ENGAGING SCHOOLS

We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.
— Jimmy Neil Smith, Director of the International Storytelling Centre

Keynote speaker

Tony’s Cabramatta Story is centred on choices and consequences and bring to light the dark reality of drug abuse and the effects it has on family, education and community. Tony’s transformation from a life filled with tragedy and despair to hope and achievement is one to inspire every audience. 
Duration: 50mins Cost: Please enquire below. 

Seminar Objectives 

  • Inspire and motivate students to achieve goals, dreams and aspirations.
  • Engage at risk students to rethink their path of destruction.
  • Challenge destructive mindsets and cultural perceptions of this generation.
  • Equip with strategies for healthy and positive relationships.

Biography 

Tony is the son of Vietnamese refugees; growing up in poverty in the 1990s in what was the drug capital of Australia, Cabramatta. Like many refugees from the Vietnam War, Tony’s parent’s hope of a safe new home for their family was crushed by the 1990s heroin culture that overtook the lives of their children.

At 13, Tony escaped the loneliness and domestic violence of his home life and joined one of the most notorious crime gangs in Cabramatta, finding himself jailed a year later. 

Tony continued to deal drugs when he was released. It seemed at the time that the gang gave him a sense of belonging and self-importance. At the age of 16, he faced the harsh reality of this lifestyle by losing a close friend to a drug overdose, and almost gunned down at 19 years old.

In 2004, Tony made some powerful positive choices that changed his life forever. With 14 friends and family who died as a result of that destructive life style, Tony shares his heart-wrenching story of redemption to schools, councils and organisations all over the country and abroad. 

Tony has over 10 years experience working with disengaged youths and has devoted his life to helping people break free from the same destructive cycle he was once trapped in. Now a husband and a father to 6 beautiful children, 2 in which are adopted, Tony’s serves as a pastor, a school chaplain and a community leader within Liverpool Sydney, Australia.

Tony's Past engagements

  • Scots College - Yr 9 Long Journey Home, NSW
  • Fairvale HS - Crossroads Camp, NSW
  • Cabramatta HS - Yr 9 Finding my place Program NSW
  • Ashcroft HS - Yr 11 Crossroads NSW
  • Bossely Park HS- Yr 11 Crossroads NSW
  • Fairfield HS- Yr 11 Crossroads NSW
  • Ingelburn HS NSW
  • Kawerau Intermediate School, NZ
  • Melville HS, WA
  • Narang HS, QLD 
  • Pacific Pines State HS, QLD
  • St Agnes Catholic HS, NSW
  • South Strathfield Boys, NSW
  • Bonnyrigg HS - Project 10 NSW
  • Springwood HS - Crossroads NSW
  • Westfields Sports HS - Crossroads NSW
  • Illawarra HS - Welfare 
  • Picton HS - Welfare
  • Leumeah HS - Boys Talk
 

What are people staying? 

The boys were completely absorbed by Tony’s story.
— Glengarry Scots College
I can hear a pin drop (900+Students)
— Principal Narang High School, QLD
It was very powerful and informative.
— Senior Policy Advisor - Fairfield Council
 
 

Partnerships

Have Tony speak at your next event.