In 2003 after several years building a successful career in London, Anthony returned to his home town of Adelaide. He was a typical 28-year-old, meeting the stereotype of an ambitious male seeking his dream job. Privately and shamefully, however, he was living a daily battle with anxiety and depression.
In November that year, after privately suffering with no help, he made a significant attempt on his own life, a pure stroke of luck saw Anthony survive. During his incredible five year recovery, he designed a program that became known as the Lifeback Tracker. Numerous close friends and business peers began to ask Anthony to meet for coffee, during which they would confide in him and reveal their own mental health challenges. Each time, he shared his own steps back to good mental health.
The Lifeback Tracker became a self-help tool focusing on following four simple steps to better mind health. Its designed to easily picked up and used by anyone first confronted with early signs of stress anxiety or depression. Good mind health and wellbeing has become Anthony's life passion. Today he is on a mission, having been given a second chance at life, to help others avoid going down the same path he did.
Jeremy is a trade qualified painter, decorator and has 25 years experience in the building industry, experiencing both the highs and lows of the industry. He is also the co-founder of HALT, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to build a bridge between the Tradie community and local and national mental health organisations:
Joe is a proud Wiradjuri, 1st Nations Aboriginal man born in Cowra, raised in Wagga NSW, Australia. Joe played in the National Rugby League for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs before switching Joe to professional Boxing in 2009. Joe is a 2x WBF World Jnr Welterweight champion and recently won the WBC Asia Continental Title.
Wagga Wagga Citizen of the Year in 2015 for his work within the community, mental health and suicide prevention sectors, Joe is also a published author, contributing to the book; 'Transformation; Turning Tragedy To Triumph". Recently Joe has also been involved in filming of the worldwide documentary, "Suicide the Ripple Effect" from director and fellow advocate, Kevin Hines.
Although forging a successful professional sporting career, Joe battled the majority of his life with suicidal ideation and Bi Polar Disorder. After a suicide attempt in 2012, Joe felt his purpose was to help people who struggle with mental illness. Joe is also an author having contributed to the book ‘Transformation; Turning Tragedy Into Triumph’ & his very own autobiography titled ‘Defying The Enemy Within'.
Warren Davies - The Unbreakable Farmer
Resilience, Persistence and Determination are the words to describe Warren Davies.
Born and bred in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Warren was the son of small business owners.
A leader throughout his Primary School years, this confidence was eroded once entering Secondary School, where he was subjected to bullying and not fitting in. His academic achievement began a downward spiral. This is where his skill of Resilience was developed a skill that would be called upon time and time again in future years.
In 1982 His family made the massive decision to move to the country and pursue his father's dream of becoming a farmer. This gave Warren an opportunity to reinvent himself. A direction, a career path: he was going to be a Farmer!
Mentored by one of the best farmers in the district, Warren honed his skills and, by the age of 22, he had purchased his first farm.
The next sixteen years were to be defining years for him.
The harsh reality of being a farmer soon became evident: high interest rates, low commodity prices, flood and drought; all having an impact, but most significantly, was that on his mental health. These events all tested his Resilience, Persistence and Determination and had a massive impact on his young family, relationships and finances all culminating with the decision to basically having to walk off the farm.
Although with his skills, work was easy to find, managing large scale operations from Victoria to South Australia, it wasn’t the same, he couldn’t settle, he assumed that he had lost his identity because not only was the farm his career, it was his home, his life! In his eyes he had failed and carried the guilt of failing as a husband and father.
Being an avid reader of books he searched for a better way, he began the journey of piecing back together his life, but the road has been long.
Now as a Keynote speaker, Facilitator and Mental Health advocate, Warren imparts his life lessons and pays forward his unique stories, their moral relevant to all ages, from the country to the city, a farmer or the CEO of a large corporation. His message is simple and so very important at a time when stress is seen as normal and depression is commonplace. Warren will change the thinking and behavior of your most precious resource, your people.
You must hear his story.
There is more to this farmer than meets the eye.
Dr Roma Aloisi
Roma has an extensive career in the educational sector as: Leader, Consultant, Researcher and Teacher. After her teenage brother’s death by suicide, for a few years Roma accepted invitations to speak about the devasting impact of his loss and the prevention of suicide in young people. Invited back into the suicide prevention arena as program facilitator for Roses in the Ocean, Roma has recently launched her own business “en.light.en consultancies”.
Born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia to Calabrian immigrants, from a very young age Roma confronted stereotypes, problematic perceptions and behaviours. She was othered - a term she uses to explain how it feels like when you are not accepted within mainstream social structures and systems. Being caught in between colliding social, cultural and spiritual worlds is very difficult. Roma felt stigmatised for being “different” and positioned as “the problem”. She was subjected to racism, sexism, bullying and harassment. The taboo and complexities associated with her brother’s suicide complicated and entrenched her “otherness” – as well as her steely resilience and resolve.
Roma faced the horror of history repeating itself when her 7-year-old son, struggling due to learning disabilities, bullying and isolation at school began expressing suicidal ideation. A decade later, she and her family continue to support her son, navigating together the impacts of othering, trauma, PTSD, anxiety and depression. While tough, this road enriches her with deeper understandings, empathy and relationships. Broader responsibilities as advocate, schooling and health services consumer, employee, colleague, leader and friend also influence her viewpoints.
Roma is buoyed by current policies, programs and practices that destigmatise mental ill-health and encourage the contributions of those with lived experiences of suicide. Roma knows first-hand how the therapeutic benefits of authentically sharing her story are reinforced by open hearts and minds.
Roma is empowered to voice the experiences of often overlooked carers: mothers, sisters, daughters. She is also impassioned to explore and speak about how othering, constructions of identity and shame interact as causal effects of suicide, suicidal ideation and complex bereavement (through suicide). Roma hopes that by shining a light on difficult and silenced arenas, communities can face uncomfortable truths and be transformed by them.