Samuel Weston

Former soldier, ex-prison officer, now owner of Mad Snake Cafe

2023 NT Local Hero Nominee

Samuel Weston was at his lowest point when he packed up his life and moved to Darwin to start a cafe. He’d just finished 10 years as a prison officer in Western Australia. Before that, he’d spent six years in the army. He was drinking too much and angry all the time. His relationship with his partner, the mother of his children, was the worst it had ever been.

Wanting to work for himself and with his long service leave in hand, Samuel went to Darwin. He now runs Mad Snake Cafe, named to honour those with mental health concerns or who haven’t always fitted in.

Mad Snake Cafe provides a safe, friendly place for people to connect with others in the community.

This 1980s-themed cafe has a movie room, tabletop games and serves as a venue for board-game evenings, themed competitions, and meet-ups for Defence Force veterans and other groups.