You may recognise Brad McEwan from his longstanding career 20 plus year career as an Australian television and sports journalist with channel 10. However, what you may not know about Brad is that he is an ambassador for Beyond Blue and the Satellite Foundation. He is now focused on a new goal; providing workshops, presentations, mentoring and strategies that focus on workplace mental health and wellbeing. Above all, Brad’s work is about leading and working with kindness.'
Huge thanks to Brad for coming on and giving his time, which was greatly appreciated.
Make sure if you like this episode to leave a rating and review or just spread the word to someone who you think this content will help.
You can connect with me via - www.livedexperiencepodcast.com
0:00 - Introduction
1:45 - How did you get your start in media?
2:25 - Banter with Sandra Sully
3:23 - Brad’s families experience with mental health
6:26 - What support did you seek in your younger days?
7:35 - How you push on despite tragedy to achieve great success?
9:35 - Where did you get such a positive outlook from?
11:35 - Was mental health something that you openly spoke about?
13:30 - What happened when you opened up?
15:45 - Can you tell us about the Satellite foundation which your an ambassador for?
21:16 - Embracing your story
23:25 - Brad talks about his own anxiety and OCD
27:00 - How did you deal with it as a news presenter?
28:10 - Do you think people share enough about their lived experience and stories?
34:30 - How do you achieve cultural change when it comes to mental health awareness?
36:30 - Meditation, breathing and mindfulness
39:00 - Awareness around family
40:40 - What more do you think can help young people and families?
45:57 - Having to go to the GP and unnecessary steps in obtaining help?
48:18 - It’s now about doing!
50:12 - Treating the family as a whole
53:50 - Mental health nurses are amazing people
55:40 - What prompted you to change your career to work in the mental health space?
59.50 - Reframing your previous lived experience
1:02:23 - What are some common themes coming out your mental health corporate workshops?
1:04:25 - The single most powerful act that we can do to improve someone’s well-being?
1:07:25 - Company profits over mental health and culture?
1:11:30 - Millenials, GEN Y and workplace expectation
1:14:30 - What new positions are companies creating in relation to mental health?
1:20:20 - Reassessing and prioritising your happiness
1:22:45 - Societies fragility and the catalyst for resilience?
1:27:20 - Will Pucokvski and mindfulness
1:30:44 - Developing empathy
1:32:30 - Leaders taking off the mask
1:34:40 - Having people who want to work?
1:35:35 - What projects are you working on?
1:39:35 - What does Brad get up to in his free time?
1:40:20 - Could you get away with wearing shorts under the newsdesk?
1:40:41 - How can you contact Brad?
Hi everyone, my name is Joel Kleber. I'm the host of the lived experience podcast if you're wondering what it's about, it's about exactly that. As its title says it's about having authentic and genuine conversations with people from backgrounds such as business, sport, entrepreneurship, self development, and more importantly, people who work in the mental health space. It does have a mental health awareness focus because various topics which aren't really well known. However, I hope you do go to some previous episodes to learn more about the story about why I do this. So if you do enjoy the content, please make sure you subscribe, or you can hook up on social media by checking out the notes as well and checking me out on the authentic condos podcast. We'd love to hear from you any improvements and how to make it better. If you do me a favor, make sure you leave a rating and a review on wherever you leave your podcasts that will help me out as well. So I hope you enjoy this episode of the lived experience podcast. Hey guys, so with me today is Brad McEwen. Now, for anyone listening, you probably recognize Brad's voice as well. But for anyone who's watching this, you'll definitely recognize Brad's face and the sound like me growing up sexually pleasure to have Brad here. Because as I was saying before, do you off camera. The only reason why I watch the news is young fella was to get to your Sports Update to see what's going on in the world of sport. This is before the days of YouTube. So it's actually it's it's great to have you seems like it's probably a couple maybe a couple of times before this is you feel really familiar. And I'm sure a lot of people recognize you and we'll see your face. And just before we go into it, do you get that much at all people coming up to you sort of recognize you still saying I used to watch you from the sports tonight orBrad McEwan:
occasionally, not as much as I used to. The funny one would often be when you'd be at, say, the pub on a Friday night and someone maybe had had a few too many drinks and they'd say, I know you had a wine. And sometimes given the circumstances. It wasn't always the place. And I always felt a bit funny saying, Well, you know, that's what I do. So sometimes you just the easiest thing was to say, he'd say, What are you doing? I'd say? Or I'm plumber, I fixed your toilet? And he's like, Oh, yeah, that's, that's, that's what it must be. So you might have a nice drink. You know, so yeah, but now some some people do. Some people don't. But it's and it's a real compliment to think that, you know, we were in their lounge rooms for, you know, most nights. So yeah, it's it's nice to get that feedback. And how did you get that key? Originally? I that's a long story. I the condensed version is I was working in radio, at AAA. And I took a year off with and lived overseas. And I came back I was doing a bit of landscape gardening, you know, and I bumped into a mate one day and he said, What are you doing? He was working at channel 10. And he too, you know, you want to come and do a few shifts with us? And I said, Yeah, no worries. So I started at Channel 10, and was here in nearly 20 years. It was great. The gentleman was a fantastic place to work.Joel Kleber:
There are obviously who would have watched you have known that you and Sandra, Sally, the the nice little banter that you had going on between there. So maybe you want to talk a little bit about that, how that came about?Brad McEwan:
Well, that was just a very organic thing that Joel in net, were really good mates. And what I often say to people is what we would joke about on camera was essentially exactly the kind of things that we'd be joking about off camera. We're a really tight group there at sports. And I'd in particular on the light news, so we I mean, Sandra and I would would be on on the news, having a laugh. But then, before the news or after the news, we'd also be having a laugh or a conversation. Not always a laugh. Also, we talked about lots of serious things. We're we're friends, we're friends. And yeah, we had a lot of fun. We had a lot of fun. And yeah, I certainly remember those times fondly.Joel Kleber:
So now you did. Let's talk on why really here today. So why Brad is really he's still me a great solid here. And you're an ambassador for beyondblue and also for satellite. Now what a lot of people might not probably know about you is your background and your and your history and your story with mental illness and in your family and stuff like that. So maybe you want to give a quick little background or introduction to your experiences with mental health.Brad McEwan:
Yeah, yeah, no worries. And this is something that I know resonates with a lot of people because you know, as we know, mental, mental health issues are part of life. So going back a number of decades. Our family went through a really traumatic period where in the space of a couple of years we lost my brother and my father as a result of suicide. And, you know, and I'm acutely aware that people watching this thing they know. They know only too well how that feels. So you know my thoughts go out to anyone who's been in Same for similar circumstances. But yeah, it was horrible. It really was horrible. And it certainly changes who you are and changes your life forever. But at the end of the day, you, you've got one choice? Well, I think you have one choice. And I know my sister and my mom, we all believe we had one choice, and that is to get on with life. Because you have to. And the other thing is we, we get to now help people by talking about, you know, our story, and what we went through and you know, every time I talk about it, whether it's through beyondblue, or satellite Foundation, to, to then have that connection with someone who's had a similar experience, and to be there to support them to say to them, you know, for them to know that you have an understanding of what they're going through that that's just invaluable. So it's great to be able to helpJoel Kleber:
that. Was there any indication going up? was that? Was there any of the press signs of depression? or How did you remember it all?Brad McEwan:
Yeah, there were, there was certainly, you know, my brother had, you know, didn't like a lot of different people wasn't coping overly well. And, you know, I mean, circumstances around suicide can be really different. But, yeah, there were there were there were concerning. moments. And of course, you know, and again, so many people know what, or can relate to what I'm talking about. And, you know, we did, we did everything recording, and reaching out and looking for support. And the other thing is, I would say, though, Joel, is that, you know, that the 80s is, is not only, you know, decades away from the world we live in now, it was an incredibly different world. You know, we didn't have beyondblue, or Lifeline, or black dog Institute, or even headspace people didn't talk about mental health, and particularly in a little rural town where we lived. People would openly talk about physical illnesses and health issues, but mental health issues where it's working.Joel Kleber:
Now, what support were you seeking back then? Was it something more from just the language GP? Or was it just like family members? Like what support were you're after? or trying to assist with?Brad McEwan:
Yeah, you'd certainly as a teenager, I mean, it wasn't something that you'd talk openly with your friends about, just because right now, I probably didn't feel comfortable talking about mental health, back then, not that I was ever embarrassed or ashamed. It's just that these weren't conversations that you had with your teenage friends. Of course, close friends and family knew what we were going through. And but again, it was just, we didn't have we didn't have the resources back then, like we have now. And, you know, I wish we did, but we didn't and, and that's why I'm really passionate about, you know, having mental health conversations, because they're so important. Now, becauseJoel Kleber:
how old were you roughly when it sort of, I wasBrad McEwan:
17, when my brother died and 19 women dead dogs,Joel Kleber:
pretty pretty, like formally views, you know, 789 years old? And one question, because obviously, you want to achieve a lot of success was how did you? How did you not let that hold you back? Yeah, because a lot of people would use that, you know, as an maybe it might say, as an excuse, but you know, could definitely really impact especially a young man at that sort of stage in their life. So how did you not let that impact you and then you go on to achieve all these great things?Brad McEwan:
Well, I probably look at things differently. And you know, I know that particular during this COVID year, we've spoken a lot about resilience and perspective. And I actually felt that, you know, whatever life would throw at me post what we experienced as a family. nothing was ever as difficult as that. And so I always felt that whenever I would encounter challenges, difficulties that might come about either in my private life or professional life, I would always go back and reference what we went through during that really terrible few years and go, well hang on, hang on. I got through that. I'm going to get through and it was, I'm going to get through whatever I'm going through. But it also for me, it was also a reminder of you know, life is short life throws up life is noise, fear. So I'm going to go for it. I'm going to, I'm going to aim for the aim for the stars and just see what happens. You know, because I firmly believe that it's the you know, it's our experiences that It's our battles, it's our fears that we then have to embrace and and turn them into a positive. And use that as motivation to go and do what you want to do in life.Joel Kleber:
