Skip to main content

Wally Lewis AM

Rugby League Legend & Dementia Australia Ambassador
Living with probable CTE and my hopes for change

Tuesday, 23 April 2024

The National Press Club of Australia

Wally Lewis AM, rugby league legend and Dementia Australia Ambassador, will address the National Press Club of Australia on his experiences of living with probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy and his hopes for what federal funding could achieve for the community.

Wally Lewis AM was a titan of Australian Rugby League in the 1980s and 90s. He came to embody State of Origin football, making 31 appearances for Queensland between 1980 and 1991 and winning eight man-of-the match awards. It was his domination on the field during State of Origin that earned him the nickname, 'The King'.

Internationally, his dominance was just as monumental. He played in 33 tests for Australia and captained the Kangaroos 23 times. Following his retirement, a bronze statue was erected at Lang Park, (now known as Suncorp Stadium), in Queensland, and in 1999 he was named an "Immortal" of rugby league.

In 2023, Wally revealed he had been diagnosed with probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) - brought on by years of head knocks across his storied football career.

Wally was appointed as a Dementia Australia Ambassador during Parliamentary Friends of Dementia 2024. Wally is also an Ambassador for Connecters Australia.

Have a speaker in mind?

Propose A Speaker