Dr William Tan is a Paralympian, ultramarathon competitor, neuroscientist, medical doctor and professional table tennis player.

Meet our alumni


In his home country of Singapore, Dr William Tan is a local celebrity, representing courage, compassion and, above all, the refusal to succumb to life’s obstacles. As a wheelchair athlete, he has conquered both the sports track and some of the toughest marathon terrains on earth, including the Antarctic and North Pole. And as a doctor, and cancer survivor, he’s used these global marathons to raise money and help those in need of urgent medical treatment across the globe.

William’s career as a medical doctor began at the University of Newcastle, Australia, graduating in 2004. He recently returned for the first time to accept the 2015 Alumni of the Year Award for Exceptional Community Service. We caught up with William during his visit, and again at the National Cancer Centre, Singapore, where he still works today. The result is the incredible tale of a young boy who decided never to give in, and the man who never has.

William Tan

What have you been up to since graduating? Are you, or maybe another UON graduate you know, doing something interesting or innovative? We’d love to hear about it! Drop us a line and share your story at alumni@newcastle.edu