Joe Williams

The Enemy Within

Suicide Prevention & Mental Wellbeing Education

Joe Williams is a Wiradjuri, 1st Nations man born in Cowra, raised in Wagga, NSW, having lived a 15 year span as a professional sports person, playing in the NRL for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs before switching to professional Boxing in 2009. As a boxer he is a 2x WBF World Jnr Welterweight champion and also won the WBC Asia Continental Title. 

Although forging a successful professional sporting career, Joe has battled the majority of his life with suicidal ideation and Bi Polar Disorder. After a suicide attempt in 2012, he felt his purpose was to help people who struggle with mental illness.  

Now he travel's the country and internationally speaking about his personal mental health journey in various schools, corporate's, community organisations and communities. In 2014 he created The Enemy Within, which is used to show a raw and honest side of Joe Williams, the boxer, former NRL Player, father & fiancé. Speaking the depths of his private pain, and the dealings with depression that drove him to the very brink. Through customised workshops and youth focused camps, he speak's of adversity, dealing with struggle, resilience, improving your attitude by 1%, positive energy & how small steps, lead to something greater.

Recently Joe developed a cultural wellbeing program which concentrates on First Nations people becoming the best version of themselves and released his autobiography titled Defying The Enemy Within; which not only tells his story, but offers practical wellbeing tips that anyone can implement in their lives to keep themselves mentally well. Joe also features in the global documentary Suicide The Ripple Effect with fellow advocate Kevin Hines and in 2017 was named as finalist in the National Indigenous Human Rights Awards for his work with suicide prevention and fighting for equality for Australia’s First Nations people. In 2015 he received the Wagga Citizen of the Year for his work within the community, mental health and suicide prevention sectors.