It's a really cool, it's a really mature perspective, where do you think you got that from at that age? Because I know I definitely wouldn't have had that perspective. So how do you think? Where did it come from? Is something in your mouth? Or was it just from your upbringing?Brad McEwan:
All? I'll say it was probably no, it was definitely from from Mum, not only mom's attitude and her actions, but you know, I am, you know, part of me is mom. And you know, she's she's always been a very inspirational and positive person. And she was a career nurse in a small country town, and they're helping everyone and my sister is now a nurse as well. So now we are, we're all about positivity. That's why we talk about, you know, our family experience, because it helps people. So, yeah, it's like, okay, that happen. We can't do anything about it. We can we can. We know what happened, we can't change anything, but we can now go off and help other people. So now I'm, I'm, I'm a big believer in, just get out and go for it. And do your best.Joel Kleber:
And what was the spirit of the support at the time? Ran? What was the support at the time? Like, was there any at all? You've no.Brad McEwan:
All we had a lot of, you know, in a small country town, like the beauty of being in a close knit community, like that was, you know, everyone, everyone, everyone comes by, and, you know, anyone that's lived in a in a small town, you know, you're from a bigger town, but you know, people just come in providing meals, cup of coffee conversations, you know, that was great. Yeah, my friends, you know, a friend I'm catching up with with tonight, you know, she would come over and in a lot of ways she was I mean, she was absolutely understanding of what we were going through, but she's also full of personality. And, and she would continue to, to entertain us and make us laugh. And that and that was really important, because we didn't have much to smile about or nothing to smile about. So to smile and laugh, just through her presence was just invaluable, and it made everything to us.Joel Kleber:
Did you think now, do you think moving forward? Obviously, you went on to do some great things. Was it something that come up that you shared much during your, your professional life? Or is it something just suddenly more recently, because there's a lot more awareness around that you sort of come forward? Or come about?Brad McEwan:
Yeah, I've never, I've always spoken openly about, again, what would our family's experience with a mental illness and mental health issues because as I often say, I have nothing to hide, just a story to share. And when I say share, it goes back to another of mom's favorite quotes, which I've always credited Mom, I'm not sure where the quote came from. But it's a great quote, net is, you know, a problem shared is a problem halved. So, you know, by by being open about our experience, experiences, it actually helps me, because, you know, I get to talk about it, and it just helps me, I suppose, have a better understanding of what happened. But it also it gives other people the confidence to, to open up and, and talk and, and hopefully understand that, that mental health issues like physical health issues are just part of life, they are part of who we are. And there is nothing to be ashamed of, or embarrassed about. We all have our I'll use the sensitive version, we all have our stuff. We all have our stuff. And yet we spend so much of our lives pretending that we don't,Joel Kleber:
when you found that you shared stuff that people process and then come back to you with their own experiences, you find out stuff about other people, when you're proactive in telling about your story, the people that open up to you or Yeah, you sort of learn how much maybe more prevalent a lot more people headed as well.Brad McEwan:
Absolutely, absolutely. You know, even opening up about my own mental health in, you know, be sitting there with just just just having a nice conversation with somebody. And then they open up about their mental health and again, things that I had no idea about, and all of a sudden I look at, I look at them differently. Not probably, in a more understanding sort of empathetic kind of a way it's like, oh, I had no idea. I had no idea. So I think there are only ever healthy conversations. You know, it's it's, it's about sharing, and it's about Taking off the mask and revealing who we really are being authentic.Joel Kleber:
Yeah, which is really hot? Well, it's really hard to because when you're younger, or you know, from my experience, you had to have the mask, right? Because you've gone through all this trauma and stuff at home. And if you don't have a mask on, you can obviously the world can be very tough place, especially younger kids or teenagers. So it's very, you had that mask, and you're so used to having that mask. And it's just a relief to bring it down. And the way I did it was when I was think I was 2930, was on a podcast with Jim and I basically talked about my experience and put it on camera. And I shared that online. And then after I shared it online, I had all these shares, and all this sort of stuff, I think was really missing me out of the blue, who I grew up with telling me the experience, I know it, you know, and then that then you just as soon as I tell you that thing, it's like well, I spent all this time writing today telling you that the mother or father who had bipolar or schizophrenia and all the dramas they had made his life, I didn't know you had this as well on bubble bars, it's like, well, yeah, he's had this connection coming in, it just makes me realize how prevalent it is in society. And it's still not talked about enough, especially in the family unit, I think and all that goes into that, as it should be. It's great that in the last, you know, 10 years, we've got these massive brands, which are promoting awareness around depression, and that but I think there's still a lot more to be done around, you know, the family unit, and the impact on children and young people especially, which is why I just want to touch real quickly on the satellite foundation mature ambassador for major touch and about satellite and what they do.Brad McEwan:
Satellite foundation is just a wonderful organization, I've been lucky enough to be an ambassador for satellite foundation for a couple of years now. So satellite Foundation, they're supporting younger people who have a period or a career with a mental health issue, mental illness. And yeah, we do lots of different things, jump on, have a look at the website. And we we do a lot of different things, we run workshops, we, it's it's a place where young people with similar experiences can feel safe. And, and connect with with other young people who, who, who, who have an idea about what life is like at home, and that that mom or dad or whoever it might be, is, has has difficult days, and difficult weeks. So you know, to see those wonderful connections and the friendships, the friendships that come out of, of, you know, a lot of the work that we do with these young people, and when I say young people, you know, it might be early teens, it might be people in their early 20s. But again, have have similar experiences. And, you know, I think, you know, you talk about, you know, having the mask on when you're younger, and I know with with, with the what, you know, we were going through, I think to to have an organization like a satellite, you know, back then to be able to, to be with people, strangers initially, but who quickly become friends who understand what you're going through. It is just, it just means the world to them. It really does,Joel Kleber:
I would have done me wonders. And as a sign of Rose, who's the founder of it, I said, I'm too old, I'm too old for the program. But if I had that thing, you know, 15 years ago would have done mean absolute world of good because, because when you growing up in that environment, you just feel so alone, right? Especially like with your situation. So you would have felt like this is where the only family you know, I know I don't speak for you but back in the regional area that this has happened to or whatever. Like just having nine that being connected to other people and nine that it would have been other people who have had similar experiences, but have just done the word of good.Brad McEwan:
Yeah. And look, the reality is when it comes to mental health issues, and the statistics there were, you know, clearly we weren't the only family going through that stuff. But again, because people didn't have conversations around mental health and we didn't have an organization like satellite foundation so we weren't able to connect with people who were going through similar experiences Yeah, it was tough and you're right you didn't put on the mask you know you go into school and you know how I I'm good I'm good I'm pretty happy kind of person you would be too but it just it was you know apart from everything that you're you're the comes with being a teenager with you know, all your hormones and insecurities and worries and fears and who are you Where am I going? What's life about to then have the the fees worries anguish about people you love within your family? It's a lot to take on.Joel Kleber:
Well, I hate it because I used up always it wasn't a bad, overly bad kid. But I got in trouble on notice expenses and all that sort of stuff. And but it was just really frustrating. My mum, she was embarrassed about bipolar. And she was always Don't tell him that telling her about bipolar, right? So your mom might be in the cycle for three months. And you know, you're expected to go to school and still perform and not, you know, just you have to deaden yourself. But there might be times where you sort of play up and that in the teacher will go to you. Why did you do this? It's like, well, just because, you know, I just saw my mom had shock treatment. And you know, too soon in a psych ward, not not pretty happy today, you can't say that, right? They don't know that. But you're expected to still perform and do well at school. And schools have enough on their plate as it is. And it was a little later on, let's say 11, and 12, where the teachers actually knew my situation at home, where I've got a bit more allowances, not saying that they should give you all the answers, because then you can sort of play the victim and run away with it. But there's a large amount of young people and kids who are they being judged for us for let's say, their behavior when almost don't have a reason to do that behavior. But there is a lot of reasons for that behavior, right? And just people sometimes need to look outside, look beyond the behavior and sort of look at people going what's going on in this person's life? And why are they acting that way, rather than just sort of judging the behavior all the time to actually try and get to know that person a bit more? And God? Do you think they do this? And how can we help you? I think that's sort of why we sort of nurture kids and young people sort of needs to happen. I'm hoping it does with this royal commission thing, I think there's a bit of money, hopefully going to be allocated to schools or something regarding to find these issues out and sort of provide support networks in place, because they're definitely not there, which is where satellite, the satellite foundation just bought, bring in kids of the symbolist put him in the same area that itself is very powerful, and obviously got the workshops and the creativity, creative outlets and stuff, but I've seen even there's just keep from aq from his side, and putting him in the same area is one of the most powerful things I think you can do, why not would have helped me the most? Yeah,Brad McEwan:
