Broken Open

Broken Open

By Craig Hamilton
with Neil Jameson

In a remarkable memoir ABC broadcaster Craig Hamilton tells what it’s like to go mad in public and survive to tell the tale. Hamilton explores how his breakdown and diagnosis of bipolar disorder affected his family, work colleagues and friends. In doing so he lifts the covers on the taboo subject of depression and shows how he stared down his demons to resurrect his life and career.

As a former top sportsman, farmer’s son and coal miner who reinvented himself to establish a successful career with the ABC, Craig believed he was immune to a calamity such as mental illness. From his initial shocking breakdown to his eventual recovery, Craig retraces his steps and highlights the warning signs that might have told him he was in serious trouble.

Broken Open is a gripping read about one man’s journey back from the brink of hell. But it is much more than that. It’s also a personal plea for society to shake off the stigma surrounding people with depression and to bring the subject out into the clear light of day.

Broken Open has also been awarded ‘The SANE Australia Book of the Year’ award!


Craig started his career as ABC radio’s ‘Sideline eye’ on weekend Rugby League broadcasts in 1994.

Since then he has been a member of the ABC team working on the past 14 Grand Finals, every State of Origin series and a number of Test Matches.

Craig was born and raised in the Hunter Valley town of Singleton and spent 16 years working as an underground coalminer in the Newcastle area before embarking on a radio career fulltime in 1999.

As a talented sportsman, Craig represented both the Newcastle and NSW Country cricket teams, with a career highlight being selected to play against the touring Sri Lankan side in 1990.

In the year 2000, on the eve of the Sydney Olympic Games where he had been assigned to work as a broadcaster, Craig experienced a psychotic episode and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

He spent 12 days in hospital and, since his recovery, has become an Ambassador for Beyond Blue, worked as an advocate for mental health issues, and has addressed many conferences, community forums, High School mental health sessions and lobbied Government representatives for increased funding to support people and their families who have experienced depressive illness.

In 2004 Random House released his highly acclaimed memoir “Broken Open” which gives a very personal account of living with Bipolar Disorder.

Craig is now a much sought after motivational speaker around Australia who tells what it’s like to battle a serious illness. Craig speaks regularly at conferences, including the Comcare National Conference twice, Community Forums, workplaces and schools. Workplace requests for Craig to talk are increasing as more information is sought about depression, anxiety and all the work/life balance issues that go with the busy pace of life today. In 2012 Craig gave the Grace Groom Oration at the Canberra Press Club to commemorate the former CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia.

In sharing his story and experiences he offers hope to others. He lives in Newcastle with his wife and three children.

Neil Jameson is author of Walk Alone, the bestselling biography of soccer star Craig Johnston.


You can purchase Broken Open online at Craig’s website: Purchase ‘Broken Open’ … or

Published by:  Bantam

ISBN: 1-86325-515-X

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