Living Well Community Forum

Community forumLiving Well Community Forum

Wednesday 4 June
Doors open 6:15pm for 6:45pm start
Newcastle City Hall
Gold coin donation on entry

Living Well: An evening about building resilience, enhancing wellbeing and overcoming adversity is an event with two well respected locals speaking candidly about building a better life.
Wayne Bennett will be talking on building resilience, overcoming adversity and developing a balanced life. Craig Hamilton will share his personal experience with mental illness and tips for enhancing wellbeing and living well.


The aim of the event is to inspire and empower people to look after their wellbeing and mental health, recognising that there are things people can do themselves, things communities can do together as well as local services that are available. The event will be hosted by local media personality Melinda Smith with a brief presentation by Jaelea Skehan, Director of the Hunter Institute of Mental Health on the night. 

Guest speakers

Wayne BennettMr Wayne Bennett

Wayne Bennett, the most successful coach in the NRL, became coach of our local team the Newcastle Knights in 2012. In 2009 he was appointed Coach of St George Illawarra and in 2010 he took the team to its first NRL victory in 31 years and when he left them, they were the reigning premiers. Previously he was coach of the Brisbane Broncos for 21 years from 1988 until 2008.

Wayne Bennett is recognised in Rugby League circles as one of the most influential and innovative of modern day coaches. He is the longest serving coach of a single club, has one of the best winning percentages, and ranks second in the number of premierships won as a coach at an elite level.

A former state and international player, Wayne began coaching in 1976 at club level, and in 1986 became Queensland Director of Coaching. In 1987 he became a full-time coach with the Canberra Raiders. In his first season with the Raiders, Wayne coached them to their first-ever Grand Final and was named Coach of the Year.

In 1988 Wayne joined the Brisbane Broncos as their inaugural coach. He guided the club to five premierships; two World Club Challenge titles; and three pre-season titles. Wayne was coach of the QLD State of Origin sides in 1987 and ‘88 and was appointed the inaugural Queensland Super League coach for the 1997 Tri-Series against NSW and New Zealand. He returned to State of Origin in 1998, where he guided Queensland to an historic 2-1 series victory over NSW.The Broncos' success in 1997, winning both the Telstra Cup and the Visa World Club Championship resulted in Wayne being named the Super League Coach of the Year.

In 1998 Wayne was chosen as the Australian coach for the final two Tests of the ANZAC series against New Zealand. The same year, he created history by becoming the first coach to steer his club, his state and his country to victory in their respective series. He was also named Queensland Coach of the Year, Australian Domestic Team Coach of the Year and on a personal level, Queensland Father of the Year.

Again in 2000, Wayne was named Coach of the Year when the Broncos won both the minor and major premierships. His success continued in 2001, when Queensland won the State of Origin series. The same year, the Queensland Government added Rugby League to the Queensland Academy of Sport program, of which Wayne was appointed the Director.

In 2008 he released his autobiography, Wayne Bennett- The Man in the Mirror.
Not only is Wayne Bennett a super coach, he is a fantastic speaker with audiences - sporting and non-sporting -hanging on his every word.

Craig HamiltonMr Craig Hamilton

Craig was born and raised in the Hunter Valley town of Singleton and spent 16 years working as an underground coalminer in the Newcastle area before embarking on a radio career.

Craig started his career as a broadcaster with ABC Radio in 1994 and since then, he has covered Rugby League, Rugby Union and Cricket at international level as a commentator. Craig is probably best known as a member of the "Grandstand" Rugby League commentary and has worked on the past 17 Grand Finals, State of Origin series and a number of Test Matches.

In the year 2000, on the eve of the Sydney Olympic Games where he had been assigned to work as a broadcaster, Craig experienced a psychotic episode and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. He spent 12 days in hospital, and since his recovery, has become one of Australia's most high profile speakers on mental health and lifestyle.

In 2004 Random House released his highly acclaimed memoir, Broken Open which gives a very personal account of living with Bipolar Disorder. In July 2012, Allen and Unwin released his second book, A Better Life.
Craig is now a much sought after motivational speaker around Australia who tells what it's like to battle mental illness. In sharing his story and experiences he offers hope to others.


Event supported by:

1233 ABC Newcastle   NCC   Headjam