Inspiration in the most unlikely of places – a call from a mate nearly brings me to tears


Inspiring moments can and do take place in the most unlikely of places but I never thought I would have experienced one in a McDonalds drivethru!

The other night Wendy and I went along to the Menslink Midweeker to hear Dr Brendan Nelson talk.  The night was opened by Menslink CEO Martin Fisk who gave an inspiring account of the changes he has seen take place in young men’s lives when they reach out for support.  He referenced a quote from a book they give out to participants in their mentoring program which really resonated with me:

“To be happy in life, find out what you are passionate about and then be passionate about it” from Stuff that Sucks by Ben Sedley

This is so true and what I try to live my life by every day.

Then Dr Brendan Nelson got up to speak.  He was surprisingly humorous for an ex-politician and diplomat and regaled us with numerous stories of his life and people he has met.  He then moved onto more sobering stories of people in his own life who have gone through tough times and how he himself has coped with some of those challenges.

But surprisingly enough, this was not the inspiring moment of the night.  That was still yet to come.

The venue was packed full so we decided that rather than stay there for a meal afterwards as we had planned, we would go to our local football club for a feed and join in the trivia night that is held every Wednesday.  I’m not ashamed to say that we lost miserably.  Only having a two person team really hurt us but we were last by such a long way that I don’t think we can blame it on that entirely.  Oh well we had fun and they say that is all that counts!

So we are leaving the club and I get a call from my mate Stephen Camp better known as Campie or Sherpa.  I have known him since he was an under 18 at the footy club I used to volunteer at and have always got on well.  We share a passion for NHL (American ice hockey, for the uninitiated) and can often be found trading text messages about games currently on, and pretty much anything even vaguely related to the game we love.

He was telling me how he has been doing a lot of reading lately about a guy who players for the Nashville predators called P.K Subban and asked if I’d heard of what he did away from the ice rink.  At this stage I am driving into McDonald’s drive thru to satisfy our late night craving for icecream. For you that don’t know he donates millions each year to the less fortunate. He is an amazing role model both on and off the ice.

Then Campie says that he has been so inspired by what P.K. Subban does that he now wants to donate a portion of the match payments he is receiving for playing AFL to help the less fortunate in the poorest communities in the world.  Campie was there with me when I walked the last few kilometers into Sydney harbour at the end of my walk across Australia in 2013, which meant so much to me, and has heard me talk on numerous occasions about why I am so passionate about ending poverty and how we should be better global citizens.  So I was thrilled to hear that he wanted to do more to help.  He then goes on to say that he has been so inspired by what Wendy & I have done that he wants the money to go to the two projects we are currently raising funds for #walk4water and #walk4malawi.  Inspiration is a funny thing – he’s inspired by me yet I am so very much inspired by him and this act of generosity.  Either way the real winners are those that will benefit in the end.  Well done mate!

Time and time again I am told that I shouldn’t help people overseas and should focus on the “poor” in our country, but to get this call from him was so refreshing it nearly brought a tear to my eye. Not one to take things for granted, Campie appreciates that he is being paid a good amount of money just to play a game that he loves to play and really wants to use that good fortune to help others less fortunate.  So thank you Campie for being such an inspiration and all round great guy. You may never meet the people your donation will help but you can sleep better at night knowing that you are making the world a better place for those not as fortunate as us. Best of luck for the season mate and no pressure but I get back from Africa just before your Grand Final.

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