you know, it is, you know, part of, you know, what I've been doing recently, or just a few workshops this year, which I've really enjoyed. And this was just my input of all the different components that we have is, you know, we it's all about how we embrace our stories. It's who we are. And this is our story. And we get to share our story in lots of different ways. And that's, and the great thing is about, about sharing your story is where you're taking ownership of it, and this is who I am. But the other thing too is that you are essentially, you are the author of your story, but you also get to edit it and control it. And you know, you and I do that still now, and even in conversations like this is we get to share as much as we are comfortable with. We don't share everything, you don't have to share everything. But if sharing a little bit, makes you feel better. That is fantastic. And then maybe over time, you can you might want to share something a little bit different, or a little bit more, you know, but again, that's I think that's really important for anyone who has been impacted by mental illness or mental health issues is that if you are sharing part of your story, you control that. And you know, you don't need to feel pressured about just letting it all out, you share as much as you feel comfortable withJoel Kleber:
now that's a fantastic point, I think the sharing helps with owning it as well. Because I'm not saying I think people live in denial of it, but they just sort of might be embarrassed with the situation or embarrassed or parent or whatever it is, once you share it. And then you sort of as you said, owner, this is such a great acceptance. It's almost like a weight off your chest or you bring the mask down. And you might and everyone's really a different stage you might be really they might be really a fear, you might be really a 45. But I think just you and your right being just sharing that just having that acceptance and owning it. Just so empowering. And it is definitely really does take away the mind. Well, that's just my personal experience or speak for anyone else. That's what I definitely did find yourself with you. I've just feel that it's time off. Yeah,Brad McEwan:
very much. And even, you know, I've never really spoken a lot about this in the past, but certainly the last couple of years, I was thinking about mental health issues, and all of them and even though I, you know, there's always been a focus on, you know, what we went through as a family in the 80s and early 90s is, you know, all the way through and probably it was it was worse after those experiences was you know, my own is sort of anxiety and, you know, OCD and you know, it's and I know people can you sort of reference OCD quite loosely and but when you do have OCD To a degree where it certainly impacts your day to day. Life, it can be, it can be incredibly difficult. Now, I wouldn't save, you know, sitting here right now, it's incredibly difficult, but I still have my rituals and my little things that I do, because of fee every single day, and when I was a teenager, some days, it could take up hours, hours and hours of different things like getting in and out of bed, depending on how anxious I was, it might take me, I might get in and out of bed 50 times 50 times, and I'd have to go on to an awful lot. And there's an hour and I'm just so exhausted, and I want to go to bed, and then another ritual will start. And then I remember and this isn't, this isn't disrespecting, you know, my anxiety or what the condition is. But I remember watching a film A number of years ago, and I'm not sure if you've seen it, as good as it gets, yeah, with jack nicholson with jack nicholson. And when jack nicholson would sort of walk on the footpath, and he wouldn't step on the cracks. And I do that, and I also do a lot of other stuff when I walk. And I actually, you know what, that aren't, and when that was one of the first times where I smiled, and I actually thought, that's me. And I'm okay with that. Yeah, I, I do these things. But that's who I am. And I remember having a conversation with a friend one day, we're having a drink. And you know, she, you know, just delightful person. And we've been friends for a number of years. And I was talking to her about it. And she just looked at and I'll never forget, she looked at me and she smiled. He said, Me too. Me too. And I'm like, Oh my goodness, these were she area stories about our anxiety and talk about sharing and the power of that we will always have that connection. Always have that connection.Joel Kleber:
There's there's something like, when did you develop it? Was it just young? Like a younger thing? or How did it come about?Brad McEwan:
I look, I don't know, I think probably when I was younger, and yeah, just all my fears and my worries and sort of manifested and again, you know, in my teenage years, it was problematic, depending on how I was feeling. But even now, even now, if I, I think that I don't really, you know, have all my rituals and my counting and whatever anymore. But as soon as I'm worried about someone again, or worried about someone, I sort of step back into it. Yeah,Joel Kleber:
I have to deal with it as a news presenter. Because it's it's such a nice to have that go hand in hand.Brad McEwan:
Yeah, well, there were times, there were times where I was actually, you know, rather than taking. You know, I know that I remember vividly there were times when I'd be rewriting intros sort of based on my numbers. And I had to rewrite it and, and then I write it and delete it and write it, delete it and write it, delete it. And this was just what was going on in my head. And but I'd sort of come up with a, like a timeout, where, you know, when the floor managers screaming right out. You got to get in the studio, I'd sort of find myself going right out. OCD, that's enough timeout, I've really got to get in there. We'll pick this up when I finished. So I was able to sort of have a bit of fun with it by that stage. But yeah, you know, but again, you know, people watching this is some people think, wow, that just sounds so unusual. But there are other people watching going. Oh, yeah, I know what that's all about.Joel Kleber:
I guarantee it would be. Now you talk more about sharing before? Yes. Have you? Have you seen that progress from let's say The 90s? Obviously now? And do you are you do you think there's enough of that sharing going on from people with live expenses? We know, I think victorious, that's one in 250,000 sorry, 250,000. Kids, sorry, Victoria had a parent or carer with mental illness. And if you look at it, across Australia, there'll be so many people who have had a similar experience to yours and myself, let's say prominent positions, or let's say, well, businessmen or whatever, but you don't really hear about it. I remember the one example I think the Queensland Health Minister, who came in and talked about his mentally he was mentally ill mom or dad had schizophrenia and other childhood experiences with that. And I've got a lot of national coverage. I'm thinking there's so many more of those people. I just don't know why. There's not more not. There's not a more of a going on. So what do you have any thoughts around that sharing or is it getting better or why people don't come out and share orBrad McEwan:
I think it's certainly we've come a long way. There's no doubt about that. And I think that there will always be reservations, as long as people look at physical illnesses and mental illnesses so differently. You know, we often we wear a physical ailment, like a badge of honor, even in even in high school, don't we? You know, how are you, oh, I tackled this guy on the weekend, or, you know, I played golf, and I swung a bit hard, and I'm sore shoulder or this or that I went for a run and all my homies are screaming, we love talking about these physical ailments. But we, our attitude around mental health issues are so incredibly different. And I often use this, like a hypothetical situation. And I don't, you know, I don't I'm not being disrespectful. And I understand that, you know, because I'll use the example of cancer, because I think most of us have been impacted by cancer in some way. But as I say, imagine, imagine, you know, someone contacts you and says, a friend says, look, have you got time for a cup of coffee? I've had some bad news. And, you know, I just want to talk about and so you go, and you catch up with your friend, and you see them and, and they say, look, you know, I've been diagnosed with cat, we, you'd be horrified that your friend Auric. And your follow up question, fair chance is going to be will, what are you going to do about it? What's the treatment? Can you imagine your disbelief, if they said, are nothing. I'm just going to just, I'm not going to do anything, I'll let it slide are. And please don't tell anyone. I'm embarrassed, I'm ashamed. Now, to throw up that situation, you'll go, Well, that would never happen. Because, well, if you didn't get treatment for cancer, and like so many cancers, we know that they are treatable, if you can get onto them early enough. But if you don't treat it, it might kill you. And that sounds ludicrous. But when it comes to mental illness, and mental health issues, people do it all the time. They don't talk about it, and they don't get the help. They feel maybe uncomfortable. So they're not getting the help that they need. And what we know is with so many simple mental health conditions is they are highly trainable. oft, who knows what it's going to take? I think and I know from example, that the most tragic outcome is what we experienced. However, I will say time and again that it is it is also incredibly sad when people can spend significant amounts of the life if not their whole life, not getting the help for something that they really got helpful.Joel Kleber:
Absolutely, I think, Well, why do you think it is? Because obviously it is America, America, always talk about therapy, right? Do therapy do therapy to 30 minutes straight? Are you really here to let people share an experience or say I went to a psychologist I went to do some casting because it's something that happened to me a year or whatever. I just think it's it's I've never really heard of, or from my past experience, anyone go to me, I've seen cat counselor or psychologist and I've given that advice and time. So it's been able to do it. In myself. I've done it but it still feels really weird, especially in Australian culture. To hear anyone open up about saying or we make the recommendation, you should go to a council you should go psychologist, the typical thing if you did set someone to be on armor, you're not soft, or whatever it is. So what do you think can be done to change well, to make it more accessible and make it more, more easy for people to go and take that step to go and see a counselor or psychologist when they really need to?Brad McEwan:
I think conversations clearly are really important. sharing our sharing our stories, not you know, and it might take within communities, groups, whatever people that put their hand up, for example, you know, you look at the role models in sport. You know, when a party Franklin or a Glenn Maxwell or Libby Trickett, Darrius boy put the hand up go You know what, look at swans with buddy. final few years back. That's why they're there. They want to be successful. And buddy in the club guy. It doesn't matter. We're going to look after buddy first and foremost, buddies open at you know, he talks about mental health. Not great. Like, when he did that. I remember like I always thought he was just the most fabulous player. But when he did that, I just thought what a person.Joel Kleber:
What disappoints me though Brad is when that story comes out to look at the comments sections on social media Beatitudes officer People regarding that sort of statement really still shows how far we have become. And I've done a how to fix it. I mean, as something where you fix it in schools, or do you just put content out there to sort of, or, you know, how do you how do attitudes and head cult cultural change types? A lot of times it does. So how's it best? Or how do you how would you think it's best to sort of achieve that cultural change? Which then, when that comes out, you know, the general responses are good one.Brad McEwan:
Yeah. Well, for me two things stand out education, and conversation. Yeah. So, you know, talking about these things, kids understand, like, you know, hey, I'm nearly 50, I learned in from a very young age that, you know, this is the heart and upon blog, miss that. And, you know, I did anatomy and physiology at university, not very well just got through. But, you know, I knew so much about my physical makeup, but I didn't understand so much about my emotional health, and my mental health. And yet, I remember vividly, in year, seven or eight was not that big, because I can't remember what year it was. year seven or eight out humanities teacher taught us for the first time about meditation. And I remember laying in the room, and maybe there was some music playing, and he'd be talking and whatever. And I'd be just imagining, you know, or, you know, with my breath, and all the, you know, the, all the bad stuff going out with every breath. And whenever I remember laying there thinking, this might be the most peaceful feeling in the world. Fast forward a number of years, and you 12 I was I could my mental health, I was really stressed, anxious, not coping. I went and saw a counselor. something so simple. She recommended to me relaxation, music. So we grabbed the old cassette tape, and we put it in and I lay down on the bed, and I think it was like, waves crashing.Joel Kleber:
