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TELEVISION

It’s always fun to get in front of the cameras and spend some time on television. I have been lucky enough to enjoy a number of appearances on live television programs, including Channel Nine’s The Footy Show and Fox Sports Sterlo.

In 2014, I was fortunate enough to produce a segment for The Footy Show highlighting the important work of one of the charities I support in Autism Spectrum Australia. Leveraging from such a wide audience, this was a special moment for me as I still receive thanks from families affected by autism.

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PRINT MEDIA

I like to think that if you treat people they way that you like to be treated then everyone can get along nicely. There is a stigma around print media in Australia for having tall poppy syndrome and at times it can be warranted. I’ve got to say though, that I have been very lucky at times to leverage from media sources and share my own experiences.

I am very thankful to all my friends and contacts in the media for allowing me at times to tell my story. I am even more thankful to the public for sharing an interest and supporting not only my career, but all facets of my life.



SOCIAL MEDIA

If you want to stay up to date with all things in my day-to-day world, you can follow me on social media. Just click the links below!



TRAINER

I am a qualified fitness instructor, registered with Fitness Australia. I also gained qualification as a Strength and Conditioning coach registered with the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association.

Having spent over a decade involved with professional sport, I have made the transition from simply training as required to a student of human movement. I enjoy not only studying for my own benefit but also so that I am able to instruct or assist anyone else with their own fitness development.




COMMUNITY

Playing professional sport has provided me with many opportunities to give back to the community. As a child, I looked up to rugby league players and I keep that in the back of my mind whenever I’m approached in the community. It is something that I never take for granted. I believe I can use my role as a sporting identity to help guide and support others, and hopefully make small changes in people’s lives for the better.

One of the initiatives that I am proud to be involved with is the NRL’s “Rugby League Reads” program which sees schools from all across Australia visited by NRL players with the goal of encouraging a good education and the importance of reading.




CENTRAL DISTRICTS JUNIOR RUGBY LEAGUE CLUB

I started playing rugby league in 1995 in the under 11s team at Central Districts in Adelaide, South Australia. This state is not known for its popularity of rugby league but I knew even early on that I wanted to play professional rugby league. I distinctly remember playing in my first representative team and discovering about the Australian schoolboys competition. It was at this point for the first time in my entire life, I set a goal. That goal was to play in the Australian Schoolboys rugby league team. By the age of 16, I had represented South Australia a number of times and was the starting fullback for Central Districts in the A Grade Open Age competition. In my final year with the club I scored 26 tries in the season.



CANBERRA RAIDERS

In January 2002, I drove from my home in Adelaide to the nation’s capital for a chance trial game with the Canberra Raiders. After scoring one try and setting up another, I was lucky enough to be offered a contract straight after the game. Two weeks later I moved to Canberra, I had just turned 17. My final year of school saw me beginning my path to the National Rugby League competition, I also achieved my goal of playing in the Australian Schoolboys team. It was now time to set new goals.

After graduating Year 12 at Erindale College in the ACT, I then began life as a full-time footballer. It was not without its obstacles. With an intense training schedule and a transition from schoolboy to open age football, I found I gained close to 20 kilos. Another considerable change at this point, was the transition from playing as an outside back to playing as a second row and more regularly, a front row forward. Truth be told, this transition did not sit well with me. I found it difficult to adjust to my new position on the field. I also found myself playing in number of a games for the Tuggeranong Bushrangers in the local competition. It was playing in that competition in 2005, that I was awarded the Les McIntyre Medal for Player of the Year. 2008 saw an end to my time at the Canberra Raiders.


WODEN RAMS

After I moved on from the Raiders, I decided to join the Woden Valley Rams Rugby League Club and was awarded the captaincy in my first season. I finished the year on a high and I was once again awarded the Les McIntyre Medal for Player of the Year. The following year, I was offered the role of captain/coach. I have to say, with everything I have achieved in rugby league, this was one of the most satisfying seasons I was involved with. I was so proud to lead the boys to their first finals series in ten years. I learned a lot in that season, I learned about the game, I learned about myself and I learned a lot about management and team dynamic. It was a challenging year managing my football commitments with my final year of university. In 2009, I graduated from the University of Canberra with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations. In what had turned out to be an extremely rewarding year, I was also lucky enough to named the Coach of the Year.



