I had no idea what I wanted to do in high school; I disliked the year advisor asking me what I wanted to do. I left at the end of year 10 and got an apprenticeship as a compositor. That didn’t last for long. I went back to finish year 11 but I had trouble applying myself, so I started as an apprentice electrician. I then I went on to do teaching; I thought it would be a fun gig telling jokes to kids. Turns out there was an oversupply of teachers, so I headed off to Europe. On return there were still no jobs, so I did a Graduate Diploma in Information Processing. Back then, I barely knew what a computer was. A friend got me a job in IT in Canberra 3 months before I was due to finish. I ended up working in IT for 20 years.

In that time I took visit to Melbourne, picked up a book by Steve Biddulph; Manhood. It talked about the plight of men and how we have learnt not to feel our emotions and often have fractured relationships with our fathers. I thought, this is me. I could relate to feeling like I had to hide my emotions. I often masked them in my youth with overtly masculine behaviours like drinking and Rugby. The back of the book listed a Men’s group run by the Men’s Wellbeing Association of Queensland. I went along and attended a few sessions. I was invited to a Men’s weekend North of Brisbane for 3 days. When I arrived, there were guys in flowing gowns hugging each other - hugging me. I was out of my comfort zone. At some point during the weekend I found myself in a canoe with a man who told me he was gay. I was surprised he was so open with me. I realised I had a lot of prejudices to work through; I had grown up in Penrith and was very used to a certain way of being.

That was the beginning of it. I began working through these ideas of who we are meant to be. I wanted to keep the growth process going. I joined an 8-week Men’s program at the Gestalt Centre in Brisbane. “They say the longest journey for men is from their head to their heart”. The journey for me is still going; I continued in IT while I did my 3-year Diploma then started teaching at the Gestalt centre in Brisbane. I then got a position with Juvenile justice, as well as working with a group who ran Rights of passage for young boys and men. Somewhere amongst that, the job with Interrelate came up in Orange. I made two CD’s to get me through the 10-hour drive; Road Trip to Orange One & Road Trip to Orange Two.