It’s been an incredible day of learning about Australian History in both the dark and light side of how our country has come together.
As a proud supporter of the awesome ‘underdog’, I have always been quite into Australian Aboriginal Culture. Over the past few years I have been more and more interested with all this taking a turn for the better at the recent City of Sydney Business Awards.
I was sitting there in the beautiful Sydney Town Hall on my table (with my friend Paula Dunn) watching winners come up and get their wonderful awards. There are all sorts of categories with one being one for “Business Leader”.
It was won by Shane Phillips (the CEO of Tribal Warrior) who was one of the highlights of the night. He was fun, serious, kind and you can tell that he never ever thought he would have won the award. The poor wonderful guy was taken totally off guard and gave an incredibly touching acceptance speech that clearly came from the heart.
Paula and I were so impressed, we had to go and say hello to congratulate him and we became instant pals.
I was then lucky to meet him for lunch and visit ‘Tribal Warrior HQ’ located at the ‘National Centre of Indigenous Excellence’ in Redfern (Inner City Sydney). I caught that train out there and it’s one of those suburbs in heavy gentrification.
The actual centre is an incredible ‘Campus’ with great facilities, gyms, technology and different support services to learn more about this incredibly rich culture. As we met for lunch and I expressed interest in helping and supporting the great project, I learned about their histories.
Shane and some of his mentors told me about what it was like growing up in the mean streets of Redfern, dealing with those external forces who tormented & helped them, losing friends, fighting in extreme situations and their journey of overcoming poverty.
It was quite incredible hearing the stories and I almost couldn’t believe this all just occurred within several kilometres of Sydney CBD and is still playing out today. My own history of problems with PTSD, being homeless and the like sounded like nothing compared to what these very cool guys have been through.
What inspired me about all this was the ‘Tribal Warrior’ project which is a non-profit community organisation which helps youth stay on the ‘straight & narrow’ improving lives, retain aboriginal culture and educate through entertainment and great wonders.
It was really cool in speaking to some of their Mentors who have come from incredibly difficult times themselves. Their lives have clearly been tough, but with faith & strength they have broken out of their own circumstances and spend their lives helping others.
My advice and thinking? I don’t know whatever you are going through, but when you start to see with your own eyes what this community endures daily you really don’t tend to worry about your own problems anymore. It also gets you thinking on how we are responsible for our own situations and as we conquer our own demons we can help others conquer theirs.
We are all dealt certain cards in life and when you boil it down, we have two choices. Go down or fight your way up. I am most certainly in the UP club as these wonderful guys are.
As I write this blog, I am filled with dread & excitement as to a 6AM Wednesday Group Gym Session they invited me too in learning more about what they do. This has me extremely worried in that I am a total softie compared to my hard-ass Military days (from a long time ago).
I pray they go easy on me (lol).
Thank you for the read, smash that & share and thank you Shane Phillips! You rock.