May 9

Keith Banks: Keynote Speaker summary


The power of authentic conversation, connection and tribe have been the keystones of my survival.
I am not a clinician, but I speak from lived experience as someone who struggled with almost 30 years of undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety and Depression. What happened to me to cause that?

I am one of Queensland’s most decorated police officers. I became a sworn officer in 1977 and for the first decade, I served in the tumultuous and corrupt years of the Bjelke Petersen government.

At the age of 22 I went into a deep undercover role in the drug world, infiltrating drug rings, buying drugs and gathering evidence to have dealers arrested.

After two years I returned to normal police work but needed more excitement. Little did I know the mental and emotional damage that would almost destroy me had already started.

I was one of the first full time tactical and special weapons officers in Queensland and was involved in hundreds of violent encounters including the murder of one of my team members by an armed offender. Without any psychological or welfare support I went downhill rapidly.

For the next 8 years I continued to work as a cop, constantly seeking more and more adrenaline and danger. I finally resigned in 1995 and entered the corporate world hiding as best I could the demons that haunted me every day.

I tell my story in a raw and open fashion, to help people understand that they are not alone in their trauma or mental health challenges. I speak about recovery, hope and resilience. If I can recover from my battles, then I want to help others realise they can too.

To learn more about my story, purchase your tickets to the DSW Conference.

You can also visit my website to discover more


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