Dig a little deeper

About Darren

Seventeen years ago, a phone call changed Darren’s life forever. 


Summoned to the Beaconsfield gold mine collapse, he operated over 70 explosives in a continuous 30-hour stretch deep underground, helping rescue two men trapped nearly 1 km below the surface.

The impact of this experience ran deeper than initially realised. Today, Darren speaks extensively to organisations of all sizes, sharing his journey of pain, trauma, hope, and resilience. His story has taught him that conversations about these challenges can transform workplaces and organisations, proving that we have the power to spark dialogues and drive impactful change.


As a motivational speaker who covers topics including Workplace Safety, Risk Management, Mental Health, Leadership and Teamwork, Darren’s mission is to empower teams through transformative lessons built upon the foundation of the Beaconsfield mining disaster.

Why book Darren?

His talks go beyond motivation; they spark change. 

He will guide your team in embracing courageous leadership, initiating vital mental health discussions, and cultivating an environment where innovation and collaboration flourish. Creating transformations that extend far beyond the presentation room.


Darren Flanagan’s presentations focus not only on the rescue story and mental health awareness, but take a broader approach to workplace and organisational considerations. Darren is able to tailor his presentations to meet the needs of each group, but he always speaks on topics which are of great personal importance to him.

Risk Management:

Drawing from his role in the mine disaster, he underscores the necessity of “reducing risk as part of your DNA.”


From his direct engagement in the mining disaster, Darren crafts a narrative showcasing the unyielding strength that emerges when individuals unite to conquer extraordinary challenges.

Mental Health

Drawing from his own experience, particularly the mining disaster that altered the course of his life, Darren passionately discusses the real issues surrounding mental well-being.

Workplace Safety

Darren’s talks don’t just emphasise the significance of risk management; he backs it up with vivid anecdotes that underscore the importance of best practices in this field.


By sharing the raw, emotional journey of the mine disaster, he conveys the unyielding human spirit under immense pressure, emphasising the importance of determination in tough times.


Centred on leadership, he uses the mining disaster experience to inspire unrelenting spirit and guide effective team communication.


Darren combines the principles of courageous leadership and mental health awareness to empower your team and cultivate resilience.


His presentations reveal how ordinary people can exhibit unwavering determination and peak performance in exceptional circumstances.  Darren supports these insights with compelling anecdotes that reinforce risk management best practices. During his talks, he aims to:

  • Nurture open dialogues among your staff and team leaders.
  • Foster improved communication and heightened productivity.
  • Emphasise the value of approachable leadership.



His personal experiences underscore the paramount importance of mental health awareness. Darren shares the poignant story of nine resilient minders who, despite their physical strength, grappled with mental health challenges following the harrowing rescue. During his talks, he advocates for:

  • The courage to speak up and seek assistance.
  • Shattering the stigma around mental health issues.
  • Open discussions that can benefit everyone.


As a result of Darren’s incredible experience plus both his Mental Health & Risk Management advocacy that he proudly fulfilled the role of Chair & Ambassador for the NSW Govt SafeWork initiative “Family and Injured Worker Support Group” from 2020-2022.


Darren does not work as an MC.

What Clients Say

“Darren’s presentation received a long, standing ovation – celebrating his passion for human life and the frailties of our existence.”

“An intense, passionate, emotional delivery of his story, there were a lot of tears in the room.  Darren tied it very nicely with how you work with your advisers, commitment, leadership, thought and quality with family etc.  He was a huge hit.”
ANZ Bank

“Darren was fantastic – highly relevant for our team and an absolutely professional, personal and emotional account from him – a highlight of our program.”
Holcim Australia & NZ

“Darren’s presentation was one of the best I’ve seen at a conference in 20 years. The story itself is gripping – it might even be fascinating if it was told poorly – but the kicker is that he tells it with great skill. It’s full of courage, honour, larrikins, skill, risk, daring, innovation, heartbreak and humility. I thought I knew a bit about it from the news but within two minutes of Darren’s intro I realised I hardly knew the first thing. He takes us through both the technical and human elements with some big laughs and great emotion. There are so many messages throughout and one driving message at the end – the importance of mental health. He compels us all to treat our mental health and our relationships with great respect. I will be recommending him to my clients.”
Andrew Horabin – Professional Speaker, Facilitator, Author and Comedian

“Darren quickly gained the full attention of the audience.  His presentation is extremely honest and authentic.  The story is one of heroism but also compassion.  Feedback from delegates was that they greatly enjoyed Darren’s presentation; it was a tremendous start to our 2017 convention.”

“Darren’s story is amazing – everyone in the room felt like they were there. Darren made our audience laugh, cry, but most of all realise how amazing we all can be. His story is truly memorable.”
ING Australia Limited





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