Rare Birds Ambassador for Wagga Wagga, former NRL player and boxer Joe Williams was named 2016 Citizen of the Year in Wagga Wagga, not just for his sporting accomplishments but for his honourable work in suicide prevention.
Joe has had an extensive sporting career, playing in the NRL for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs before switching to professional boxing in 2009.
Joe has been World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Junior Welterweight Champion twice and won the World Boxing Association Asia Continental title in 2014.
1% improvement a day is all you need to achieve great things and push through those barriers. – Joe Williams
Finding strength and resilience
Apart from being involved with professional sport for over 15 years, Joe now spends his time working to inspire youth and individuals through motivational speaking workshops entitled The Enemy Within.
Privately, Joe has had his own battles, struggles and setbacks, which culminated in his own suicide attempt in 2011. He reflects on these experiences in his raw and honest speeches about suicide prevention and wellbeing education.
Joe works alongside disengaged youth in high schools and primary schools, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres and gaols. Joe has mentored youth and adults on resilience and adversity, focusing on how even minor improvements can have major impacts.
Connecting with communities
Joe has strong ties to his Wiradjuri heritage and dedicates much of his time to assisting Aboriginal communities. He works full-time as the Aboriginal education worker at Mater Dei Catholic College.
As a Rare Birds Ambassador, Joe Williams is representing the role that all fathers, husbands, sons and brothers can play in promoting greater opportunities and respect for women.
“My fiancé, daughter, mother and sisters are among the strongest, most beautiful women I know,” says Joe. “I treat every woman I encounter with the same respect as I would respect them”.
Would you like to nominate a high calibre entrepreneur or business leader to be a Rare Birds Global Ambassador? Contact Rare Birds Community Leader Sarah Coull to find out more: email@example.com