Spotlight on … Casey Conway
Casey Conway is one of Australia’s hottest and most unique properties right now. The former NRL Sydney Roosters player is one of Australia’s few, and most successful, Aboriginal male models, having starred in campaigns for Sluggers swimwear, aussieBum apparel and BLK performance apparel.
But aside from his good looks and natural athleticism, Casey, 30, also possesses a keen sense of intelligence and integrity. He is also a passionate youth worker committed to making a positive difference in young people’s lives with some international media outlets dubbing him “the Youth Warrior from Downunder”.
As an Indigenous person in the public eye, and openly gay man, Casey is determined to honour his heritage and be a positive influence on people.
Here he describes his charity, corporate and speaking work, and outlines his areas of expertise.
Tell us about your previous charity, corporate and speaking work.
I’ve been a speaker at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet – International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia as well as a panelist for the Mardi Gras Film Festival’s ‘Out To Win’ event. And I’ve also visited various schools presenting on topics such as racism and Indigenous issues, homophobia, mental health and careers.
What are your main passions in life?
I have worked with young people for over six years across education, employment and homelessness programs. I am passionate about assisting young people find their place within the community by walking with them and assisting them through overcoming their barriers to create lasting positive outcomes.
I am also a proud Aboriginal man who identifies as being gay. I am passionate about breaking down stereotypes of these two identities through sharing my story and lived experience of racism and homophobia. In addition I believe I have a good social conscience and enjoy meeting people to exchange stories of lived experiences, desire for positive change and equality for everyone.
What do you enjoy about performing and speaking in corporate settings?
I enjoy sharing both my personal and professional experience from a different perspective. A lot of people have a broad understanding of the issues that I am passionate about, or maybe a perception that can sometimes for influenced or skewed by what is presented in mainstream media. I enjoy breaking down the stereotypes and challenging “old school” opinions.
What has been the most memorable event for you?
Presenting to the staff of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for their International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia initiative. It was great to demonstrate a different and real perspective to such a diverse group of people. My coming out story is quiet unique and had a positive impact on the audience in that it included my experiences of living in the country, studying, playing professional NRL sport and trying to navigate a new life in a city setting.
In any presentation I do, I thrive to be my authentic self by keeping it fun and honest. I always get nervous before any presentation so a few laughs early on helps calm the nerves!
What can you offer as a presenter and speaker?
Through my professional capacity as a Youth Development Coach, I regularly facilitate sessions with young people up to the age of 21 on a wide range of topics. I am able to tailor a session or program to a specific group once a need is established.
What trends are you currently across?
I enjoy keeping up to date with LGBTIQ and Indigenous/cultural affairs as well as sport and travel.
What is your signature keynote about as a speaker?
It’s a contemporary look at the issues young Indigenous people face today, with a special focus on LGBTIQ young people.
How active are you on social media?
I have a great following on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I focus on showing who I am, what I enjoy and sharing my opinions of current issues. My following is very diverse and I interact with followers as much as I can. I enjoy hearing people’s stories of how sharing my experience has influenced them in living a happier and more authentic life.