John Caldwell – Bullying Survivor and Youth Advocate
From cowering in the corner to the corner office Growing up John Caldwell didn’t have the luxury of worrying about normal childhood issues. His family life was dysfunctional at best; his parents led lives of alcohol fuelled sex and violence and he spent most of his childhood hiding under the bed.
After being present when his dad took his own life with a shotgun at aged 11 and then being sexually abused by foster
parents, John had taken all he could. The problem only escalated at school. Being bullied for being poor, not having shoes, being gay – you name it. John would face daily ridicule from pupils and teachers and was verbally and physically abused each and every day of his life. At 15 years old John Caldwell, like so many other teenagers, jut hit rock bottom. Jobless and homeless without anyone to turn too John thought life was hopeless. He believed the taunts that he was useless, pathetic, and worthless and he would never be anything. “Just kill yourself,” the kid’s would taunt… and he almost did.
John fought the urges to take his own life and found the strength to fight. He had to abandon his education to make money just to survive. He credits pure hard work for his success with a global fast food company. Having started at the bottom, John worked his way up to be awarded as one of the Top Managers in the world. Skip to today and John has now founded his own company, RWR Group, operating multiple recruitment brands globally. John lives a very flamboyant lifestyle and enjoys the fruits of his labour and loves showing people just what you can make of yourself.
“There is something about overcoming adversity that makes you stronger, makes you a fighter and gives you a ‘never give up’ attitude to life” says John. “I love sharing my story with people and showing them anything is possible” After achieving corporate success John decided to turn his attention to helping people just like him. John works tirelessly with Angels Goal Anti Bullying organisation to help create awareness of the severity of the bullying epidemic in Australia and Globally. His work sees him speaking at schools, community groups, social events, one-on-ones and charity fund raisers. He bears his own story publically to help people see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and it really does get better. His shocking story inspires even the most hardened listener.
Recently named Australian of the year – Victoria John is also working with organisations in the USA and the UK to try and create unity among the countries to fight this growing problem. He is one of the few anti bullying advocates tackling the issues on a global scale. “I create awareness and want to show people that they are not alone and there is hope. I aim to inspire people to live through this and make a generational change”
John says of his efforts. If we can reduce bullying we can save even more lives. Full Throttle Full Throttle book was released in 2013 and tells the story of life, business and partnerships in the fast lane. John’s reveals the intimate details of his childhood, uncovering emotional memories that shine light on why John is so fervent in his quest to stop bullying. The no holds barred story is shocking and emotional, leaving readers on the verge of tears seeing the pain one young person can face. The story, like John’s life, has a happy ending and inspires us all to want to do more and achieve more. it shows that it is possible.
Bullying shatters lives into pieces. Knowing the effect of bullying first hand, and being appalled by the stats surrounding suicide and bullying, John is filming a documentary ‘Pieces’ to shed new light on the effects and ultimately the tragic end. The documentary is being filmed around the world to highlight the global reach of this problem. The self funded documentary will see all proceeds donated to charity. John is also working with LA Based talent agency on a reality TV pilot based on Full Throttle.