I have had the pleasure and the honour of knowing Nic for a couple of years. As a passionate supporter of the Black Dog Institute I have worked closely with their staff on numerous initiatives with the most recent being a Google G Give day to raise funds for Black Dog where Nic was the guest speaker. His story of extreme adversity, tragedy and sadness is tempered through his courage in "telling his story" on how he has tamed his Black Dog". His story is a "hold onto your chair" presentation delivered with brutal honesty, wit and humour which brings mental illness to the fore and breaks down the barriers of silence and stigma so often attached to this now endemic illness. Like many, I have people I love dearly who live daily with the dark cloud of depression ruling their life journey and listening to Nic talk of his journey is so inspiring as it delivers hope and happiness where for many people in the same position it just seems simply unattainable ...ever. Nic is an exceptional person who is changing people's lives through telling them about his life. I think he is simply awesome !
A few years a go I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the the Black Dog Institute Fundraising Gala Dinner. I’d been rehearsing and going through my presentation for days, this after all was the room full of the Big End of Town. Nic Newling was sitting beside me; he too was presenting. He leaned towards me shortly before he was to go and said ‘what do you think I should talk about?’ I nearly fell out of my chair.
I think I mumbled ‘speak from the heart’ … and that, he so definitely did.
I’ve since had the honour of seeing Nic present several times and he is annoyingly natural, eloquent, funny, assured and inspiring.
Author / Speaker
Nic's talk at the Ryde Youth Councils Youth Empowerment Summit was engaging, thought provoking and pitched at just the right level for the audience. Nic received fantastic feedback from the young people in attendance. Nic also took part in our panel discussion at the end of the day and was able to offer some great advice to young people around how to get help, understanding their own mental health and helping friends. During and after the event, Nic took time to chat to the young people who attended which was greatly appreciated. I would certainly recommend Nic for seminars, conferences and summits, especially those where young people are in attendance.
Community Project Officer, City of Ryde
As the inaugural Executive Director of the Black Dog Institute I judged that we should prioritize community and professional education programs and courses on mood disorders with a complementary model involving professionals providing their expert 'outside in' views and those who had experienced serious mood states providing their experiential 'inside out' views. While we had a number of public luminaries who so contributed I called on Nic Newling to take a lead role. At the age of eighteen he gave a talk to the principals of many Australian schools that was profound, informative and gripping - bringing some in the audience to tears and one to be uncharacteristically open, stating that he "had walked" in Nic's shoes. Subsequently, we invited him to speak at schools, to community organizations, at book launches and Black Dog Gala dinners, as well as to conferences of psychiatrists and on TV programs. His skill set led us to appoint him to effectively run the Institute's website for teenagers (BITE BACK) and where he has again demonstrated his exceptional communication skills.
Nic is extraordinarily intelligent - both formally and in terms of emotional intelligence - a brilliant communicator who never talks down or seeks solace from an audience, combining information with humor and candidness. I have yet to hear of anyone not moved by his presentations while I am aware that he has saved lives. I regard him as one of the most exceptional people I have worked with and remain in awe of his multiple skill sets.
Prof Gordon Parker, AO
Scientia Professor of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales
A community group in Warren NSW organised a Depression Awareness Day and invited four speakers to speak on their particular expertise and/or experience. One of the speakers was Nic Newling.
Nic had been recommended by people who spoke enthusiastically about his ability to convey a message.
At our Day Nic spoke emotionally of his own experience of Bipolar Disorder and the long and tragic delay in a diagnosis being made and how his adolescence just disappeared in a fog of Depression .
Even though I haven’t, as yet, suffered from Depression I felt the power of Nic’s story, strongly empathising with him. You could have heard a pin drop!
As a speaker he made a great impact on all the attendees and I can unequivocally recommend him.
Dr. J M Burke
Chair, Warren Family and Friends Depression Awareness Group