But you got to take that step to see a counselor as a year 12. Back then is very impressive as well, because I've got I've mentioned, many people in your situation would have done that.Brad McEwan:
Well, mum, mum, mum being, you know, very open minded and the nurses. Well, she recommended it. So we went and did it. And yeah, I probably felt a bit naive, I don't think I was standing. You know, I don't think I stood on a table in the year 12 room and said, everyone, I'm off to a counselor tonight. I didn't tell anyone, however, are in an instant, I felt better. So that here's a couple of examples where the seed was planted to me about about meditation and mindfulness and being in the moment, and I know how much it helped. I know how much now I can be stressed out of my brain. And I go and do something as simple as I breathe. And I, you know, so I have an understanding about you know, when everything's getting a bit too much for me, I do that that classic, you know, that box breathing of sort of four seconds, in whole four seconds out, hold in, and I know how that helps my wellbeing. So we need to a educate about mental health and well being, but also have conversations have conversations about about, about mental health, just like we do about physical health?Joel Kleber:
Well, I'd love to see um, blokes or, or even girls pull up each other in conversation. So if you're in a group of circles, you know, blokes, being blokes share talking about stuff. And if someone does say something along those lines, someone, I think you'll tell it's been successful in someone in that group or whether pulls up and says, Hey, you know, lay off or whatever. Whereas then piling on, which is still think, that sort of blocky mentality, what happens, you know, don't be softer, you'll be right, that sort of mentality. But it has been really encouraging to me to see all these organizations pushing like that blackdog and one of the Movember movements and all that sort of stuff now, which is, which is really good. I think it's slightly there's a lot of podcasts as well. There's a hate mob, there's a book podcast now with bloat, just talking about mental health and depression and stuff like that. But I like to see a lot a lot more of a seeking, especially at the other issues around what satellite for example, do with the kids, I think that's still something where these they come a long way, you know, just just from personal experience, I won't be lecturing anyone here but there's still a lack of support, you know, as is in a larger community for families like yours, obviously back in the time and even now, you know, families going in similar situations with places like satellite and that have been, they've been a great and very encouraging thing in the last 10 years to see come about.Brad McEwan:
They really are and and I think it's also for so many different families and individuals. It's about the awareness you Have you and I've had this conversation how many, you know, how many people are not aware of what's out there in regards to, you know, a group life satellite foundation? You know, like, you know, you've said, oh, wow, gosh, if, if if only this was around when I was younger, you know, and I think the same thing. And, you know, what we need to keep doing is having the conversations, and talking, talking, talking, listening, talking and listening and sharing, you know, and now when you you know, ended I really my eyes and my ears really pick up whenever you'll be in a, an environment where somebody will be, it might be someone in the public eye, it might be just someone doing an interview or whatever. And they'll they'll talk about, well, I'll give you an example. You know, someone who, you know, I've always enjoyed her work, because she's very talented, but someone like Missy Higgins is spoken about often talks about her mental health and whatever. And I just I think that's fantastic. Just fantastic. You know, so, you know, so many people admire her, because of her music, but so many people admire her as well, just because of her message and her honesty. And, you know, no doubt she does talk because she wants to help.Joel Kleber:
Absolutely. Now, what do you think? What more do you think can be done to support young people and families? in this space? What do you think would have helped? Obviously, we've talked about satellite, something that would obviously help, but what do you think? Could you actually really help? Because the way I see it is, I take a long term approach. So you have these young people in highly traumatized environments, right. And then you look at the studies, and the studies say most, most more likely that person, those kids who grow up in his environment, and more likely go to jail or not going to theater, education, or drug and alcohol problems, right, which costs the government a lot more dealing with those people down the track. Whereas if you can intervene in the typical, you know, in those really important moments in their life, you save the economy, you know, because then you're more productive members of society. So what do you think can help in those, those young people, as families who are in a situation similar to yours better?Brad McEwan:
I think we, we need to place a real emphasis. And I know that so many different people in organizations know this, but it does take time, or we sort of got to get our skates on and make it happen. But we actually need to have, you know, more more people, more experts, and whatever, whose sole objective is addressing mental health. Within young people, you know, it's about having an understanding, for example, that, you know, I know even even now, you know, a family member a few years back, living in a rural area, wanted was struggling with their mental health. And they could get in to see a counselor, a psychologist, next available appointment was three months. Now you, you know, yourself. Teenagers, for example, you know, and all the stuff that we've touched on earlier, they're going through, it can be really tough. But when you're worried about a teenager's mental health, and you're living day to day, three months is a long, long time and three months, is not good enough. So we need to throw more people more resources takes more money, but I think, first and foremost, it needs to be an awareness of okay. There's a mental health issue here. And too often, there's going back over the years, maybe there's an attitude, unfortunately, of we can't see it. So we sit there. Do you want me? Yeah. And that's the thing. And I remember reading an article in the newspaper there a couple of years ago, and it was I think, he said, and I may be completely I may not have the the facts. Exactly right. But he was, I think, a very senior or maybe a retired GP, and he he he knew that, you know, with his own knowledge that was something up with his heart where, you know, he's, he's, his heart was not working the way it should. So he took himself off to emergency and if you ever been an emergency, you sit down and you're prepared for a long, long flight. But and I found this was quite confronting when he when he wrote this, he said, he sat down there and of course, registered with the nurse and he sat down there and but as a, as an experienced GP, he knew that condition that he had, was not life threatening. But because in that emergency room, they could See what was wrong? And maybe put a stethoscope Oh, okay. Yep, your heart beat is not right yada yada. Yeah. So because they could actually physically see it. And there was an awareness of what it is. He was treated before, as he pointed out, he said there was a young lady, a teenager, I think he mentioned in the emergency room, and with his knowledge of, of mental health, he looked at her. And by his own admission, he knew that she, she was in a far more serious predicament, she needed help immediately. But because maybe, and this is no fault of people within that emergency room, but because they couldn't. It was a mental health issue. And they weren't entirely aware of what it is. He was the priority over her. And when we talk about education, and money and resources, and whatever, we need to be in a place where there were maybe that young lady isn't in the emergency room at a hospital, she needs to be somewhere else, where some when she walks in, and whoever's doing the admissions looks at her and says, You're coming with us. Okay, we can see, or we're going to talk to you for 10 minutes. In here, now,Joel Kleber:
yeah, I completely agree with you, Brad. And sorry, he had as well, but he also did nothing which frustrates me is you have to go to a GP to say you're depressed or anxious to get the referral to then go get this session six sessions then come by Medicare, which I think's ridiculous. Why do you have to go to a GP, to get a referral. And because a lot of blokes won't do that, a lot of people won't do that. They feel embarrassed to do that. So you're adding an unnecessary step between where they can get help, you know, and then that there's one thing like that, but I the emergency stuff I can completely relate to because Mum, mum, my mum being bipolar and, and quite, quite significant with hers, too, she would always so what really frustrated me, it's, it's still probably the same case. And a lot of people watching this probably know if they've got a bipolar, paranoid schizophrenic, you know, when they're about to go over the edge. So my mom has more manic so i'd know when she's about to go medic. So you all tell me uncle or whatever, and say hi, she's, you know, she's not well, she needs to go to hospital. And you would tell the hospital tell them, you know, say board nine or whatever. Now we have to wait till she gets made involuntary. So they have to wait till she gets sick enough to she does crazy stuff until the police are called or you have to call the ambulance, then take it to the emergency the way but then have to give her a psych assessment in the emergency room, even though she's got 40 years of internet hospitalizations, but no, no, you have to have a psych assessment. And her eyes are going on like this. And, you know, the nurses are getting real short with her. And she doesn't want to be restrained on the sort of stuff just to get them into the where they need to go. So you put in all these barriers, all these little rent, you know, these tick boxes just to get? Yes, like, for me, it's just crazy. Why do we have these barriers in place between what they actually need and the help? Because there's some government regulation or bullcrap, you know, it's just, it's just ridiculous. And I'd real fresh, really frustrating hearing that. But I can completely relate to that. I'm sure there are people watching this cat as well. And it's like, why is that? Why is now an objectively obsessive assessing this stuff? And God is questioning it. Why is it the accepted thing when we NASA best? That's the questioning I don't see happening enough. You know, and even though there's a royal commission to mental health, you know, what's actually going to happen? However, you know, I don't know, because the systems in place doesn't work, Carolyn. And something that I don't know what the answer is. And it's really frustrating hearing that story you said because I can completely relate to that. I'm sure a lot of other people can.Brad McEwan:
Yeah, and I would. There's been a lot of you know, and I'm all about talking and listening, talking and listening really important. But there comes a point where we need to say enough of the talking and enough of the listening. It's now about the doing. And for the sake of people and families that are suffering right now with mental health conditions, illnesses. And remember that as we know, we're in any family. It's an individual can have a mental illness or a mental health issue. But it impacts every master. So everyone Yeah. So talking, great listening, great. Let's get doing. Let's let's get doing and I know that we are doing bits and pieces and we can renewing? Absolutely. And this is I'm not, I'm not talking about everyone. But I certainly think that there comes a point where you know, the work that I know that beyond blue satellite, whatever and so many different mental health groups are doing headspace has been doing great stuff for a long time, for example, however, overall, and from a government perspective, let's get doing. Absolutely,Joel Kleber:
