Are you a role model?


When we are younger, we all have people we look up to.

In the middle of 2013, I was sitting underneath the grandstand at Victoria Park, preparing to run out and play a game of football for the team I grew up following. It would have been about my 20th VFL game for Collingwood when our coach, Dale Tapping, said something that has stuck with me since. “Hard work has a funny way of paying you back” Taps was certainly someone I looked up to and these 10 words have served me well over the past 7 years.

When we are younger, we all have people we look up to.

Sports stars, Movie Heroes, Astronauts and our parents. Just to name a few.

We see them on the sporting field, the big screen, we place them on a pedestal because their success stirs something inside us. To us, they are perfect, they are our heroes, our role models. We believe that they can do no wrong. They are who we aspire to be.

As we move through the different chapters of our life, from infancy to childhood to adolesence to adulthood to parenthood to being an elder, the curtain is pulled back on our heroes as we realise that they are just regular humans doing good things. They are fallible but they are doing their best, just as we are.

As we grow older, Heroes are replaced with mentors, but even the most interesting mentors will only serve us for one or two chapters of our life.

The individuals we look up to will change as we change, we will strive to emulate those who have tread the path that we wish to journey along.

When Virtus first opened, I tried to seek out mentors, people who were a chapter or two ahead of me who I could lean on and learn from.

Now as I move into the parenthood stage, I endeavour to be the best parent I can be to little Lucy.
KP and I are very new at this and we know we can’t do it alone, we need role models to look up to as we continue to be faced with new and exciting challenges.

Rather than looking to the sporting field or the big screen as I may of when I was younger, I now look around me to the people I admire in my own life, parents who I can now watch and learn as they interact with each other and their children to raise kind, resilient and capable humans.

My own parents have been and continue to be incredible role models to my sisters and I, My Aunty Shelby is rasing a little legend Archie and doing a magnificent job, and most of you will know the Johnsons, Brooke and Rhys and how incredible they are with their wonderful children Rye, Jed and Bowie.

These people are just a few of the incredible role models we have in our community. If I can be half the parent these people are, I know Lucy will be in good hands.

A good role model will you teach you two things.

1. The importance of consistency and persistence. They will highlight the value of the small wins, the daily contributions, the impact that long term thinking can have on the person you want to be.
2. They will walk the walk. They take action, they turn knowledge into knowing because they do the work themselves. They share wisdom, sometimes with words, sometimes through action, but they impart something in a way that will stick with you forever.

Either way, acknowledge your role models, thank them, I’m sure they’d appreciate it.

I hope that I can be a good role model to all of you, and to Lucy as she grows up.

But as one of my role models (The Phys) says ‘Hope ain’t a tactic’ It will take action to be that person, and I think I’m up to the task.