Craig Hamilton has had a successful and varied career. He has worked as an underground coal miner, radio sports commentator and is a mental health advocate, speaker and author.
Craig joined ABC Radio in 1994, where he commentated on rugby league, rugby union and cricket at an international level. Craig is probably best known for his commentary of NRL Grand Finals.
At the pinnacle of his media career, Craig was assigned the task of covering the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. “From the lanyard around my neck hangs a media and accreditation tag – my permit for passage anywhere and everywhere at the Olympics. Beneath the passport size snap are printed the words: ‘Craig Hamilton, ABC Radio’… This is as good as it gets… My bag is packed and on this flawless afternoon we’re walking together as a family from car park to ticket gate… and something is not quite right.”
On the eve of the Games, Craig experienced a psychotic episode and was subsequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Following that episode, he spent two weeks in hospital.
Craig continues to work for ABC Radio and manages his illness. He has also worked tirelessly as an advocate for mental health issues, speaking at conferences and lobbying for extra funding to support people and their families who have experienced a depressive condition.
Craig's Louise has played a critical role in his continued wellbeing. In 2010, he relapsed and walked around Sydney’s George Street for hours before Louise and a friend arrived from Newcastle to get him to hospital.
Craig now manages very well. Living with bipolar disorder means he needs to pay attention to his diet, his sleep and to his stress levels. "I look after myself a lot better now than before I was hospitalised. This is why it is so important people get help if they think they might be depressed."
Craig is now a motivational speaker who talks about what it's like to battle a serious illness. In sharing his story and experiences, he offers hope to others. He has written two books and lives in Newcastle with his family.
As a Beyond Blue Ambassador, Craig provides an insight into what it is like to experience a mental health condition and gives hope and encouragement to others.