I'd love to see changes from a psychopath. So the psyche, the psychology, the psych, the psychiatrist experiences, I've been involved in a lot of them. And the reason why I didn't do anything about my own meant to be a mental issues body deal with what I went through as a younger person till I was 29. Because I hated psychologists, I hated psychiatry, because they were the ones taking my parents away, I'm sure that's what a lot of people might assume expensable will still feel as well. But I'm being told by like rows, and some other people, like the psychologist or psychiatrist is the child or the family doesn't come into their consideration, let's want to treat the person, you're going to treat the family. And that's what doesn't get as it needs to be a holistic treatment now, now this person, one person might have mental illness, but the way you treat it is you treat the whole family, if there's kids involved, you've got to look after the kids with maybe not taking them into a psych ward to see if someone who's unwell or you've got to provide support for the data for the mom, or for whoever's looking after the you know, like, there's, there's no extra extra things around it, which is really frustrating, which is why satellites, great because they're doing something, you know, first, I don't think that the way they treat these things that they take is such a singular approach. And all right, we can make that person better. But we know people with bipolar schizophrenia, they think they're better, once they feel better, and they stop taking their medication, then back to square one. But there's no support around it. And it's quite frustrating, because they know, and they acknowledge these things, and there's these things slowly coming into it. It's just, it's just, I just don't see how they can, why don't I why I just like to make a whole more holistic solution to when I treat mental health with serious mental health issues.Brad McEwan:
Well, and and, you know, I was on a forum with Georgie Harmon beyondblue CEO earlier this year, and, you know, when we're talking about mental health and suicide, and whatever, and yeah, she made the point like, listening to you talk that she said that we need, we need to be listening. The the experts, and she went, when Georgia started talking about this something, you know, this is interesting with these, Karen, she said, the experts, we need to be listening to the experts, and the experts, the experts when it comes to mental health, and how it impacts families, howJoel Kleber:
you were made. Exactly, exactly. And that's the whole reason why I do this one, thank you for doing this. The whole reason why this we're discussing this is because the content in this space that I see is from a psychologist who hasn't gone through it telling me the three things, people growing up with mental illness, mentally ill parents experience, but I've never had it themselves. I don't want to hear from you. I want to hear from people who have lived it, who have gone on to achieve great things like yourself, and how hasn't, you know how you your story? That's, that's what will help people, not not these Yes, not say bureaucrats, but the psychologists or psych psychiatric people, or people in the field who have not lived it, you might work with people who haven't, but until they leave that experience, it's very hard for them to enter really not. And that's why lived experience stories and lived experience x while they're called lived experts, you know, getting that content out there is what we need to do more because I think it's the only thing that's going to really help.Brad McEwan:
And and to point out, though, you know, and let you know, we talk generally of and of course, we're always going to have frustrations, we always will. But there are and let's acknowledge that, you know, we talk about that it's so important to hear the stories of people with lived experience, but in regards to mental health professionals, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, whatever, and I, you know, your family, my family that, you know, we are indebted, I have to so many of the mental health professionals that honestly and I know this from experience, it was like, you know, we've had experiences where it's like it's not about the money, don't worry about the money will we're going to do whatever we can to fix this problem. And you just, you are just so grateful. Because as you know, there are so many people within mental health that are just they will do whatever they can to help.Joel Kleber:
Absolutely with a mental health nurses command can be very frustrating, very frustrating. And I've never seen so much patience on the person exercise and this is not just one person. This is all of them and mental health nurses have been very, very grateful for because just how much care and compassion in my show from really frustrating situations because I'll be frustrated in a minute and I just I just don't. They're just amazing people. They are amazing people.Brad McEwan:
I think nurses across the board. I guess absolutelyJoel Kleber:
in general, especially with what's been going on, you know, and yeah, they're just amazing people on a set like I was having to go the systems and definitely not frustrated by it. But um, yeah, definitely that the mental health nurses and nurses in general who deal with this thing as becoming more si nurses in general, you know, from your background as well, it's becoming a lot more prevalent in the general health system, isn't it? From your knowledge, like attend to nurses, the privacy of the of a broken leg, we do have a broken arm, whereas now they're dealing with people presenting with? Yeah, that's right. A lot more than than was in the past.Brad McEwan:
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I think that, yeah, that the those nurses that just I think that, from my experience, the greatest, the greatest thing, and the greatest gift that, that nurses have, or anyone in society has is to, to listen, just to listen, and care and understand. And hear what you are saying or hear why why are you worried or hear your fees? It means everything doesn't? Absolutely, it just means everything. And even for someone for someone to take the time out to listen, you know, when you're when you're when you're in a bad place. And, you know, you remember that forever? Really doJoel Kleber:
now with your so you changed your career? Because after 20 years, or 20?Brad McEwan:
Yeah, in broadcast media and 25 yearsJoel Kleber:
now what what are you doing? Like, what prompted you to change? Or what? Did you do a lot of workshops now in the mental health space and stuff like that? So yeah, was that something you consciously made the decision you want to go and do or?Brad McEwan:
No, I think I was just a little bit, I needed to change, and I was a bit tired and worn out. And, you know, I think maybe I could just feel it, you know, even my mental health wasn't great. So I thought, well, hang on, I can't be telling everyone to look out for their own mental health. And I look after my mental health. And yeah, I just I knew I listened to my gap all the time. And I just needed time out. And I had time out. And, and for me, it was a chance to just take stock and think about Okay, well, this is what I've been doing. What I want to do now, because the thing that, you know, I say to everyone is, you know, when I started in media, I was in my mid 20s, full when I moved out of media, I was in my late 40s. So yes, I'm the same person. But I'm not the same person. What was important to me, then, is not what is important to me now. And covering primarily sport was unbelievable. It was so much fun. And I enjoyed every minute of it. But that's not what I want to do now. And you know, and I've read a lot about this, you know, when people change careers, or they get to a point where they go, Oh, hang on, you know, what can I really do now to make a difference. So doing the workshops around mental health, sharing our story, and whatever is something that I just love. I love being an ambassador for beyond blue, being an ambassador for satellite Foundation, you know, we had a workshop earlier in the year and at the end of it. Rose and I had a chat on the phone. And I said to her, like I said, that's this is almost the best feeling I've ever had all year. Just because of of the connection that we had with the kids and a conversation and sharing our stories and our laughter. Our laughter that's one thing that and that's a really big thing that I talk to people about all the time is that, you know, one of the most powerful things that I have when I talk to people around mental health and well being is it's that is a sense of humor, you know, is being able to laugh being able to smile. Sabina read, a well known psychologist wrote a piece in ba The Sydney Morning Herald last year, and I think the the headline was finding the right counsel is a bit like dating and I agree, you would know. It's not like, oh, you're a psychologist. This is gonna work. It's got to be the right fit. It's gonna be like DaveJoel Kleber:
Campbell. Absolutely. Yeah.Brad McEwan:
But the other thing is, she said in the article, which I quote her a lot is that she said every, every counseling session must include generous dollops of laughter because as she points out, that's not making light of the content. They're sick. Clearly. I know that but How on earth are you ever going to go back? If it's not just a little bit enjoyable? You know, it'd be like if somebody said, I want you to keep going to the dentist and getting your teeth out, you'd be going, What? But But imagine if they said, Well, actually, we'll take a tooth out, and we'll then we'll watch movies and a lot of junk food, which would be completely pointless, pointless going to the dentist. But same thing, if you've got a counselor, psychologist, psychologist, whatever it can be, and you actually, you might spend the first 15 minutes talking about the 40, telling jokes, whatever, you know, and then you get into your staff, and then maybe you move on talk about your favorite recipe and you catch up and you go, God, I love talking to God, he makes me laugh, what are you going to do? You're going to go back, you're going to go back. So again, I think, I know a sense of humor is is is so important.Joel Kleber:
So draw out a frame of reference, I thought of that before, but that's a great writer. For people, I think it's a great bit of advice, to look back on your situation growing up, or you know, and there'll be certain moments where you cringe at the time, but now you can reframe it and go Geez, that he was not, that was actually pretty funny. That qwirkle that behavior or that incident, whatever. reframing that, in your mind, as you get a bit older, can definitely, I think, really help you that's a great bit of advice. I never really thought about that. Until just literally then.Brad McEwan:
Well, you know, again, and again, this is not making light or disrespecting mental health issues, far from its mental health is something that I'm so passionate about. But I remember years ago, also watching the film kasi with Barry Otto, and I think David wenham, and Rachel Griffith. And for those that have seen it, you know, it's a it's about a whole number of people with mental health issues, but it is it it's essentially a comedy, and it's very entertaining. And, and you laugh. And I remember I often think about that stuff. And I think, you know, even when my mental health hasn't been great. I think of things that make me laugh or even managed to find and again, my, my perception about my own behavior. I try and look at it in a light hearted kind of way. You know, and it's funny, as soon as you change your perception around, you know, I know with with myself and my CD and whatever. And I find myself if I can find something, or something that I've done in the past, that that makes me laugh makes me smile, I feel better. It helps it helps me and helps meJoel Kleber:
