Today was a day that warmed my sole, meeting some of the most incredibly kind people. If you are unaware I am on a journey or ‘adventure’ as my son says, through the middle of VIC, NSW and QLD. Creating a series of documentaries about the amazing people that live in the country and their personal stories as well as covering the current drought that is crippling Australia.
We have the horse truck all set up to live in for the next however many months we are on the road, all we need is some power to hook up to each night. We stayed with Geordy, a young man who I taught art to 4 years ago, and might I say he has grown in to a beautifully kind young man. He and his family really made us feel at home, it was as though I had known them my home life.
Overnight it rained which meant that Geordy’s father Basil, came home from an earth moving job he has been working on for the past 6 weeks. At first, I was worried that Geordy may not have told his dad that we were staying, but to my relief he had. Sitting down and talking with Basil was such a breath of fresh air. He really understands what is important to him in life and has the attitude; ‘there is always someone worse off than you’.
Basil owns his own bob cat and earth moving business and has worked extremely hard to get to where he is today. Working 10 to 12 hour days driving a bob cat over the past 6 weeks would be an extremely testing job for anyone, but this man made it sound easy. Having conversations about the current state of Australia, politics and the future with Basil was great, he has such a broad understanding of what is happening around him in so many different industries.
He said a few times “I’m not real smart - I finished school in Year 10 and I drive a bob cat, even I know Australia is up shit creek”. But in reality, Basil is so switched on and has such incredible street smarts, he understands what it takes to run a business and what challenges Australia will face in the future.
As we were talking he said “if you can get out of bed each morning, go to work and put food on the table then things aren’t to crook, but I feel for those blokes up north that genuinely can’t provide for their families”.
We chatted about ways that the government or charities could assist people that are faced with hard and tragic circumstances, we agreed that providing people with supplies or subsidies would be the best way. Unfortunately, there are always those people out there that will always put their hand out for a ‘hand-out’ even if they don’t need it or exploit the system.
Chatting about the price of hay, we both expressed our frustration with the fact that hay can be worth $120 a tonne when it’s not in demand, but when a farmer is doing it tough up north and is desperate for the hay and the demand is high, people will sell it for $250 a tonne. I guess that’s what this whole supply and demand thing is all about, but why would you not help a person when they are in a time of need, just to make a dollar?
“Some people don’t understand what is important in life, they just chase money” Basil said. “When Geordy was 3 we almost lost him to cancer, it was a crook time. It made us appreciate what we have and how lucky we are”.
Basil’s eyes welled up with tears and it was obvious that he truly loves his son Geordy and he really feels blessed to have his son in his life.
“We are happy, we may live in a shed but we are happy with that”. (might I add that it is a very nice shed!).
As we were getting ready to leave Basil repeatedly said “if you need a place to stop and stay please make yourself at home, I may not be home, but you are welcome any time. I’ll be disappointed if I hear you stayed out on the road somewhere”.
This family are what I would call a ‘True Australian Family’ kind, willing to lend a hand and hardworking. It was a amazing to see Geordy all grown up, (he was a tall thin teenager that loved his hair and guitar when I taught him) to become such a kind, committed man that contributes to society and to be so happy in his life. Meet his dad Basil was truly fantastic, we need people just like him in politics running this country because he is so connected to the people of Australia and simply ‘gets it’.
Sorry for any spelling and grammar errors, I am dyslexic.