then we would be questioned.  And I think that’s great.”

Monta Strauha, Knox and Kate’s Account Manager, says the job is both demanding and rewarding. But Knox – a living example of youthful enthusiasm – makes the job fun as well. “He just brings such joy into the building when he comes to visit us”, she says.

Also, as Knox has grown he is becoming more and more inquisitive and now shows a keen interest in his finances. “I enjoy educating him and his family in how markets and his investments work, as do other members of the Perpetual team. Knox is an excellent student!” says Monta.

Helping find peace of mind

Perpetual’s focus is to make things as easy as possible for people who are already going through a very difficult time of life. We do this by offering a ‘one-stop-shop’ — looking after all of the needs of our clients and their families. We usually act as first point of contact, managing a wide range of financial and non-financial issues including:

  • Day-to-day money management including paying bills and other expenses
  • Longer term financial management and investment
  • Assistance with purchasing or modifying homes, cars and other daily needs
  • Reporting to governing bodies and other compliance regulations
  • Insurance, healthcare, superannuation and tax

Perpetual Philanthropic Services are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo), ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This publication has been prepared by PTCo and may contain information contributed by third parties. It contains general information only and is not intended to provide you with advice or take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is believed to be accurate at the time of compilation and is provided by PTCo in good faith. You should consider, with a financial adviser, who can provide you with the relevant Financial Services Guide, whether the information is suitable for your circumstances. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage because of any reliance on this information. PTCo does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any wording in this document which was contributed by a third party. Any views expressed in this document are opinions of the author at the time of writing and do not constitute a recommendation to act. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.