David Shillington

Former Rugby League Player & Mental Health & Wellbeing Expert

David Shillington is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer. After a long career as a professional athlete, David has come to value working with motivated teams. He believes strong leadership, communication and support is key to helping individuals to thrive and teams to excel. He values mental health as important as physical health and uses the connection of sport as the vehicle to drive positive outcomes in the workplace, community group, or sporting club.

More about David Shillington:

David played for twelve years in the NRL, including at the Sydney Roosters, captain of the Canberra Raiders, and the Gold Coast Titans. As a Queensland State of Origin and Australian international representative prop forward, he played for the QLD Maroons during their decade of dominance, and fourteen games for Australia.

David is now a Master Instructor with Mental Health First Australia, an ICF Coach, and the Director of Prime Effect – a positive psychology and mental fitness coaching platform.

David takes a strengths-based approach to mental health & wellbeing, connecting with people and groups to help them understand what they can do to boost their mood, motivation, and performance.  Too often, conversations around mental health have been stigmatised, over-complicated and overwhelming. Through storytelling, leaning on his personal and professional experience playing elite sport and then transitioning into life after sport, he links lived-experience and relatable everyday concepts to what the evidence tells us is worthwhile to do to boost our wellbeing.

This combination of relatability and normalising the conversation around mental health, shifts that view of mental health to give people a more practical and confident approach they can take for their own wellbeing. There’s been an enormous shift in professional sport in their attitude to mental health, with elite athletes now understanding the importance of managing this part of their health to achieve higher performance and career longevity.

These workshops will improve help-seeking behaviours and will also equip participants with positive psychology strategies that they can include in their everyday life to build their mental fitness. He presents on mental health & wellbeing, and how it ties into all aspects of work and life like resilience, safety, mental fitness, leadership, motivation, confidence, and culture. And who says we can’t have a laugh along the way!

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