From "outdoor scrubber to Hollywood stuntwoman" - Ky Furneaux tackled that unique transformation and made it.
The former Naracoorte girl was guest speaker at a presentation on Thursday night as part of the three-day Naracoorte Mental Health Festival.
Ky inspired the crowd with her life story, from her time as a student at Naracoorte South Primary School, to an outdoor guide, to a struggling stuntwoman, to the 2012 world stuntwoman of the year.
A turning point in her life occurred aged 19 when a vehicle she was travelling in near Adelaide crashed and left her with a badly injured back.
A doctor told the keen sportsperson she would not be able to play the sports she loved, and would have limited mobility for the rest of her life.
“He put all these limitations on my life with just a few words,” she said. “I just thought, ‘I’m not living like that for the rest of my life’.”
Ky took that attitude into her working life and decided on a whim after working as an outdoor guide that she’d like to be a stuntwoman. She moved to Canada with “no transferable skills” and no means to support herself, with plenty of people willing to write her off as being unskilled, too old (aged 26) and the wrong body shape for stunt work.
She had to shake a negative mindset and believe that it was possible to transform herself from "outdoor scrubber to Hollywood stuntwoman".
Living in a caravan, she trained extremely hard and took every opportunity, winning some small acting parts until she achieved her big break as stunt double for Sharon Stone in Catwoman.
She has gone on to feature in a number of big budget films and has worked with stars including Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Garner.
Ky inspired the crowd with her story of resilience and overcoming the odds, and despite the lofty heights she’s reached, she had some simple, relatable tips for everyone in life.
Her four “survival attitudes” are:
- Think positive
- Be prepared
- Be adaptable
- Educate yourself
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