It’s with great excitement that I can let you know about Maitland CDAT’s upcoming Community Evening on Wed 14th August 2019 at Telarah Public School. We are lucky enough to have guest speakers Joe Williams and Dr Julian Keats join us for a night of connection and yarning. When it comes to building our community up and coming together, connection is everything.
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”. In 2018 Joe was 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.
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 and 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.
Dr Keats is an addiction specialist and has spent a number of years working in the health sector. He has a broad range of experience which includes assessing, treating and managing addiction in patients within general hospitals and specialist addiction treatment facilities, as well as outpatients on opioid treatment programs, and providing consultation services and shared care for patients referred from primary care. He also has special interests in harm reduction and the respect and rights of people who use substances.