Sir John Kirwan to speak with West Coast farmers

1 October 2020

Sir John Kirwan

Two DairyNZ events for West Coast dairy farmers will host Sir John Kirwan on October 7-8, when he will share his experience with depression while doing the career he loved.

John Kirwan understands balancing work with mental health – because while scoring tries and becoming a rugby legend, he was also battling depression.

At the upcoming Westport and Whataroa discussion groups he will share his personal journey with depression and the tools he uses to stay well. 

John Kirwan says he is really looking forward to getting out and talking to people on the West Coast. 

“It’s a privilege to be able to travel the country discussing my personal journey, but more importantly to hear about other people’s journeys, learn more about what they’re going through, and hopefully offer advice that they’ll be able to carry forward in their own lives.”

DairyNZ West Coast consulting officer Angela Leslie said many farmers will relate to his story.

“Discussion groups provide an opportunity to get off the farm, catch-up with local farmers and discuss topical issues, while often hearing from other farmers and rural professionals,” says Miss Leslie.

“We are lucky to have Sir John Kirwan attend and openly share his wellbeing experiences. Many farmers will connect with his story, which could help our farmers and their families navigate upcoming seasons.

“Even as essential businesses during COVID-19, we know farmers have been operating in a challenging environment, with financial pressures, weather impacts and new regulations.

“With these pressures, farmer wellbeing is an important conversation to have, checking-in on how we are feeling and maintaining mental health as we do with our physical health.”

The farmer discussion groups are being held on Keoghan’s Farm in Westport on October 7 and at the Whataroa Community Hall on October 8. John Kirwan will also be sharing his mental health experiences at a public event in Greymouth on October 7.

John Kirwan’s visit is supported by Westpac. Food and refreshments will be supplied, with thanks to West Coast Rural Support Trust.

Media inquiries:

Vanessa Feaver

Senior Media Manager

Phone 027 836 6295

Ali Tocker

Senior Media Specialist

Phone 027 364 7532

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