Wayne Schwass

  • Wayne Schwass, AFL Speaker

    Born in New Zealand, Schwass moved to Warrnambool in Victoria at the age of 3 where he began playing Australian Rules before being recruited by VFL club, Kangaroos.

    During his 14 year career Wayne won 3 Club Best and Fairest awards, was an All Australian, 3 times State Representative, 1996 Premiership player, 1995 Night Premiership Player, Morrish Medallist (VFLU / 19 Best and Fairest), AFL…

    Location: VIC, Australia
    Fee Range: -

About Wayne

Born in New Zealand, Schwass moved to Warrnambool in Victoria at the age of 3 where he began playing Australian Rules before being recruited by VFL club, Kangaroos.

During his 14 year career Wayne won 3 Club Best and Fairest awards, was an All Australian, 3 times State Representative, 1996 Premiership player, 1995 Night Premiership Player, Morrish Medallist (VFLU / 19 Best and Fairest), AFL Life Membership and North Melbourne Life Membership. Wayne retired from AFL Football in June 2002.

Wayne has since forged a name for himself as a highly respected AFL Broadcaster on TV, radio and online with AFL.com, AFL Live, Triple M Footy and AFL Central -hosting such shows as Off The Bench TV, Footy Feast and calling AF on the AFL Live. The 2016 season will see Wayne return to the commentary team at Triple M and talking all things footy with PRIME 7’s Off The Bench TV.

In 2007 Wayne became the face of the AFL Coke Zero Dream Team website and a co-presenter on the AFL’s online game preview show Saturday Central as well as the AFL’s online review show The Final Siren both on AFL.com.

Wayne is also the Founder of ‘The Sunrise Foundation’, an organisation he created after becoming one of the first AFL footballers to openly speak out about his battle with depression. Though no longer operating, the Sunrise Foundation was created to develop and deliver purpose built preventative education programs addressing depression for young people aged between 12 and 24 with a particular focus in the education system, athletes from all sports across all levels including the elite and rural Australia.

Wayne’s keynote includes a candid, honest and inspiring story about his 14 year struggle with depression and his road to recovery, including;

  • Depression is an illness that doesn’t discriminate
  • How depression invaded every aspect and area of his life and the impact this had on his health, well-being, performance, enjoyment and quality of life
  • Watching the colour fade from his life, living in a heavy fog and accepting his disease had taken control of his mind
  • How he managed to hide his illness from his family, friends, team mates, football club and the general public for 14 years and the impact this had on his quality of life
  • How he managed to play 282 AFL Games, win 3 Best & Fairest Awards, play in a Premiership side, win All Australian Selection, represent his State and be awarded AFL & North Melbourne Football Club Life Membership all while battling clinical depression
  • Why he considered an option with irreversible consequences to escape the pain and suffering, why and how he chose to keep fighting
  • Why he self-medicated for 14 years
  • Why he chose not to seek help and the impact this had on his recovery and relationships
  • The importance of your support network and how 2 key people in his life played a critical role in saving his life
  • The role of carers and professionals and their importance in your recovery
  • Learning new skills
  • Why he believes the Stigma associated with mental illness is out-dated, uneducated and totally unacceptable
  • Why he believes mental illnesses are a bigger threat to our communities than the road toll
  • How he began to reclaim control of his life and the long road back to health and wellbeing
  • How he lived in denial until his light bulb moment

Wayne’s vast experience from being an AFL player to media personality, from the private sector to establishing the Sunrise Foundation has also developed him into a versatile and motivating Keynote Speaker and MC. To get an insight into Wayne’s powerful message click here to go through to our YouTube channel.

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