Rugby league legend Greg Inglis can still hardly believe his name is mentioned in the same breath as Arthur Beetson.
But now that it is, Inglis wants to use the power his name brings as a positive force for change.
The 35-year-old still pinches himself when reflecting on illustrious career and just how much he’s achieved in the game.
The Macksville export has won three grand finals, including Souths’ drought-breaking title in 2014 when he famously celebrated a long-distance try in the grand final with his trademark goanna celebration.
Inglis played 263 NRL appearances and had a staggering representative career which included 39 appearances for the Kangaroos and 32 for the Maroons.
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Beetson, Johnathan Thurston and Steve Renouf are three of the greatest Indigenous rugby league players of all time – as to is Inglis.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be playing in the NRL, let alone being named alongside those guys, or my name even being mentioned in the same sentence as those guys,” Inglis told foxsports.com.au.
“Sometimes I just have to pinch myself and realise what I have actually achieved in the game.
“These guys, they are just remarkable sportspeople, but remarkable people in general, the great Arthur Beetson, what he has done all these years ago and the standing he had in the game and then you switch over to the pearl – Steve Renouf, he is such an icon in Brisbane.
“JT, well everywhere you go you mention Johnathan Thurston’s name, everyone knows him, not even just in Australia, in the UK and France and other countries as well.
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“To actually be mentioned in the same sentence as those guys, it is very humbling, it is a humbling experience.”
Inglis founded the Goanna Academy in 2019 following his own struggles with metal health which he has spoken openly about in a bid to help others.
“To help end the stigma surrounding mental health and improve social capacity to identify, talk about, and manage mental health for all Australians – in particular at-risk groups such as Regional Males, Youth, and First Nations communities,” is the mission statement on the Goanna Academy website.
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Inglis wants to use his voice to show that people can be vulnerable, hoping to break the stigma surrounding mental health.
“We are aiming to achieve more attendance in schools, breaking the stigma of mental health and discussions surrounding that,” Inglis said.
“We want to increase attendance but also decrease suicide rates within the Australian community.
“It is just going around, breaking the stigma surrounding mental health and opening up the conversation.
“I just go out and share my story to people… in schools, businesses, mines, corporations.
“I just go out and tell my story and let myself be vulnerable about it and tell them it is okay, because even though I have had the luxury of living out my dream, doesn’t mean I haven’t faced battles most of Australia hasn’t or has.”