There are few things I find more uplifting than observing great quality father-son relationships.

I recently attended the memorial service for an old friend. Part of the eulogy, which was compiled by his daughter, included the following words which she recalled from her father’s reflections on his childhood experiences with his own father.

“Mum and Dad were wonderful parents, something we took for granted at the time. We never went cold or hungry in the wonderful house that Dad built. 

My Dad was and still is my hero. To ensure we had what we needed, he worked as a baker (which was his trade) at night and, with as little as three hours sleep, went to work in the Railways Blacksmith Shop as the ‘blacksmith striker’. This involved swinging a large sledgehammer all day. On the weekends, he would set up to 80 rabbit traps and sell the rabbits. How he managed to maintain this effort over many years is still a wonder to me. 

From when I was about the age of four, Dad would take me to the bakehouse with him, where he used to set me up on the flour stack to sleep. I remember on many occasions watching him through sleepy eyes firing up the huge wood oven, mixing the dough and the baking the bread. 

He took me trapping with him, taught me bush craft and how to shoot with his 22 calibre Mauser rifle. 

He was prepared to do all these things to ensure that Mum and us kids had what we needed.”

As I listened, with tears rolling down my cheeks, I thought about how effectively youth crime, domestic violence, and general family dysfunction could be reduced in Australia, if more boys grew up experiencing this quality of love, role modeling and mentoring from their fathers.

I am very thankful for the one I was privileged to have.


Occasionally during a brief encounter I have with someone whom I’ll probably never see again, I hear a statement that I want to hold on to.
Last week my wife and I attended a function to launch a new line of products for my daughter’s fashion business. At one stage during the proceedings, I walked outside to get some fresh air and got into a conversation with a young guy who had been involved in preparing a group of girls to model the clothes and perform a dance routine. In the middle of the conversation he said, “I LOVE WHAT I DO”, referring to his career in dancing and teaching dancing. Continue reading THE BEST GARBAGE COLLECTOR

Potential of Mentoring

Last week I resigned from my position in the Queensland State Government to end a 29 year career in various positions. At the age of nearly 65, I decided to make the move to pursue some dreams which have been growing in me for some time. There is one in particular I’ll share as a blog post, as it has some relation to previous items. Continue reading Potential of Mentoring


27 December 2014 – today I woke up with an idea to start a youth club called “The Chins and Dips Club”. It has evolved out of an accumulation of thoughts I’ve been entertaining over the past year.

In my previous blog (November 2014) I mentioned a personal dream to be involved in raising up an army of mentors who have a heart to see troubled youth rise above their circumstances and embrace big dreams.

The thoughts I woke up with this morning are about a strategy to implement that dream. Continue reading THE CHINS AND DIPS CLUB

Give and it will be given to you

Last year I signed up with an organisation which recruits and trains mentors to support young people from multicultural backgrounds, some of whom came to Australia as unaccompanied minors.

I made a commitment to be linked with a young man from Afghanistan for a year, with the plan of investing some positive influence and encouragement into his life. What I didn’t realise at the time was how much I would receive from the arrangement. Continue reading Give and it will be given to you

Passion for Health

I strongly value three areas of health, each of which impact significantly on the others.

The areas I’m talking about are PHYSICAL, MENTAL, and SPIRITUAL. (I was going to call this item PMS Health, but obviously that wouldn’t attract the appropriate audience.)

I like to keep everything as simple as possible, so I’ll only write a few points on my approach to each of these. Continue reading Passion for Health

Why not you?

I don’t usually watch a lot of television, but there is one show that I try to catch each week if I can. “The Australian Story” has been a very successful series for many years. I can think of a few possible reasons for this:

1. Most episodes are about an Australian who has achieved success in some area of life after encountering significant challenges and adversities.
2. They always have a strong inspirational and motivational value.
3. They encourage viewers to dream bigger and aim higher.

There was one particular episode I saw two or three years ago which had a lasting impact on me. I’m a bit hazy on the details but I’ll give you a brief overview of it as my memory permits (but don’t hold me to the accuracy of the content). Continue reading Why not you?

Memorable Years

In 2006 I received a phone call from a bloke in Sydney, who was compiling a book about the army unit I was with in Vietnam. He had been given my name by a mutual acquaintance and asked me if I would write an account of my time in National Service and Vietnam for his book. I really enjoyed the exercise of revisiting my memories of the time. Continue reading Memorable Years