- Darren Higgins is a former professional rugby league footballer.
- He has played professionally for the St George Dragons, Cronulla Sharks, Western Reds and London Broncos.
- Darren appeared on ABC's The Drum; talking all things Men. The program was looking at a range of issues confronting men, masculinity, violence, suicide prevention, mental and physical health.
- He has been a speaker for Mining Companies, Australian Taxation Office, schools and local community groups.
- Discussing a range of issues confronting men, including questions of masculinity, violence, suicide prevention, mental and physical health.
- Discussing the mental health needs and wellbeing of people who have experienced violence.
- Talking about bullying, violence in the home & socio economic issues.
- Talking all things mental health and wellbeing – interactive with the crowd – questions asked and received.
- At every event the goal is to engage the audience to speak and ask questions. Encourage everybody to speak up and not be afraid of judgement.
I was sitting in the hosting chair when Darren Higgins appeared as a panellist on ABC TV’s nightly topical discussion program The Drum on April 2nd 2019. The program was looking at a range of issues confronting men, including questions of masculinity, violence, suicide prevention, mental and physical health. He had been recommended to me by people who work in the domestic violence sector as an engaging speaker at seminars and conferences. Darren proved to be an outstanding panellist, and the reaction to his appearance was overwhelming. Our audience responded very positively to his “lived experience”, his honesty, emotional strength, and above all his authenticity. For a man who at first glance fits an ideal of the “Aussie bloke” Darren is able to talk with profound and moving insight about the dangers of masculine stereotypes and explore why some men hurt others and themselves. I cannot recommend him more highly as a speaker in the media or elsewhere.
Journalist, ABC TV
I’ve been lucky to see Darren speak in different forums and formats in our mining communities. He is one of the most powerful and talented speakers I’ve experienced on the topics of mental health and wellbeing. Regardless of the size and demographic of the audience he has this natural ability to draw you in. To cut through stereotypes and social stigma. He does this with his breathtaking honesty, raw emotion and genuine vulnerability. I understand he is known for bravery of the footy field, but that’s really nothing compared to the bravery he shows as a public speaker.
Isaac Regional Council
I had the pleasure of meeting Darren Higgins in 2018 through the avenues we have in place for volunteering within our organisations initiatives to prevent and redress violence in communities. From the outset, Darren demonstrated a profound depth of concern, compassion and commitment to the mental health needs and wellbeing of people who have experienced violence at an interpersonal and community level, be that in childhood and across generations. Darren has a much needed skill and authenticity to cut through the usual dialogue about social issues. He brings to the fore the needs and struggles faced by many individuals and communities’ right home and into the room. He does so in a profound, credible and relatable way. Darren has the skill and credibility to speak to small and large groups about his own experiences and the experiences of others – humanising the everyday challenges that come with violence, loss, disadvantage, social isolation and economic pressures faced by everyday Australians. We had the pleasure and privilege of inviting Darren to open an event in March this year to set the scene for a cross-context masterclass on improved awareness of and responses to domestic and family violence. Immediately as a speaker Darren was able to draw people in, bring the content near, and the set a tone like no other. Darren is grounded, open and compassionate – and brings these attributes to his speaking.
Chief Executive Officer
Domestic Violence Service Management
Sightlines Professional Services
Darren Higgins spoke from the heart at our event on the important and interconnected social issues of mental health, suicide, masculinity, and family violence. His personal insights based on his life experience had a profound effect on the audience. In the era of the slick soundbite, Darren offered a refreshing change. He is an authentic and compelling voice that is much needed in the public debate on these topics.
Economic Wellbeing and Workplace & EAP Responses
Domestic Violence Service Management / Sightlines Professional Services
Every body has a story, and every bodies story deserves to be heard. What sets them apart are the way they are told, and that is where Darren sets himself apart, and above the rest. The passion that is so evident in his speech is not able to be faked and the raw honesty that comes through holds everybody in the room. I have worked and spoken internationally and all over Australia with well renowned speakers, but I would rather sit and listen to Darren before any of them any time.
Rise Foundation Australia
My name is Jeff Amatto I have travelled 60,000kms of Australia the last two years doing my workshops Around Drugs & Alcohol l have been fortunate to be invited to listen to many Great speakers as well. But the one speaker that really got my attention was Darren Higgins! This man's talk was so raw, honest and so Real. I have heard and seen so much of Darren before I heard him speak and what I seen was a tough hard footy player that played for the NRL and just to sit in on his talk and see a different man speak from the heart about the effects of Mental health I was shocked to see a hard man break to hear how he came back from the lonely dark place. He is such an inspiration to many including myself. If only there was a lot more of our men like Darren speaking opening and honestly about life and the tough times. I'm a true believer in that if we are going to close the gap around this topic, we need to listen to the lived experience people and what I heard that day from Darren it does not get any Real then this man. I just wanna say I recommend Darren I ain't seen anyone yet more rawer, honest and passionate then him.
"more culture rehabs less jails"
My name is James Pittar and I work for the Australian Taxation Office in World Square Sydney. In 2018 I was the Disability Advisor for our office and I had organise a couple of events in my role for our site including the RUOK day morning tea which was held on Friday September 14 2018 which was one day after the official RUOK day. I invited Darren Higgins to come along and speak to our office on that morning. Darren’s speech was fantastic as he was able to show our staff about that all professional Rugby League players portray that they are hard and tough people but Darren also showed his emotions in his speech which resinated with all of our staff. Many of our staff came up to me and said how fantastic was Darren’s speech and my Boss who at the time was the Deputy Commissioner said at the end when speaking to me and Darren that we should get Darren back to speak to our office in the future and that sentiment was echoed by another SES officer who MC are event. From me as a totally blind person and have listened to many Rugby League games on radio it was great to hear Darren speak and speak from his heart. Also as the organiser of the event and I use a screen reader to organise events and I have to memorise all of the information to introduce a speaker at these events, to have someone who sent his Biograph in a timely fashion and always answered any of my phone calls at any time or if he was not at his phone would promptly return my calls made my job very easy and showed Darren’s professionalism to the whole of his speech and the way he conducted himself. Darren relates to all people no matter their backgrounds to both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people and no matter their age or employment status. Darren showed his empathy the other day when he asked how one of my work colleagues was going as he was genuinely concerned for this work colleague.
ATO officer since 1988
For a man who at first glance fits an ideal of the “Aussie bloke” Darren is able to talk with profound and moving insight about the dangers of masculine stereotypes and explore why some men hurt others and themselves. I cannot recommend him more highly as a speaker in the media or elsewhere.