Former NRL star talks mental health to students

Former NRL player Joe Williams is in Bundaberg this week to chat to students about mental health.
Former NRL player Joe Williams is in Bundaberg this week to chat to students about mental health.

After visiting Shalom College in 2018, Joe Williams is back to help spread his story and reiterate his message about mental health to the Bundaberg Region community.

Joe is a proud Wiradjuri, First Nations Aboriginal man born in Cowra and raised in Wagga Wagga, NSW.

Joe played in the National Rugby League for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs before switching to professional boxing in 2009.

Joe is a two-times WBF World Junior 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”.

Defying the Enemy Within, Joe Williams
Defying the Enemy Within, Joe Williams.

He has also published his autobiography titled “Defying the Enemy Within”.

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 has battled for much of his life with suicidal thoughts and bipolar disorder.

After a suicide attempt in 2012 he felt his purpose was to help people who struggle with mental illness.

In 2017 Joe was named as finalist in the National Indigenous Human Rights Awards for his work with suicide prevention and fighting for equality for Australia’s First Nations people.

In 2018 Joe was conferred the highest honour of Australia's most eminent suicide prevention organisation, Suicide Prevention Australia's LiFE Award for his outstanding work in communities across Australia.

Joe will be at Shalom College until Friday, speaking with students throughout the Bundaberg Region.