The great escape - the story behind the Beaconsfield mine rescue

About Darren

On an April night in 2006, Darren Flanagan was at home in Nowra when he received a phone call that would irrevocably change his life. An accomplished miner and explosives expert, Darren’s services were requested at the site of a collapsed Tasmanian gold mine. Flying immediately to the site, Darren prepared to help save the lives of two men who were trapped nearly 1km beneath the surface. This was an ordeal that would affect him deeper than he knew.

The name Darren Flanagan gained national recognition through his critical role in the Beaconsfield mine disaster. Darren was instrumental, heading far underground and operating more than 70 individual explosives over a period of 30 straight hours. Two weeks after the collapse, the rescue mission was successful (with Darren at the centre of it) and the grateful and exhausted miners walked free.

Despite his recognition as a true hero, Darren Flanagan remains humble and exudes an aura of kindness and gratitude. Meeting Darren is like conversing with an old friend, and it’s plain that Flanagan is a down-to-earth man of depth and integrity. 

Recently presented with a National Bravery Awards medal, Darren is candid about the impact of the Beaconsfield mine disaster on his life. Darren, as well as the others involved were significantly and eternally affected by their role in the rescue mission. In his presentations, Darren now speaks about the very real issues of mental health that can follow such a traumatic ordeal. By addressing these issues, he hopes to spark a broader conversation, encouraging those who’ve suffered to reach out to others. In particular, Darren emphasises the importance of genuine and open camaraderie between men, intimating that the typical “tough guy” approach can be isolating. 

Following this harrowing event, Darren Flanagan realised how tremendously affected he’d been. As he dealt with the pain and trauma of such an ordeal, Darren was moved to share his story with others, shedding a deeper light on what had happened, and looking for ways to communicate the story’s essential message of hope and resilience.

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.

Overarching themes of his talks consistently concentrate on:

  • Workplace safety
  • Mental Health and Well Being
  • Resilience,
  • Perseverance,
  • Effort, bravery,
  • Innovation,
  • Connection,
  • Teamwork and a positive spirit.

In this emotional and truly memorable session, Darren will share his story and in doing so, demonstrate the capacity of ordinary people to show unrelenting spirit and perform under extreme pressure when faced with a set of extraordinary circumstances.

Darren’s presentations are always passionate and thrilling however Darren includes a mix of humour as well to ensure audiences are taken on a roller coaster ride. He draws guests into a real life drama. His presentation and stories are truly memorable.

With the mining disaster at the heart of his presentations, Darren speaks on topics such as risk management, teamwork, mental health, workplace safety, and perseverance. Darren recounts the tale of the rescue itself with raw emotion, bring a level of grit and humanity to the story that is profoundly impacting.

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