faster. That's a great advice, the reframe that. And just to make that into a humorous thing. Absolutely. It's really practical advice. Now, what I want to touch on real quickly is when you do those workshops in especially in corporate environments, what are some common things you're finding or some misunderstandings or lack of awareness around? Or what some of your takeaways from doing those corporate sort of mental health wellbeing sort of forms your home?Brad McEwan:
It's a good question. It's a good question, I suppose. And most people, I mean, it's been a big part of my life, but you know, a lot of people not everyone, but certainly a lot of people aren't fully across sort of, you know, mental health and well being and, and, you know, even just some of the signs and the symptoms, but people often ask, which I understand is really, a difficult question is, you know, what to do? How do we help someone if we are worried about them? You know, because that can be or how do we have that conversation? And that can be really difficult can be really daunting. You know, but as I often say to people to reach out and, and ask someone, are you okay, or you know, be worried about your don't seem yourself yet. Yeah, you haven't been turning up that. I've never, ever had anyone respond negatively, by me asking. So I think what we can establish there I know from my own experience is at the very least they are people attached that you you take the time to ask just and it might not be anything it might it might be something Oh, I'm just really exhausted. I've just got a lot on my plate yada yada. Yeah. But even just to say and we do it now you know, when are you okay? day we often make an effort. Are you okay? Are you okay? But to reach out and ask if someone really is okay often or just checking in on them. It's, it's a well, it's an act of kindness, isn't it? It's an act of kindness because you're saying hey, I care enough about you and I want to make sure that you're okay. And you know, in regards to well being, I can't remember the the actual quote, but the To celebrate it to psychologist and author Martin Seligman, you know, he says that the single the single most powerful act that we can do to improve somebody's well being is an act of kindness. You know, and so, you know, just by, as I often say to people in the workplace in particular, and you know, a lot of people are working remotely at home or whatever, we don't know, we don't really know what's going on in other people's lives, unless we're asking and they're letting us in. And again, how much are they letting us in. But to reach out, and to even, you know, I talked about the power of the compliment, just to say to someone who might be you might not know, but they're, they might be in an awful place. But just just to give them a compliment, to make an effort to ring them to email them and say, Hey, john, you know, that presentation you delivered today, that was outstanding, that some of the best work I have ever seen, we are so lucky to have you. What I know for sure is that he's going to make that person feel good. It's going to pick them up, is it going to pick them up for an hour? The day a week, a month? Is it going to be the difference that just springboards that person into into being in a better place getting the help that they need? theonomy and and I think when we saw during COVID, didn't we that you know those those act random acts of kindness everywhere that really touched so many people? You know, it's they are so, so powerful. So, you know, my message to so many different workplaces is nothing is ever too small. You know, you can you can you can help someone. I'll go back to we open with Sandra, Sally, I remember when we started working together in Sydney at the end of every news bulletin. I'd watch said she would walk around in ruin everyone in the newsroom and say thank you. Thank you. And even if someone made a mistake, or sorry, I had that wrong graphic. She's saying, That's all right. That's all good, all made mistakes. So all of a sudden, they feel better. So after seeing Sandra do that, I took that on as well. And if I had a bad day at work or reading the news, and I made a heap of mistakes, by getting up out of my chair, and walking around the newsroom and thanking everyone, and people smiling at me and saying, oh, thank you so much. Yeah, I felt better. And I wasn't thinking about my mistakes anymore. So, you know, we don't need to be, we don't need to be mental health experts to have a real impact on the people around us and our own mental health. It's notJoel Kleber:
a hard thing at all isn't really that different, not a hard thing at all. It's under the payment of theory, but it is a form of leadership as well. 100% it is.Brad McEwan:
And one thing that I'm really big on is, and we see this all the time in particularly in in workplaces, not every workplace and I do believe that the culture, the culture is moving. And those organizations that don't embrace a caring, nurturing culture are going to get left behind completely agree die. Because I tell you, business leaders, and CEOs and managers and whatever that thing, it's just all about money, and it's just all about profits. You You're in for a whole lot of pain there. Because I'll tell you what it's all about. It's all about people. And the most you know people say are the most important, our customers the most important, but no, they're notJoel Kleber:
give you a great example. This is a company called Canva, which is a unicorn style camera. Melanie Perkins, I think she's my age 32. So I'm Yeah, what I'm doing my life, but she say $2 billion company, right? But you just see that company in the culture from the outside in, because it's got a young leader who takes this stuff seriously. Right? I completely agree companies. I'm not going to be agency, but I will be you know that the 60 year old one he just completed with the bottom line and just wants to drive everyone hard and just smashing. It's not going to be around for much longer. I just can't see how those places survive, regardless of how big the institution is. I don't think it's going to can go much can go longer. With that sort of attitude. It's a it's a,Brad McEwan:
as I mentioned before, people say it's all about the customers. No, no, no, it's all about people and your people. Because when your people know that they're appreciated and you care for them, whatever. They want to go the extra Yeah, and that's not why you're doing it, you actually want to do it because you care for them. We did a video series earlier in the year for ANZ bank, called the well being conversation and one conversation we had one of the participants was Some don't price from Atlassian. And, and Don was saying, which is so, so true. Don was saying, Are you know, people say to him, are you working at Atlassian? You're in the the tech software business? And he says, No, no, we're in the people business. That's what we do. We have people and we look after our people, because, yes, that's what we make. But we can't make anything without the people. So we invest heavily in our people. You know, and what what, you know, research shows now, particularly the, one of the we call it now I get lost millennials, whatever coming through is that it's not about the money. It's not about the money. It's about, it's about profit providing a workplace and a culture where people feel safe and respected. And, you know, there is an understanding and an acceptance of things like mental health. And we've all had those different scenarios, haven't we, you know, yourself, hypothetically, you can take, you can be offered a job for $100,000. In the most incredible organization, like Kansas, somewhere like that, or you can take a job for $150,000 in a place with a reputation as somewhere that's really, really toxic. Only one of them's going to last, is that? And what would you say to your son or daughter, or your sibling or someone you care about? Which job would you tell them to take? And you're 100%, right, those organizations that are living in the past, and they have that culture of winning at all costs, and profits over people.Joel Kleber:
And they can't feel the shame because what they I'm not gonna name these organizations, I love the name we're not going to do. You can't fool the consumers by putting out let's say, a really emotional ad, which, you know, just to get people you know, you can't, consumers are getting smarter. And things like this get out online, right? And then it just completely, people will start shoes. But also, I love what you just said before about the millennials and the gen Gen y's and stuff is because you do there's a sentiment still, you know, Gen millennials, they're lazy, they change jobs all the time, isn't that I just think it's because they don't put up with crap in the workplace. But I put up with garbage. If they don't like something, I'll take action and go somewhere else they might discover for 30 years and get to get the retirement to get there go watch and go. They'll actually just change. It's not because they're not they're lazy or anything. It's because they expect more from workplaces. They expect more from leaders in workplaces and these sorts of things. And it's great. He said, because I think it's not talked about enough. And I'm hoping I think organizations I know, I know one guy I'm going to have on this as well. He's the the health well being and I think mental health or something in a large insurance company. It's great, that created position just for someone to focus on in a company. That's not done enough.Brad McEwan:
It's not but the other thing, too, is from that organization, and no doubt that person the hidden well being and mental health we'll talk about it is it's it's a really smart investment. Because what we also see and research shows us is, you know, for example, we're in a room where, you know, the you don't have electrical cables hanging down, there's not water running down through here is it I'm not going to trip on something there. Like for example, there's there's a lead from the light, well, then Jake, and it's got fluro tape over it and why because it's safe, it's about providing a safe workplace. So if you aren't, and that's about the physical safe now. So if you're not providing that safety in regards to people's mental health and well being and what we are seeing, and he'll be able to talk more about this is that the costs from an insurance perspective in regards to people and you know, being absenteeism, whatever, depression, what, because they are not coping at work, because it's an unhealthy environment. You know, the costs to an organization because of the mental health toll is significant. I mean, you know, we've all read this, then we hear on the news that statistics around the billions of dollars, the billions of dollars, that mental health costs are absolutely business every year. So it's actually impacting those positions created such a long termJoel Kleber:
view, that's a long term view. It's the right view as well. It's just the right thing to do. And companies. Yeah, describe what you just said then because it's it's so short time. It's short term thinking not having people not even caring about Young people in that regard. And it's the same thing, as I say to young people, not trading or not providing the support to the kids or in that, in that young age, cost the economy a lot more down the track, where they're not productive members of society, or they've just taken resources left, right and center. Whereas if you get in, you provide the care, they're saving the workplace provide the key in the workplace, long term, everyone is better off. Alright, it's not a surprise it. I don't know, if I'm being nice, because you work with companies, what are you saying companies are doing in this space? In regards to these positions or support infrastructure they're putting in place, what sort of new positions you're seeing being created?Brad McEwan:
