Joe Williams to speak to students ahead of Albury-Wodonga Winter Solstice for Survivors of Suicide and Friends event

POWERFUL VOICE: Former world boxing champ Joe Williams will speak to Border high school students ahead of the winter solstice event.
POWERFUL VOICE: Former world boxing champ Joe Williams will speak to Border high school students ahead of the winter solstice event.

Joe Williams has a message that packs a powerful punch.

For you see the world champion boxer and former NRL player was delivered a knockout blow that nearly ended his life.

His toughest opponent was never the one squaring up to him in the ring or out on the field.

On Wednesday, June 21, Williams will tell Border high school students how it was the enemy within that threatened his life.

He will address students (the general public is also welcome) from 11am at the Albury Entertainment Centre ahead of his guest appearance at the Albury-Wodonga Winter Solstice that evening.

Raised in Wagga, the talented footballer played for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and the Canterbury Bulldogs before switching to professional boxing in 2009.

But depression is an illness Williams struggled with since he was a teenager and in 2012 he tried to take his life.

Instead of allowing that to define his future, he turned his attention to transforming both his own life and the lives of others.

Through his charity, The Enemy Within, Williams has worked with disengaged youth in schools, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres and jails, while in his workshops he openly delves into the private pain and depression that drove him to the brink.

The father of four says he now accepts there will be bad days but he knows things can get better.

That’s the message he will share with the Border as the community gathers to mark the silent grief of suicide with the free winter solstice event at Albury’s QEII Square from 5pm to 7pm.