Philip Patston is one of New Zealand’s most well known and successful comedians with his unique, laconic style. He is also a successful business owner and social entrepreneur. As a speaker, Philip’s style and image is unique and refreshing. With a wheelchair to replace the usual motivational speaker’s suit and tie, Philip is guaranteed to command the attention of an audience before a word is spoken. His international success as a stand up comedian ensures his message is delivered in a professional, witty and entertaining manner. Throughout his life, Philip has embodied entrepreneurial qualities, motivation and diversity. He has achieved highly as a disabled person and has proven his ability to work proficiently in many professional roles. He does not attribute his success to being courageous or special, but rather to capitalizing on diversity and understanding and focusing his motivation. In May 2003 Philip received a Social Entrepreneur Grant from the Community Employment Group of the Dept of Labour in order to travel to the UK to build capacity to initiate an international disability arts festival in Auckland. In 2002 Philip became a founding trustee for Ripple Trust and Star Jam Trust and in 2001 was the founder of the International Guild of Disabled Artists and Performers. He also initiated a pilot mentoring programme for young people with disability in Auckland. In 2001 Philip was the first disabled comedian to win the Billy T James Comedy Award and also appeared on Shortland Street as a disabled businessman. In 1998 he set up consultancy and entertainment business Diversity New Zealand Ltd and attended a two week Mobility International Parent/Teen Leadership Programme in Oregon USA. Philip also toured USA for two months in 1992 on a Winston Churchill Fellowship researching technology for people with speech impairment.
• Success and Diversity