I am seeing that particularly and maybe, you know, we look COVID to being COVID has been incredibly difficult for so many different people in organizations that I'm not always sure that silver linings is that is the right term. But what I suppose I'm saying is that maybe the good that comes out of it is that because of people that have a maybe have been working in isolation, maybe have had financial woes, have lost their job. You know, there's a whole lot of factors there that can lead to them having poor mental health and well being and, you know, they still might be in an organization is that the organizations that get it are doing exactly what you spoke about before with this Insurance Group, you know, finding a role for the mental health and well being because, you know, also from, you know, there might be lots of different sort of mid size or smaller organizations, you know, they have someone in HR, or they have a couple of people in it, HR people and culture, whatever you want to call it, but they're not experts in mental health and well being, you know, so they need a hand with this kind of work. But what we also know is that it's an investment that you have to make, you have to make, because as you say, whatever, whatever you're investing in, now, you get it back, or you save it tenfold down the track. But the other thing is that I would say even going forward is, you know, so many different organizations, and it's a word that I think can be, we can interpret the wrong way people often talk about success. Okay, success. Now, a lot more hypothetical situations. So let's say, I can be the CEO of a company, and we can make $20 million dollars profit. But I also might know, confidentially that because of the demands on the people, and the stress, and their workloads and the general toxic culture, that a significant number of our people have very, very poor mental health. Okay. So some people would say $20 million, that success. You can be another company,Joel Kleber:
you might make a profit of, let's bring it right back. And let's say there's no shareholders. So we're not answering to whoever, let's say to your own company, let's say you, you're making $5 million profit. But your organization has a culture that is widely regarded as one of the best workplace cultures, not only in the state of the country, but in the world. People want to work for your organization, because you care. And you as a boss, you listen and you share your vulnerabilities. And you know, everyone by name, and you ask who they are. Give me that organization over that organization. Any and I don't care if you're that much more successful and you're sitting out on your yacht in the Bahamas, yada, yada, yeah, because you've got that much more money. If I'm running that business, and I know that x amount of people are suffering with their mental health, I don't care how big a yacht I might, I'm not going to sleep. Because I know that it is such a toxic place to be and I'm the boss and the buck risks with me. But knowing that, you know, if you have an organization which people watching this have, they have a workplace where people, people want to go to work, people love going to work, they're so proud to work for that organization. It's not about the money and it's not about how successful they are. It's about the fact That they know that where they work not only from the managers, but their colleagues, whatever everyone is. So it's about caring, caring for one another. That that is success. That is success. And the organizations that don't understand how important that is over, that put profits over people will be left behind.Joel Kleber:
I hope so. And I think it's going to take it's going to definitely take a generational change. And I think people that obviously yourself, but people my age, you know, when we are aware of these issues, you know, as we go into leadership positions in our 50s, and 60s, which is still a while away, I'm hoping that you know, that will be the norm, but there's still going to be a transition period over the next say, 10 to 20 years, where you're going to have really there's a lot of toxic workplaces, and we all know, but I don't think people should appeal at pressures with mortgages and stuff possession accepted as well. Now, if you're in a toxic environment, or culture and like to be in a lot of younger people just go, but a lot of other people don't. So I think people need to start prioritizing themselves. That's why COVID as you said before, you know, the one thing about it, I think some people reevaluated during that time, what do they really want in life? So if they spent more time with their family garden, what am I going buddy 60 or 70 hours a week to earn money when I can't spend time my kids maybe do a bit of a career change? Right? So it's a great time now for people just to reassess. What makes them happy for one. You know, and if you're not in a happy situation, what can you do to changeBrad McEwan:
it? Yeah, and that's right. And in, you're exactly right, what can you do to change it? And, you know, we don't have kids or partner cats, you know, we have a cat muffin. We've had a chat about pets. But, you know, I could I can take that step. So, you know, for anyone watching that, that has financial pressures and requirements and whatever. And it's not that simple. You know, I don't, I don't want anyone to make a decision that they're not prepared to make 100%. You know, everyone has different circumstances. Absolutely, they do. But maybe, maybe just have a conversation, start thinking about, okay, how can what changes do we need to make, so that ultimately, you know, you're happier, your family's is, is is happier, you know, maybe, hopefully, you're, you're bouncing out of bed.Joel Kleber:
I agree, I think everyone deserves to be happy. And I think there's a study account of its income level and happiness level, I think it's 75 grand or something, I think it's 185 or 75 grand, where happiness doesn't change that much, right. So you know, if you are commuting all this way, or you are doing all these extra hours, let's say you have a 200k job, your happiness might actually change that much from if you're earning 75k to 200k. When you go back, maybe only 75k, you can spend that extra hours, if your kids are doing a hobby or doing go down to the football, whatever you want to do. But people because take a step back sometimes to realize that, and I'm sort of hoping this sort of time that a lot of people have done and I know a few friends have done I've done it myself. So stepping back looking at, you know, how to be happy, what will make me happy? How do I facilitate that? And that's why do you think that experience when you're young, as you said at the right at the start, how you had realized how short life was and just go for it? Right? Do you think sort of now as more people have been forced to sort of take on that attitude?Brad McEwan:
Yeah, well, yeah, I mean, one of the things I've, I know, that I feel out of COVID is that is secure as we might feel in in life. What COVID has shown is that the world is actually and society is a lot more fragile than we actually might think. You know, it's, it's, you know, this has been massive, clearly, but, you know, the world that we knew a year ago, is so different, so different to what we are experiencing now. So, yeah, you know, I encourage anyone to follow their dreams and work hard and, or even maybe work smarter and do what they want to do, but and maybe this might be the catalyst to in regards to COVID, you know, in regards to developing a level of resilience, that people can then maybe go Oh, hang on, hang on. We've got through this year, it's been really difficult. We'll be like I talked about earlier with what we went through was like, Well, no, hang on. I got through that I can get through anything. So maybe you get through this year. You're going Oh, hang on. Let's Let's use this as the launching pad for something a bit special. Yeah, I did a video a number of number of years from my hometown, we did a video for the twelves. at the high school, because I think you know, it clearly he like, you know, everyone during year 12 throughout the world, if we're looking at that as a big sort of finale for them in regards to their education at that level, it wasn't what they thought it would be. So we can look upon that as glass half empty. Okay, year 12. Everyone else got to experience ABC DNA. True. But what if the glass is half empty, or half full. And that is that I mean, you've actually done the 12. In the most incredible circumstances, you really have homeschooling for a fair chunk of the year, working online. So many of those students, because of this year will have developed a level of resilience and probably a connection to everyone within their group that they will never have had. And going, again, back to what we were saying before is that this year, this COVID year might be the making of the rest of their life. Because they're going to look back and they're gonna go, that was crap. Go through it. And not only that, I know, I know, john, from a year that I didn't really know I we have the tightest bond for ever. They will look back and go, are you did you too? Well, that can be 70. Tell us about school? Well, we were the COVID yet well, really? What was that like? Well, you know what, we still keep in touch. And we have this bond, that we have been thick as thieves. We made a pact to each other to look after each other in year 12. And we have been we've had that same packed every year since.Joel Kleber:
Wow. Absolutely. That's a great way to frame it. And because most people in business, if you ask them, what's the number one key to success, I will say resilience, or being able to bounce back from failure. And everyone has been forced to develop some resilience during this stage. I remember I was listening to an interview with a singer as a technical director from Barcelona. And they said they asked him I said, What? How do you determine who's going to be a good you know, who's going to go to be professional or not? And it wasn't nothing to do with skill or you know, athletic ability and he says resilience? how resilient is the pliable generally determine if they're successful, as a professional or not? You know, and I think that's a great way to frame is that everyone's been forced to be resilient, you know, in some may be better than others. But everyone has got that resilience now, to then go on and springboard and hopefully in 2021,Brad McEwan:
there was a great example of that in sport. Recently, I read their job where Greg Chappell wrote a piece in the paper about willpower kowski, who, clearly a prodigious talent, and has had a number of head knocks which have affected his mental health and well being. And as Greg Chappell pointed out, people assume that because of what will and again, we don't know what will happen, we certainly wish we'll all the very best. But as we be here now, in December 18 2020. He's had a lot of things to deal with. And people assume that because of all of these head knocks, rather than maybe head off into the stratosphere, there'll be a roadblock there. And it's going to prevent him from achieving everything that a combination of his hard work and talent means that he might achieve great things. But Greg Chappell points out that he's doing at a very young age, he's been doing mindfulness exercise, and he has an awareness. And he he, he acknowledged there, I think we'll see where over the last 12 months a while back there. He wasn't doing the work here we talk about you got to work on your physical health. He wasn't doing the work on his mental health, and the daily things that he needs to make sure that he's on top of things. So he's got into a structure where he has to do this all the time. And Greg Chappell points out, because of everything, this is not going to hold we'll back this. This will be the making of him. Because of of what he's had to deal with, this will give him a level of resilience. He would never have imagined again, that's what we hope will happen, you know, barring any other injuries or head knocks or whatever, but, and that's the way we have to look at things in Not this year for so many people crap. Next year, I reckon it's going to be a lot better.Joel Kleber:
I completely agree. That's the way you've got to look at your experiences as well. So if you're a young person watching this or a teenager, and you think you're in the worst situation ever, you're in a such a highly, let's say, stressed or traumatized environment where you've got to be resilient to get through it. And once you come out the other side of it, you know, the world's your oyster, you're going to have skills, or you're going to have characteristics, which other people do not have. Because they might have, let's say, easier than your whatever. Whereas those people in our situations or whatever you have, that you don't realize until you get a bit older, I realize that a lot older, but you end up sort of being almost thankful for, you know, you sort of growing up thinking I kind of had the family like that person or whatever. But then as you get older, you think now now I like what I walked away in a life that I had to go through that, because now I've got these abilities. And that's the way I think people in especially mental health and mental health, it would be families, the young people, the teenagers and everybody that have to look at it that way. And then once you do look at it that way, you then you probably just got a great springboard to go and do whatever you want, which is what you said at the start, which is how you viewed it from a really, really early age, which is, which is a matter of absolute credit to because I don't think a lot of people get to that stage ever, you know, it's just something I just wish people reframe that and, and start looking at their situations and then taking what they can from it to then springboard him into some success or a lot of success in your situation?Brad McEwan:
