Wagga Waggafest People's Choice winner announced

Published: 30 May 2018 10:58am

Wagga Waggafest People’s Choice winner announced - 25 January 2015

The Wagga Waggafest People’s Choice winner has been announced during a long weekend of Australia Day celebrations in the city.

Taking out the $500 prize by just 15 votes was The Enemy Within, the story of Wagga’s world champion boxer and former NRL player Joe Williams.

In a bid to raise awareness about mental health issues in the Riverina, local business woman Simone Dowding from The Blessed Bean teamed up with Alexis and Steve from Mayfly Media to create a short film about the local sportsman and his battles with depression and suicide.

Williams, despite his achievements and success, fought his greatest battles with depression and suicide. The film takes a documentary style approach to exploring Williams’ experiences and it is peppered with inspiring and hopeful messages designed to reach out to young sports fans.

Ms Dowding said she wanted to do something to try to stem the tragedy and suffering caused by depression and other mental health problems in the Riverina.

“More than six people commit suicide every day in Australia and a further 30 attempt to take their own life,” she said.

Mayfly Media volunteered time, equipment and other resources to manage the production of the film, which was written and conceived by Ms Dowding. Williams is also a volunteer as the major subject of the documentary style production.

The People’s Choice award attracted 887 votes, with The Enemy Within edging out Kobe's Crisis by Kooringal Public School.

Waggafest will be back in 2015, with the fifth year to be the biggest and best yet.

For more information on the short film competition, visit www.wagga.nsw.gov.au/waggafest.

Contact information

Simone Dowding: 0416 263 554
Mayfly Media: 0417 484 976
Joe Williams: 0406 308 093