Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


From Homeless Teen to Young Australian of The Year with Zack Bryers

Zack Bryers interview on Hustle & Motivate, a podcast presented by Joker Mag, the home of the underdog
Credit-Canberra/Joker Mag Illustration

Zack Bryers has been a homeless teenager, a soldier in Afghanistan, and a football player for Australia in the IFAF World Championship in Canton, Ohio.

After leaving home at just 15-years-old, Zack spent time on the streets before he set a goal to join the army which turned his life around. He fought in Afghanistan before post-traumatic stress disorder saw him medically discharged.

That’s when Zack set another goal – to make the Australian national football team within 18 months. Incredibly, he made the team in 17 months and played in the World Cup in the Canton, Ohio.

Zack Bryers won the 2018 Young Australian of the Year award.
Credit-National Australia Day Council

In 2018, Zack was named ACT Young Australian of the Year for his work with at-risk youth. Today, he juggles professional speaking with running Bryers and Associates, a company that helps small businesses grow and leave a lasting legacy.

Listen to Zack’s story by tapping the play button below. Or tap the icon of your favorite podcast platform to listen on the go!

Show Notes

[5:25] A near-deadly scuffle

[10:10] Out of school and onto the streets

[14:30] What Afghanistan was really like

[20:15] How he made the Australian national team in 17 months

[31:22] The secret power of being undervalued

After Listening…

You can find out more about Zack Bryers on his speaking website, You can also follow him on LinkedIn.

Thanks for listening!

Check out these related episodes:

Persevere Past Your Paralysis with Dr. James Perdue

Taking Over Las Vegas with VIP Host Manny Kess

Want more inspiring stories like this? Subscribe to The Underdog Newsletter to get the top underdog stories in your inbox every Tuesday!

Written By

Division III baseball alum (McDaniel College) and founder of Joker Mag. Sharing underdog stories to inspire the next generation.



"I thought after my first six years in baseball, it was going to be, ‘Go out and look for another job.'"


In Tampa, Doug Williams was the 54th highest-paid QB despite being the starter. Here's how he became an NFL legend.


How a lightly-recruited high school player became a G-League All-Star and made his NBA dream come true.


He woke up at 5 AM every morning since 7th grade and refused to sign his own name on homework assignments.