Dan Kilian, a former Gold Coast Titans prodigy, reveals how joining a bike gang derailed his life.
A teenage rugby league gun with a promising future before the Rebels biker gang ended up selling MDMA, throwing him in prison.
A sobering video released by Queensland Police shows a former star of the Gold Coast Titan opening up about his troubled past, which included an entanglement with a bicycle gang and a jail stint.
The story of Dan Kilian, an ex-bikie now struggling to get his life back on track, is one that we've heard so many times: his life is derailed by depression and anxiety by a young, promising star.
In addition to an interview with him and his girlfriend, Kilian's video contains dramatic footage of his detention and his march towards the watch house.
I'm Dan Kilian, I'm 24 years old, and I played under the age of 20 for the Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights," he says in the video."
"I am a former Rebels motorcycle club nominee. I remained in jail for two years and two months.
Mr Kilian, an ambitious player in high school, started playing for the Gold Coast Titans of the under-20s in 2011.
His battle with anxiety and depression started to escalate out of control after landing a deal with the Newcastle Knights a year later.
His mental health deteriorated steadily in a tumultuous home life that included cases of domestic abuse, until he finally threw away his promising league career at the age of 19.
He found himself behind bars just two years later.
Mr Kilian was unwittingly drawn into the notorious Rebels gang while out partying one night after walking away from the sport and returning home to Coffs Harbor on the NSW mid-north coast.
There was a scuffle," Mr. Kilian said after locking eyes with a Rebels bikini in a pub." However, the two got to talk after a few drinks and promises of playing with a new club were made.
Mr Kilian turned to drug trafficking to "make some money" within "3-4 months" and was already a candidate for the Rebels. It happened super fast, super convenient, and it could have happened to everybody," he said."
After being caught purchasing 10,000 MDMA tablets for $10 each, Mr. Kilian faced court in 2014.
He pleaded guilty to the sale of the pills, earning himself a profit of thousands of dollars, some of which he spent on drugs.
"In my Band-Aid depression, I used drugs and alcohol, but all it did was spiral me out of control," Mr. Kilian remembered.
Some stuff will stay with me forever," he said, "It wasn't fun.
I went home and repeatedly put my head on a pillow and thought, "What have I done?"
In 2014, Mr Kilian was finally arrested in a dramatic biker raid and served more than two years in New South Wales and Queensland jails.
"At the age of 20, eighteen months in NSW prisons was a real eye-opener," he said.
He spent his time reading books and studying while incarcerated several times a day, he remembered. Mr Kilian was able to sever all of his gang ties by the time he was released, and he did not look back.
"I've learned a lot from my past and I wouldn't do it if I had my time again," he said.
Determined to be straight and narrow, Mr Kilian is one of those expected to benefit from the "Exit Program," a Queensland Police Service and Queensland Correctional Services project that makes former members of the outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) want a new and crime-free life.
Former gang members are offered the tools to renounce their loyalty by the government-backed exit plan, including therapy and encouragement to overcome any drug and alcohol problems.
It's about helping members of gangs change their lives and turn their backs on gangs. It's the southern hemisphere's first initiative of this sort,' said Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan MP.
"It's about connecting ex-gang members with services from the community."
Now, the police are widening their attention on the Escape Program and the prevention videos to reveal the reality of gang membership delivered by ex-gang members themselves and offer a route from gangs.
"For gang members, this is an opportunity to change the course of their lives and their families."
Queensland was the only state that monitored members who wanted to leave, according to Detective Superintendent Roger Lowe, and there were probably hundreds of badges and former members waiting for help.
"Superintendent Lowe said, "We have accrued 260 members who have officially come forward and said 'I want to leave, please mark me as a former gang member.'
The Exit Program comes as a study shows that OMCGs are hiring younger men who are more vulnerable to crime, who are attracted to the picture of the gangster and want to get rich fast.