Well, I think, you know, one of the really obvious things there is, you know, when you go through have an experience with with any families impacted by mental health issues, or mental illness, like we have been is that you develop a level, a high level, I would suggest have empathy. And you look at the world now, and whether it be in a leadership position, or in any workplace, whatever, just as a human being one of the most important qualities, traits, whatever you want to call it, skills is skill, empathy, empathy, to, to really, really understand. And Kate, you know, if a lot of people will be familiar with the Resilience Project, and Hugh and his great work, and you know, I read his book and is absolutely fantastic. But you know, it's all for him. It's about gratitude, empathy, and mindfulness. And when we're talking about, you know, empathy, it is so powerful, just to, to care for people to kick you know, and when you care for so many people, and you can take the, you know, carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, because you worry about everyone, but it is just so important. And we've seen that now, in particular in the COVID year,Joel Kleber:
well, I hope more leaders in business, start realizing that they become more empathetic, because I think the traditional leaders in workplaces are really high IQ people still and very business people and probably lack the EQ. Whereas, you know, hopefully, there's going to be a shift towards having more boards are going to put in place more leaders with, let's say, demonstrate higher sense or higher ability of emotional intelligence, which I think what's really needed is still still far away a way of thinking beyond traditional business sense.Brad McEwan:
Yeah, yeah. And you know, a big part of that is is is about, you know, you take off the mask, I take off the mask, and it's latest taking off the mask as well. And, you know, I mentioned that ANZ will be in conversation that that we filmed earlier during the year and our first episode, there was myself, I was co hosting with Dylan Alcott, Liz Ellis, the nipple great was on and Shane Elliot, the ANZ CEO, who's just such an impressive person, leader, but first and foremost person. And I said to Shane, that was one of the first questions is through COVID How do you find that balance between Hey, I'm the boss, I'm the leader. You know, we got this we got you. It's gonna be okay. Versus You know what, I've got my crap to, you know, I have my vulnerabilities and and you know yourself you know, if you're working in an organization and you do walk in and you know, look, I'm struggling with this that whatever product Don't worry, he'll be right. We got this, we get the help you need yada yada, yeah. Or do you want to walk into the boss and say, I'm really struggling with this and the boss looks at you and goes, Okay, sit down, closes the door, looks at you and says, Mater you've struggled with this, this and this. Well, I've struggled with that that and that. What have you got in an instant, you have got a connection. That will mean the world to both of you. And in an instant, you are going to maybe you didn't need that know that person, that leader, all that well. But in an instant, you're going to look at them and say wow, gosh Speak to you.Joel Kleber:
That's a new style of leadership, though, isn't it? And I'm hoping that stuff gets taught in universities and stuff when they do their management degrees and stuff. Those are the things that need to be taught, especially in schools as well, you know, empathy and critical thinking and stuff like that. But I really do hope that the shift, often, the new leader, who comes into these, let's say, more traditional institutions, demonstrates that it's great to hear that it's absolutely, really, if anyone is a leader in their business, please take that on board.Brad McEwan:
Well, again, well, for me, it's really simple jawless like, you know, it's not about you know, you come in and work, you hit your goals and your commissions, or you're out here,Joel Kleber:
which happens a lot. Still does, still does.Brad McEwan:
appallingly, it's, as I often say, the magic happens when people want to go to work as opposed to have to go to work. And when when you know, when you know that, that the people around you at whatever level when they care, when they want the best for you. You just do it anyway. Well, you you don't you don't have to be told to you need to hit the commit, you're just gonna do it. You are just going to do it.Joel Kleber:
So naturally, maybe just touch on quickly. What are you currently doing? What? So you've mentioned beyondblue, and satellite as well, what do you what else are you doing? What projects you're working on? yet? Well,Brad McEwan:
I'm working on we're doing some with the help of a mate, we're doing some sort of deeper, I suppose. Work with different sort of corporate groups, which is, which is a lot of fun. I still do the the one on one sort of webinar type of stuff around everything from mental health and well being resilience and perspective, whatever that might be. I do a, you know, I do a presentation on the power of kindness. You know, really?Joel Kleber:
Yeah. Okay. That's awesome.Brad McEwan:
Yeah. Which, again, you know, we surprise peopleJoel Kleber:
that walk across, say, surprise, but it's great to see that businesses are engaging young people to actually change their workplace and into in demand or take something like that all explained to them like that.Brad McEwan:
Yeah, no, I, I talked to different people. About kindness, I delivered, I delivered a presentation for a fella that, you know, some people watching this might know Craig Harper, who's got the you project, really popular podcast, and I did the talk around kindness. It was great. I really enjoyed it was really great. The feedback, the feedback, you know, and I'm not speaking at a school because I won't say who it was. And but I got an email from someone saying, Brad, I was in the audience. My anxiety has been really, really, really bad lately. And listening to you talk about kindness, made a world of difference. And when you when you get that feedback, like it's sort of my stomach just goes well, like, my heart sort of skips a beat. And I think, well, I had the impact on someone, but Tokyo unkindness, and pardon me because my backgrounds in broadcast media, I like to incorporate different things like, um, you know, video and, and music. I like to, you know, I suppose it's like a 360 storytelling view, use the different things that, you know, I love to talk to people, because that has an impact, but music, music and pictures can can take that message to another level. So yeah, that's, that's what I've been doing. We've got a few couple of little podcasts sort of ideas we're working on that we're really excited about. But and again, this goes back to, you know, leaving my full time job where I needed to be in there at nine o'clock. And again, I actually I'm a creature of habit, and I love being in there for most of the nearly 20 years. But now to wake up like tonight, it's a Friday morning, I go grab a coffee and I come and meet you and sit here and, and, and talk about mental health and well being. And for me, that's the essence of when you take that leap of faith. what it's all about is it's about having that freedom. The one thing I would say, in this sort of talks even around my whole well being as well as everyone's different and as much as I loved the regularity of going into work every day is I do I have always felt whenever I go into a workplace on a need to be there and and I like to be there and be punctual, whatever but Part of me always felt like a caged bird. You know, and I just find now that sort of, I'm out of the cage, and I get to choose, you know, what are what I want to do on what day and whatever. Not always, you know, but they have that freedom and how it impacts my well being in a positive way. is just fabulous. It's fantasticJoel Kleber:
to hear. Now what what do you get up in your free time? What do you do? What do you like to do now?Brad McEwan:
Probably my favorite thing is cooking.Joel Kleber:
Cooking. Yeah,Brad McEwan:
I find cooking is a fantastic way to relax. Unless you're feeling a whole heap of people. Things are burning in the oven. But no, I love cooking. I love the creativity of cooking. I love listening to music. I love driving. We I love sitting on the chair, reading a book cuddling a cat muffin. We love traveling. Family, friends, coffee.Joel Kleber:
Yeah. And we just want to just clear up a room. So a lot of people would think sometimes that do you wear pants underneath the desk when you're broadcasting back in the day? Or are there times where you could just wear some shorts and some flip flops in a way? Yeah.Brad McEwan:
If it was suit and tie here, often, it might just be sort of jeans and a, you know a pair of Tiger runners like I'm wearing now. But as I spoke to you and Jake, earlier, there was once when I was sitting on a beach and the newsreader wasn't well. So I did read the news that night with boardshort on and thongs on and sand between my toes. And that was that was that was really cool.Joel Kleber:
That's really nice. Is there any sort of there? Where can people find you? Or the organization's you're involved with what what are their websites? What can they look up? And help?Brad McEwan:
Yeah, well, we've just we're working with a had a website, and we're just revamping it, but you can anyone wants to email me, they can just email me, Brad at Brad mcewen.com. And it's got my contacts on there. And feel free to get in touch. And if I can, if I can help in any way, that'd be great.Joel Kleber:
Fantastic. So I really do appreciate your time we've gone from more than an hour and a half. I really do appreciate your time and your generosity income and coming out here and doing this and just your openness as well. I just wish there was so many more people like you who have had some profiles and stuff to just share their story. And I hope if anyone's watching this or wants to reach out, please reach out to Brad on his website, if you do want to reach out as you can reach out to me as well put everything in the link. And also thanks to Jay for setting this up. But once again, Brad, thanks for coming out. I really do appreciate this. And I hope this helps someoneBrad McEwan:
oh I every time we talk about mental health and well being and it does help someone and you know, I know that you do a fantastic job. And you really are an open book as well talking about how mental health is impacted your family. So again, to quote mom, a problem shared is a problem. So good to chat. Thank you.Joel Kleber:
Thanks. Thanks for listening to another episode of the lived experience podcast. If you do me a favor, make sure you leave a rating or review on wherever you listen to podcasts. If you will put the show notes you can find the links to the various social media I'd love to hear from you. Good, bad, indifferent, otherwise, who I should interview next. Any tips for improvement, anything at all? Please connect with me. I'd really love to know your stories as well. If you do have them, drop them in the comments or send me a message. But Thanks again guys. And we'll see you again next week.
Beyond Blue Ambassador, Mental Health Consultant and
Brad is a Satellite Foundation and beyondblue ambassador and is passionate about continuing the vital communication surrounding mental health. Brad is a sports journalist and tv and radio presenter and loves meeting people, hearing their stories and telling their stories. As he often says, “everyone has a story to tell, you just have to find out what it is”. His three greatest loves are family, the Carlton FC, and cooking.