Speakers Profile - Todd Russell

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The story of the Beaconsfield miners has a place in history as one of the greatest stories of Australian mateship, courage and survival ever told.

Todd Russell and Brant Webb's survival together for 14 days almost 1km under ground in a 2 x 4m pocket of air defies the imagination.

On Tuesday 25 April 2006 the world looked on in horror when a minor earthquake rocked the small town of Beaconsfield, Tasmania collapsing one of the tunnels in a local gold mine possibly killing three miners - Larry Knight, Brant Webb and Todd Russell. On Thursday 27 April the body of Larry Knight was discovered and little hope was held out for Brant and Todd.

Miraculously on Sunday 30 April, five days after the mine collapse, Brant Webb and Todd Russell were discovered to be alive and huddled together in a tiny bubble of air without food or water and surviving only on hope and courage.

The world watched on in anticipation for the next 9 days as rescue teams worked around the clock to free the men mindful that the slightest mistake could bring their roof collapsing in on them.

On 9 May rescue workers finally reached the two men and brought them safely to the surface where they walked unassisted back into the outside world, arms held high in triumph.

What unfolded after their escape was nothing less than a media frenzy while television networks, news papers, magazines and radio stations fought to be the first to bring their incredible story of survival to the world.

That frenzy lead to Brant and Todd signing the biggest exclusive television deal in Australian television history, a world wide exclusive book deal, a documentary deal and flying to New York to so a live and exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer on the Good Morning America show.

Brant and Todd's survival together in the most extraordinary of circumstances is nothing short of miraculous and defies all reason and realms of possibility. Their story of mateship and never giving up is one of the greatest ever told and will be passed down for generations to come.

What is just as incredible is that throughout the entire ordeal Brant and Todd have used their circumstances to help their community and give back to the people who helped them survive.

These days both men are getting back to normal life in Beaconsfield and enjoying the time they have with their families.