BURLEIGH BEARS

2010 was definitely a mixed bag for myself and rugby league. Having graduated from university and with every intention of joining the Royal Australian Air Force, I had notified the Woden Rams that I would not be coaching that season. I played a few games at the start of the season under the new coach but I found it interesting, even difficult to be coached in what I considered to be my team. Not in a selfish way but purely in a sense that I’m an all or nothing person, and I felt like I had somehow gone backwards. Unsure about my enlistment date and feeling very unsettled at the time, I decided a road trip to the Gold Coast to see some close mates was exactly what I needed.

Before long I was playing football once again, this time with the Burleigh Bears. For the first time in my life, I had found myself playing reserve grade at a local level. I played a handful of games in the FOGS Cup before being selected to play in the Queensland Cup side for the club. Fate would have it that the most inconsistent season I’ve played in my life was capped off with an invitation to begin pre-season training with the Gold Coast Titans in October 2010.



GOLD COAST TITANS

An intense summer of training under the Titans banner culminated with a trial game in Brisbane against the Broncos. The game had a terrible outcome for me. I severed the webbing of my little finger, tearing it almost completely off. It would be six weeks before it was fully recovered. It was not until Round 16 on the 25th June 2011, 10 years after leaving Adelaide as a teenager to move to Canberra, I finally debuted in the NRL. It was the best day of my life. It was by far my proudest football achievement to date. If nothing else happened from that day on, I remember thinking no one could ever take this away from me. I played out the rest of the 2011 season in the NRL. I absolutely loved my time at the Titans, meeting great mates and enjoying the wonderful lifestyle the Gold Coast has to offer. In 2012, I was awarded the Gold Coast Titans “Community Award” for service reaching beyond the football field and into the Gold Coast community. However, after inconsistent selection in and out of NRL, the time had come to look for new opportunities.



MANLY WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES

In October 2012, I signed a three year contract with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. After another gruelling off-season, I was selected in the starting side to play the Broncos in the first game of the 2013 season. I would go on to start in every game that year. The 2013 season is one that I will never forget. I was able to develop my game on a personal level, and as a team we went on to play in the Grand Final against the Sydney Roosters. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder for the National Anthem before kick-off was a moment in time I will cherish forever. There may be a day that it is easy to talk about losing that Grand Final, however that day is not today.





ASPECT

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) is Australia's leading provider for autism services. I have been involved with ASPECT for a number of years. As an ambassador, I am currently involved in fundraising and generating awareness of autism.

Autism is a lifelong disability that affects about 1 in 100 Australians, or 230,000 people. The word 'spectrum' reflects the different challenges that people with autism face and the degree to which they may be affected. ASPECT provides people with autism the opportunity to realise their unique potential, as well as providing much needed support to their families, carers, friends and colleagues. Its vision is to provide the best possible opportunities for people with autism and other disabilities.

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WAE Foundation

Wild Animal Encounters is the only company in Australia that is permitted to display both native and exotic animals at educational wildlife displays and outreach programs throughout NSW. Director of Wild Animal Encounters - Ben Britton is a man passionate about wildlife and believes strongly in conservation through education.

Wild Animal Encounters has established the WAE Foundation to support its work, and help conserve wildlife both in Australia and overseas.

The WAE Foundation seeks donations from the public in partnership with Wild Animal Encounters. It also conducts its own fundraising at Wild Animal Encounters and offers people the opportunity to donate regularly through direct debits or through its corporate sponsorship program.

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White Ribbon

In 2013, the World Health Organisation reported that 30 per cent of women worldwide are affected by intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. White Ribbon is Australia's only national, male-led campaign to end mens violence against women.

Vision - All women live in safety, free from all forms of men's violence.

Mission - Making women's safety a man's issue too.

