Sir John Kirwan KNZM MBE
The Hawke's Bay Chamber is pleased to announce that with the assistance of Westpac, our Mental Health Key Note Speaker will be Sir John Kirwan.
A world-class winger, JK’s contribution to rugby, both as a player and a coach, has been immense. JK is one of the highest try scorers in international rugby union history and still holds a couple of NZ rugby records. Not bad after all this time JK!
The other side of the story is while he was scoring tries and becoming a rugby legend, he was also battling depression.
JK’s personal journey with depression has led him to be actively involved in mental health awareness campaigns in New Zealand. For his incredible commitment and work in this space, JK was appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mental health in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours. And in the 2012 Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours, JK was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to mental health and rugby.
JK speaks openly of his battle with depression, sharing his own experiences through his books:
All Blacks Don't Cry: A Story of Hope