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Wayne Schwass

Wayne Schwass

Wayne Schwass is one of the most highly rated performers in the AFL history, playing 282 AFL games over 14 years with the North Melbourne Football Club (1988-1997) and the Sydney Swans (1998-2002). Founder of The Sunrise Foundation, Wayne is a versatile, motivating and inspirational speaker.

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Testimonials for Wayne Schwass

We were delighted to have Wayne as our keynote speaker for our Annual Luncheon and Staff Wellbeing event this year in June. Wayne’s 14 year struggle with mental health was brought to light with a positive energy and engaging presentation that was well received by all attendees. Wayne’s vibrant personality and humour made him easy to be around and stress-free to work with.   

Hume Bank


I cannot speak highly enough of Wayne and his presentation at our TaylorMade adidas Golf Sales conference earlier this month. When booking a sports person to speak at our Sales conference, ultimately I was looking for someone who would not only motivate our team but relate the presentation to the sales processes themselves. Wayne did exactly that. Any preconception that a sports person may only speak mainly of his sporting achievements was quickly alleviated. Wayne spoke minimally of his sporting background only to mention that sport gave him the disciplines to put in place to help shape his sales success.

Wayne’s preparation was exemplary. Wayne contacted myself a fortnight before the event and was very thorough in understanding our business, the current challenges we have, the market place and the objections that our sales staff face. Wayne spent an hour on the phone with me developing his understanding of our business and how he could relate his sales knowledge to ours. Wayne followed up again a week later with an email asking further questions and a provided a bio for me to share with the team.

On the day Wayne related and interacted well with our sales staff from start to finish.  Wayne had the sales teams buy-in by asking questions providing some real life examples and experiences. His references to planning, goal setting, moving a customer away from a negative to create a positive and the value of relationship building for sales success reinforced our company’s principles. The sales team left our conference with commitment and motivation.

I would like to thank Wayne for all his help and professionalism on the day and I would have no hesitation in having Wayne speak again to our group or recommending him to any business wanting a ‘sales motivational’ guest speaker.



The speakers were outstanding, especially Wayne. He really provided a great insight into depression as a whole and his personal battle, but also a clear outline on how someone could go about obtaining help. This may have had a huge impact personally on men in the audience but additionally a greater reach for men and audience members to talk to friends and family who may be of need of some help.

Overall Wayne pitched his communication perfectly at the audience and was highly motivating.

On behalf of the partners of the Men’s Health Forum and personally could you please pass on our great thanks for a wonderful informed presence on the evening.


Wayne Schwass Travels from VIC
Fee Range: :$5001 to $10000

Wayne Schwass's Biography

Wayne Schwass is one of the most highly rated performers in the AFL history, playing 282 AFL games over 14 years with the North Melbourne Football Club (1988-1997) and the Sydney Swans (1998-2002). Founder of The Sunrise Foundation, Wayne is a versatile, motivating and inspirational speaker.


Born in New Zealand, Schwass moved to Warrnambool in Victoria at the age of 3 where he began playing Australian Rules before being recruited by VFL club, Kangaroos.


During his 14 year career Wayne won 3 Club Best & Fairest awards, was an All Australian, 3 x State Representative, 1996 Premiership player, 1995 Night Premiership Player, Morrish Medallist (VFL U/19 Best & Fairest), AFL Life Membership and North Melbourne Life Membership. Wayne retired from AFL Football in June 2002.


Wayne has since forged a name for himself as a highly respected AFL Broadcaster on TV, radio and online with AFL.com, AFL Live, Triple M Footy and AFL Central- hosting such shows as Off The Bench TV, Footy Feast and calling AF on the AFL Live. The 2016 season will see Wayne return to the commentary team at Triple M and talking all things footy with PRIME7’s Off The Bench TV.


In 2007 Wayne became the face of the AFL Coke Zero Dream Team website and a co-presenter on the AFL’s online game preview show Saturday Central as well as the AFL’s online review show The Final Siren both on AFL.com.


Wayne is also the Founder of ‘The Sunrise Foundation’, an organisation he created after becoming one of the first AFL footballers to openly speak out about his battle with depression. Though no longer operating, the Sunrise Foundation was created to develop and deliver purpose built preventative education programs addressing depression for young people aged between 12-24 with a particular focus in the education system, athletes from all sports across all levels including the elite and rural Australia


Wayne’s vast experience from being an AFL player to media personality, from the private sector to establishing the Sunrise Foundation has also developed him into a versatile and motivating Keynote Speaker and MC.


Speaking Topics Include

Wayne’s keynote includes a candid, honest and inspiring story about his 14 year struggle with depression and his road to recovery, including;


Depression is an illness that doesn’t discriminate

How depression invaded every aspect and area of his life and the impact this had on his health, well-being, performance, enjoyment and quality of life

Watching the colour fade from his life, living in a heavy fog and accepting his disease had taken control of his mind

How he managed to hide his illness from his family, friends, team mates, football club and the general public for 14 years and the impact this had on his quality of life

How he managed to play 282 AFL Games, win 3 Best & Fairest Awards, play in a Premiership side, win All Australian Selection, represent his State and be awarded AFL & North Melbourne Football Club Life Membership all while battling clinical depression

Why he considered an option with irreversible consequences to escape the pain and suffering, why and how he chose to keep fighting

Why he self-medicated for 14 years

Why he chose not to seek help and the impact this had on his recovery and relationships

The importance of your support network and how 2 key people in his life played a critical role in saving his life

The role of carers and professionals and their importance in your recovery

Learning new skills

Why he believes the Stigma associated with mental illness is out-dated, uneducated and totally unacceptable in 2014

Why he believes mental illnesses are a bigger threat to our communities than the road toll

How he began to reclaim control of his life and the long road back to health and wellbeing

How he lived in denial until his light bulb moment

The importance of your own emotional health and wellbeing

Understanding, education, acceptance and learning to like/ love yourself again

What we can do individually and as a community to help those people living with mental illnesses

Why it’s a shared responsibility

The gap between all general health illnesses and mental illness and why this gap needs to be closed urgently

Life after depression and how Wayne turned his own experiences into a vehicle which had a profound impact on the lives of others

His passion for mental health and commitment to continue to bring mental illnesses into main stream Australia


Wayne’s Motivational Sales keynote includes:


Key to success

 Skill set

Strategy and why you must have a road map to achieve success

Goal setting and why this is vital in your pursuit of success

If you don’t plan for success you’re planning for failure

Overcoming obstacles and objections

Overcoming the fear of being rejected

Coping with pressure

Mindset and attitude

Difference between a job and a career

What elite sport taught me and what skills did I transfer into my post football careers & why

Owning your career, performance and ultimate success or failure

Go looking for feedback, positive, negative and constructive and why this is important

Understanding your selling profile and being able to recognise the buyers profile

Why products, product knowledge, expertise and experience aren’t the most important assets to selling

Your ability to develop and maintain relationships with multiple stakeholders at different levels is the key to success and why

Your individual brand and why it’s never been more important in selling

What’s your value proposition – why should people buy from me

Identifying, investigating and understanding opportunities before you even meet the customer and pitch

How to become a trusted advisor

Team work

Leveraging the power and reach of social media into your daily activities for achieving success