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Todd Russell - Inspirational - A highly engaging, down-to earth-speaker with a unĀ ...

Travels From Tasmania

Todd Russell

A highly engaging, down-to earth-speaker with a unique and inspiring tale to tell

Todd Russell shares the incredible story of being one amongst two survivors in the 2006 Beaconsfield Mine collapse which trapped three miners under hundreds of tonnes of rock. For 14 days Todd, and fellow miner Brant Webb, survived almost 1km underground in a 2 x 4m pocket of air. Sadly, Larry Knight did not survive the disaster. Todd’s story explores the signature Australian values of mateship, courage, and survival. 

Todd speaks passionately about how he and Brant supported each other through 14 days of hell, what was going through his mind, how they were able to maintain hope, and his adjustment to a more public life post the now-infamous Beaconsfield experience. 

On the 25th of April 2006 the world observed in horror when a minor earthquake rocked the small town of Beaconsfield, Tasmania, collapsing one of the tunnels in a local gold mine; potentially killing three of the miners. Two days later the body of Larry Knight was discovered, and little hope was left remaining for Brant and Todd. On the 30th of April, Brant and Todd were miraculously discovered alive and huddled together, only being able to breathe through a tiny bubble of air, without food or water, and surviving only on their enduring hope and courage.

For nine days straight the world held its breath as rescue teams worked around the clock to free the men, fully aware that one wrong move could lead to disaster if the roof were to collapse on the trapped men. On the 9th of May, after rescue teams reached Todd and Brant, they could be seen emerging from the depths of the mine, walking unassisted back into the outside world with arms held high in triumph. What followed was a whirlwind of media attention as television networks, newspapers, magazines, and radio stations fought to be the first to share their incredible tale of survival with the world.

This frenzy catapulted Brant and Todd into the medias spotlight, and led to them signing the biggest exclusive television deal in Australian television history, a global exclusive book deal, a documentary agreement, and a high-profile interview with Diane Sawyer on the Good Morning America show in New York.

Brant and Todd’s phenomenal survival together against all odds was a testament to their friendship and resilience, and a story that will forever be one of the greatest ever told, guaranteed to be passed down for generations to come. Equally remarkable, is the men’s commitment to using their circumstances to give back to the community that supported them throughout their ordeal.

Today, both men are still readjusting to normal life in Beaconsfield and cherishing moments with their families. Understandably, both have sworn never to work underground again. 

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