About the project

Just like her favourite flower, Jessica Collins radiates warmth and thrives under the sun.

A volunteer surf lifesaver on beaches across Newcastle for more than a decade, for Jess – a bright, outgoing 24 year-old – life has revolved around the ocean. When she wasn’t giving up her time to protect the community at the beach, she was competing at it. As an incredibly talented swimmer and ironwoman, Jess has represented her state and country on countless occasions, at events across the globe.

Cruelly, the ocean is also the cause of her greatest challenge yet.

On Thursday May 31, 2018, Jess fell from her board while surfing at Snapper Rocks and hit her head – instantly paralysing her below the neck.

Classified as a quadriplegic, doctors say it’s highly unlikely she’ll walk again.

But Jess’ infectious positivity hasn’t waned.

Throughout the early stages of her recovery, her strength, determination and outlook on life has inspired all who have shared her presence.

Jess is determined to defy her injury, and once again stand tall and face the sun. 

The Sunflowers for Jess campaign aims to help her do that. And in time, she hopes to empower others in similar circumstances. 

But we need your help. Please make a tax deductible donation and support Jess with her recovery to return to sport!

  • Susan Salter

    Hi jess, saw you on television and listened to your story. I hope the government listened as well and makes the support changes you mentioned. You are one awesome, inspiring person and a great spokesperson for change. May your dreams and wishes come true. From Susan


    I feel very deeply for U Jess, and always will.

  • Josh Callinan

    All the best Jess!

  • Rosemary Rehn

    Just been watching Jett Kenny on Dancing with the stars & felt inspired to donate to this worthy cause. Have always admired surf lifesavers & the incredible job they do so wanted to donate to help Jess' recovery ??

  • Kerrie Williams

    A wonderful young woman who is an inspiration to us all.

  • Michael Webb

    Hi Jess, I don't know you but my wife and I work at Council and have met your Dad. I have been really moved by your story and your attitude and grace. We wish you the love and support you deserve. Michael & Tracey

  • David Saddington

    Jess. We have never met but my heart goes out to you . I pray that you walk out of hospital in the not too distant future even though the prognosis says otherwise. Your journey will be testing, but you are strong. keep being strong. You are an inspiration to so many people. In Indonesian, \"pulan pulan\". Means slowly slowly. But you will get there. Love & best wishes, David Saddington

  • Scott Dorman

    Lots of Love Jess.....The Dorman Family xx

  • Christie Stephan Cooper Remi Tyler Krenkels

    Dearest Jess and darling Collins family, Thinking about you all the time, knowing that Jess' fighting spirit will be shining through, hoping for a miracle and sending all our love and positive vibes to you every day. All our love, Christie, Stephan, Cooper, Remi & Tyler Krenkels

  • Jo Begley

    Sorry can’t be there Jess Have a great night Jo

  • Krissy and Carole Owen

    Hey Jess sorry we couldn't be at the ball this saturday and we wish you the happiest of nights x

  • Mathew Bailey Shervawn Channell

    Hey Jess, Unfortunately Shev and I won’t be able to make it to your event. I’m sure you will have a great time, surrounded by some incredible people. Hope you enjoy it, wish we could be there and will be thinking of you. Much love, Mat & Shev xx

  • Alexandra Williams

    I went to high school with Jess and can say she was most certainly a kind soul. I had a gymnastic accident when I was 11 that left me with a severe permanent spinal injury and high school was bar far the toughest to get through with it. I can say, that Jess was one of those people who never judged a book by the cover and was always friendly and upbeat around me. I wish you all the best in your recovery and am donating this to say thank you.

  • Ray Johnson

    I hope this little donation helps Jess, keep going well, all the best.

Stay up to date with everything happening at the sports foundation