White Ribbon Australia believes in the capacity of the individual to change and to encourage change in others. Our generation can and must work towards stopping violence against women so that all women can live in safety, free from violence and abuse.

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NRL State of Mind

In 2015, the NRL launched the State of Mind campaign. The aim of the campaign is to reduce the stigma around mental illness, create positive discussion and connection in our communities, and to stimulate help-seeking behaviours by improving mental health literacy.

I am an ambassador of this program because I believe the spirit of our country is built on helping your mate.

In consultation with Australia’s leading health experts, Lifeline, Headspace, Kids Helpline and the Black Dog Institute, together with the NRL, I am committed to making a difference to mental illness.

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UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA

Whist living in the ACT, I graduated from the University of Canberra with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at university. It was certainly a challenge to negotiate the study load with football training and working full time, but it was a challenge that I am now able to fully appreciate.

University allowed me to develop skills in public speaking. This is something that I love to do, whether it be to a small group of children or at a large scale public event or private function. I believe that if you have something to share, and you know that this knowledge may help someone, then isn't it worth sharing?



PREPARATION

Whether it’s in sport or business, or any aspect of life you can think of, preparation is paramount to a successful outcome. But before we take that first step, we must make a decision in which direction to plant our feet. If you have limited time or resources it pays to do your research.

Life is a string of choices that we must continuously evaluate. To get to where you’re going, you need to know how to get there. Some of the greatest advice I was ever given was, “If you don't know… ask!” You may not get your answer but if you’re paying attention, you’ll always learn something. It might simply be that you need to re-assess your question or, in some cases, who you're asking.

When you prepare for anything in life, never be afraid of making the wrong choice. If you don’t know something, there’s nothing wrong with making a mistake, so long as you learn from it.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
- Alexander Graham Bell



GOALS

I distinctly remember the first goal I ever set as a sportsman. I was twelve years old, of course at the time I didn't realise I was setting a goal. I just knew that there was something I wanted to achieve and I was going after it. It wasn't until years later that realised what I was doing, and that this process was responsible for much of my small successes to date.

In life there are long term goals and short term goals. My dream was always to play in the NRL. As a kid I had no idea how or if that was ever going to happen. So I focused on what I could influence at the time. My first ever goal was to be selected in the North Adelaide team to take on the South Adelaide team. It was the first of many, many short term goals that led me to where I am today. It must be said that I certainly didn’t achieve every goal I ever set. But in setting a path, each and every lesson I've learnt along the way has been invaluable.

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
- Bruce Lee



MOTIVATION

In sport, we are undoubtedly motivated by our collective goals, for example, winning the championship. We recognise this extrinsic motivation through tangible rewards like trophies or prize money. Yet, it can also be found through intangible rewards as simple as recognition and praise.

In my experience, however, it is our intrinsic motivation which is the decisive difference between us all. This is the motivation that is driven from within. A self-satisfying desire to succeed, to overcome and to win. It is true that our motivation is directly related to desired outcomes. When we lack motivation so too do we exhibit low levels of arousal, thus affecting our performance.

It is important to remember that your motivation can also evolve with you as you move from one experience to the next. Often motivation is easy to find and nonetheless, sometimes not so easy. You should always remember your goals. Write them down. Use visual aids on a daily basis. Tell someone, anyone about what you want to achieve and what motivates you to do so. Stay focused!

“It always seems impossible until its done.”
- Nelson Mandela



SET-BACKS & PERSISTANCE

There is nothing wrong with changing your mind and resetting a path that leads in a different direction, if that’s what you truly want. There are always going to be people that have an opinion. Most importantly set-backs force us to make choices regarding our next move.

Life is a series of one decision after the next. You can ask yourself am I going to let this situation affect me in a positive way, or am I going to allow negativity to set me off course further and really set me back. The best thing about a choice is that it’s yours, you own it and no one else.

The truth is there’s no such thing as a perfect run. And really, that’s a good thing! Obstacles and setbacks are a necessary element of success, because if we are paying attention we can learn from them.

“Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again.”
- Henry Ford