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speaker

Darren
Flanagan

The man behind the Beaconsfield Mine rescue.

Profile

On the 25th April 2006 Australia and the rest of the World were stunned to hear about a major mine collapse in Beaconsfield Tasmania. At 5.45pm on the 30th April, rescue workers discovered that Todd Russell and Brant Webb were still alive. What followed was an incredible coordination effort by dozens of rescue workers who were now focused on getting the miners out.

Sitting at home watching this unfold was explosive expert Darren Flanagan. That Sunday night Darren received a phone call that would change his life for ever. So began one of the most amazing rescue attempts in history.

The Rescue:

What Darren was about to attempt had never been tried before in the World, let alone in an attempt to tunnel to two trapped miners. A highly regarded explosives expert, Darren spent five days trying to re-fine an explosive charge that would tunnel through the rock without killing the miners.

After 29 hours of non-stop exhaustive blasting that left Darren physically and emotionally exhausted, Darren was able to eventually blast to within 300mm of the trapped miners enabling rescuers to get to Todd and Brant and complete this phenomenal rescue.

The Presentation:

That one phone call changed Darren’s life from being an ordinary family man into one of the real heroes of the “Great Escape”. His story is emotive, dramatic and extraordinary. It’s one of endurance and the triumph of the human spirit. As a result of the rescue, Todd and Brant nicknamed Darren “The Gun”.

In this emotional and truly memorable session, Darren will share his story and in doing so, demonstrate the capacity of ordinary people to show unrelenting spirit and perform under extreme pressure when faced with a set of extraordinary circumstances.

Darren’s presentations are always passionate and thrilling however Darren includes a mix of humour as well to ensure audiences are taken on a roller coaster ride. He draws guests into a real life drama. His presentation and stories are truly memorable. Darren is considered by the industry to be one of the very best motivational and inspirational speakers in Australia.

Expertise
Talking Points

The Great Escape

That one phone call changed Darren’s life from being an ordinary family man into one of the real heroes of the “Great Escape”. His story is emotive, dramatic and extraordinary. It’s one of endurance and the triumph of the human spirit. As a result of the rescue, Todd and Brant nicknamed Darren “The Gun”.

In this emotional and truly memorable session, Darren will share his story and in doing so, demonstrate the capacity of ordinary people to show unrelenting spirit and perform under extreme pressure when faced with a set of extraordinary circumstances.

Darren’s presentations are always passionate and thrilling however Darren includes a mix of humour as well to ensure audiences are taken on a roller coaster ride. He draws guests into a real life drama. His presentation and stories are truly memorable. Darren is considered by the industry to be one of the very best motivational and inspirational speakers in Australia.

Mental Health

Many people are unaware that 9 big tough muscly miners all fell over with mental health problems after the Beaconsfield mine rescue had been completed. Darren Flanagan was no exception.

Along with the other men from the rescue, Darren struggled and hid this from the world because big tough men don’t have mental health issues, big tough men can fix anything so he just fought on with a battle that he could not win by himself. It was only after Darren had discovered that a lot of other men had needed help did he admit to himself and his family that he was hiding something from them and got the help that he needed.

Darren’s story lets other men know that you don’t have to be involved in an extreme situation like a rescue or war, to have depression and other mental health issues. Darren lets them know that you can have marriage and work issues, someone that you love may have passed away or you can just be the first person on the scene of an accident and see tragedy and your life can be changed forever.
Darren reaches out to all audiences and hits them right between the eyes with the reality of mental health.
Media
Feedback
To say it was an interesting, absorbing and dramatic presentation would not be doing it justice. Darren Flanagan's talk was electrifying, emotional and detailed. His description of the rescue operation and the conditions the miners survived in, made us all understand, not only the enormity of the operation and the delicacy of the final preparations to break through to the miners as well as the extreme conditions that rescuers and rescued were sharing but how the Aussie spirit shone through. As well as privileged, we were enthralled, thrilled but most of all thankful to have such a dinkum, brave Aussie speaker to share his extreme experience with us. Shoalhaven Council

In a nutshell, Darren Flanagan blew everyone away. Several of our guys who have been with us for 10 years or more said he was the best speaker we have ever had. It was nice to have someone who wasn't overly professional (that's not a criticism) and didn't look like he was 'just going through the motions'. He is an ordinary, genuine man who was caught up in an extraordinary set of circumstances... everyone in the room was moved by his experience. A lot of our delegates are men in the construction industry - they're not known for being easily affected.

HookerCockram Projects Limited

Darren Flanagan is a passionate, enthralling and inspiring speaker. The manner in which he is able to communicate the human side of the Beaconsfield rescue - the effect on families, on rescuers, and on the survivors themselves - made us realise why safety in the workplace cannot be taken for granted. Darren was the closing speaker of the conference and even after two days of presentations, Darren managed to hold the attention of everyone in the room - and I mean all 300 delegates - for over an hour.

Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia

An insider's version of events of one of the most publicised mining accidents in Australia's history. Darren Flanagan's speech about his involvement with the rescue of the Beaconsfield miners is gripping from start to finish. His raw emotion takes the audience to the scene of the accident, the efforts of the team involved in the rescue and the toll that it took on the mining community. His speech is a real eye opener and a great motivational tool for anyone involved with the industry.

Rio Tinto

I have never seen a presenter invite an audience in to experience the real emotions of his own real life experience. The way Darren presented made us all feel as we were actually there with him. At times we cried, at times we laughed, he was the best presenter I have seen in 25 years. That night Darren also joined us for dinner and he was swamped by both members and suppliers alike who merely wanted to speak with this guy and thank him for sharing his story.

Leading Edge Electronics & Digital

An intense, passionate, emotional delivery of his story, there were a lot of tears in the room. Darren tied it very nicely with how you work with your advisers, commitment, leadership, thought and quality with family etc. He was a huge hit.

ANZ Bank

Darren was fantastic - highly relevant for our team and an absolutely professional, personal and emotional account from him - a highlight of our program.

Holcim Australia & NZ
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