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Kevin Humphreys



Ex-Army Officer, rescue helicopter pilot, and mental health ambassador, Kevin Humphreys DSC knows what it’s like to hit rock bottom. For a long time, Kevin kept his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety buried deep. Today, Kevin shares what happens when you hit rock bottom, how he figured it out, and the triggers that made a difference in transforming his life.Kevin’s personal mission is to lift humanity by inspiring businesses and the people within them to engage in Noble Self-Leadership.


His 20-year military career flying Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters for the Australian Army is nothing short of stellar. At just 21, he earned the keys to a Blackhawk helicopter. Kevin would go on to complete several operational tours as both a pilot and commander in East Timor, Iraq, and Afghanistan plus humanitarian operations in Papua New Guinea. Despite Kevin’s direct exposure to rocket attacks, machine gun fire, and highly risky rescue operations it wasn’t these experiences that made him feel his life was falling apart. Kevin says, “At the time, I didn’t know a single person who had experienced mental illness or suicide.” This fueled Kevin’s sense of failure and shame for ‘allowing’ a breakdown to happen, and a belief that he didn’t have the strength to go on.


A diagnosis of PTSD, depression, and anxiety felt unacceptable to Kevin. While his return to work took nine months, Kevin kept his breakdown and illness a secret for seven years. Over time and with help, Kevin realized that he wasn’t a failure and that his secret was keeping him from living a full life. You’ll often hear Kevin say, “Whilst you’ve got a brain and a blood supply, you’re susceptible to mental illness; it doesn’t discriminate. The question is, will you have the courageous conversations required to turn this around?”.


When he joined the Army Kevin believed his life purpose was to serve his country through the profession of arms. Today, by pulling back the curtains on his own experience, Kevin’s purpose remains to serve but on a bigger scale. He wants to lift humanity by destigmatizing mental illness and empowering others to show courage and compassion to both themselves and others. It’s Kevin’s passionate belief that mental illness is normal, manageable, and recoverable for most people. He shows that there is life after diagnosis and that it’s possible to return to the top of your game and beyond.


Since his recovery, Kevin has become a Flight Instructor and Examiner and has held positions of Chief Pilot and Director of Operations in Search and Rescue helicopter organizations. He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his command and courageous leadership under fire in Afghanistan. Kevin is the Mental Health Ambassador for AIRBUS Australia Pacific, a contributor to international media, and a regular podcast guest.

Flying BK117 for CareFlight on the Royal.webp


Noble Self-Leadership
Experience the highs and lows of Kevin’s life as though you were there with him, then share the lessons of his journey. Kevin relays his experience of moving from fear to fearless and how his courageous journey to freedom is one we can take together. It’s recognizing a worthy and noble goal, and then taking action to achieve it, despite the presence of fear. Kevin discusses how it wasn’t the warzone that tore him apart – it was the workplace. Research shows how a toxic workplace is just as debilitating as exposure to trauma, whilst being in a positive workplace is like receiving a mental health inoculation. Which will you contribute to and how will you know? Walk away transformed, with tips and tools for immediate implementation. You’ll be ready to take action in your own life and to inspire the lives of others. 

Discipline—It's Pure Desire
There’s plenty of it in the Army where Kevin spent two decades, but what he talks about is the self-discipline required to succeed in navigating the highs and lows of life. Drawing upon his own professional and personal hard-fought experiences, Kevin explores the topic of discipline in plain language. Understand why it may not be your fault but it will always be your responsibility. Whether you’re an apprentice, pensioner, or prize fighter this presentation applies equally to all. Kevin not only motivates listeners to action, but he also provides a practical framework to apply immediately.

Keeping Wings Level and Getting Stuff Done!

In flying if there’s a mishap of some kind, you’re trained to immediately regain wings-level flight. ‘Wings Level’ represents the foundation of normal, controlled flight. Let Kevin give you a brief glimpse into his world when his wings weren’t level and learn what to implement personally and organizationally to build resilience—so you can keep the wings level and get stuff done! Kevin explores the power of perspective and the debilitating effects of fatigue and burnout along with what to do about them. He delves into the illusion of what we think we can control in our lives and how much better our lives become when we only seek to control four things—get this right and your whole life will transform overnight. As always, you’ll not only walk away with tips and tools for immediate implementation but the desire to make it happen for you and for others.



Kevin, thank you. You smashed the stereotype of an individual with a mental illness. Having the courage to speak so openly as our keynote speaker and sharing your first-hand experience was compelling, candid, and provocative. Everyone left not just informed but transformed. You helped us understand that we need to be “doing it better” and that there is hope for recovery, and the small things that we do on a daily basis can make a difference.

Safety Manager, Airbus Australia Pacific


Kevin is an incredibly engaging speaker with a remarkable story to tell. Kevin’s telling of how he reached the top of his game in the military and then experiencing the depths of PTSD and depression, followed by working his way out from those dark days is motivating and inspirational. Kevin’s messages are powerful and important; his story is one you need to hear.
Damon Whittock, Corporate Affairs Manager, Member and Employer Services Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation


I’ve never seen a room of 160+ construction workers so silent—you could’ve heard a pin drop.
Site Supervisor, Hutchinson Builders

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