Outspoken advocate for mental health, suicide prevention, and sharing personal stories, motivational speaker Nic Newling will be a key speaker at the Resilience Festival on Saturday, October 13.
Mr Newling has lived through the experience of suffering with a mood disorder throughout high school and losing his brother to suicide, something Mr Newling will be speaking about at the festival.
“It’s something I do talk about quite a lot and it’s really recounting my time growing up with experiencing losing my brother to suicide and going through my own battles,” he said.
Mr Newling was contacted by Resilience organiser Greg McManus to be one of the key speakers at the event.
“Interestingly enough I received a marketing email from Ticketek and I saw the Resilience Festival on there and thought it sounded amazing and so, when I was contacted, I said of course I would do it,” he said.
Mr Newling is known for speaking at high schools, work places, universities and with medical professionals.
“I speak with a diverse range of people which highlights the point that people and their stories can in many ways be universal,” he said.
Mr Newling says he believes this event may be different from those he has spoken at previously because all the people are coming voluntarily to experience something as a community.
“I like the idea that this is a creative event and not just information based but it is experiential which can drive the community ties.”
Mr Newling has been speaking publicly about mental health since he was 19 but never intended that it would become a full time job. One message that Mr Newling aims to leave people with after his talk is a sense of hope.
“People can take away whatever message they want, but when I was going through the grief of losing my brother and struggling myself with suicidal thoughts, there was always a lack of hope,” he said.
“I felt like no-one else understood what it was to be suicidal or losing family members to suicide,” Mr Newling said.
“You can’t implant a sense of hope in someone, but seeing people with lots of different experiences and how hope brought them help, might be able to help someone else.
“These issues are experienced by so many more people then we realise.”
Mr Newling will be speaking from 3.30pm until 4pm.
Resilience Festival organiser Greg McManus said getting Nic Newling to speak at the festival was a great achievement.
“He has spoken with Google, done TED talks, so for him to like our idea and say yes was just incredible,” he said.
Mr McManus said ticket sales have been beating expectations.
“Everything is really falling to place now which is pretty positive and special,” he said.
According to ticket sales, around 70 percent have been bought from out of town, in places such as Melbourne, the Sunshine Coast, ACT, Sydney, Orange and Bathurst.
“This is great for Lithgow as it means accommodation, restaurants, clubs and the town can benefit from the tourism,” he said.
“We have had a lot of help from the community these last few days as we put together final touches.”
Communities such as Newtown and Botany have also chipped in to help with the festival.
“So many businesses have been supporting our cause which has made this a lot easier,” Mr McManus said.
So many businesses have been supporting our cause which has made this a lot easier,Greg McManus
Demonstrations will be done on the day by Vanguard Fitness, trace of magic, Haktari Taekwondo Academy, Kumiai-Ryu Martial Arts as well as activities for kids.
From 4pm onwards the bigger bands will be performing but Mr McManus wanted to warm parents of the excessive language that may be used.
“We have tried to capture everything, a music festival, mental health conference and a community event all in one,” he said.
“We probably took on way too much but it’s all coming together now.”
Tickets will be offered at the gate, including family passes, adult and kids tickets. Festival goers will receive a wrist band to come and go throughout the day.
Gates open at 10am.