Episode 21 - Coming Home, Coming of Age.
From an artistic lad about town with a screw loose, to a selfless family man working as a screw, Matty Battley has seen a bit on his journey; a journey which at 41 years has already come full circle, and starts again every day.
Matty talks about losing a teenage brother in a tragic accident, about receiving some good advice in his 20's to pull his head in, and about mental health in high pressure work places, among much, much more.
This is one of our favorite interviews to date, and we know you'll love it too.
Dare we risk doing an Episode 20 in 2020? Our chat with Bryce was certainly smoother than this year to date, but also eventful.
The boxes in the corner.
When we move to a new house, it's not a home until we've fully unpacked; even that box full of shit that we don't quite know what to do with, but that contains items too significant to through out.
Our mind is similar. As we move through life, and as we inevitably interact with trauma/failure/heartbreak/etc., we can have a tendency to compartmentalize these experiences so that we can quickly get on with life, rather the grieving/understanding/learning. We might not think that it matters, we might even think it is functionally healthy; but eventually we sit still. When we sit still in the house that is our mind, it's these boxes of unresolved trauma that can stop our mind from being a home; that can stop us sitting still and living in the moment.
With a career in TV and Radio Bryce has packed and unpacked an awful lot of boxes for a man of just 30. He has only just recently though, with the help of a supportive work place and a great counselor, started to acknowledge, explore and unpack those within; and it's changing his life. In a year when it's hard to find something to be excited about, Bryce is excited for today, tomorrow, and whatever comes next.
In a world where you could be anything, be a good human.
Gen Z have the world (and the history there of) on the screen in their pocket. They are entrepreneurial, and near impossible to market to. They value experience, yet display the financial maturity & ambition of pre millennial generations. They're politically progressive, and will undoubtedly change the world; and quickly.
This new world of accelerated technology and communication lays a new world of possibility at Gen Z's feet, affording them quite literally the ability to change the world overnight. But how does that translate to the ability to change someone's day? How does potential interact with our inner voice when the tremendous noise of this new world grows silent?
In a world where you can do a rapidly growing anything, what do you do that is fulfilling?
Ryan Maidorn is prime Gen Z, but could very easily be Gen Y. He grew up in the country, where winter means AFL (Lindenow Football & Netball Club) and summer means cricket (Meerlieu Cricket Club) , and boxing (R U Fit with Paul Turk Carroll) fills the free nights and clears the mind. He loves and values his family, and shared times in the great outdoors.
He has a humble job with a very reputable employer (Morelli Furniture and Bedtime) that he takes great pride in, and is extremely thankful for. Ryan comes from Gen Z and can instantly reach 1000's of people with a picture, status or tweet, but it's not what you see of him. He works hard, he looks forward to the future, he smiles in the sun on a beautiful day, and, when he asks you a question, he looks you in the eye patiently, with his ears and heart open.
In a world where Ryan could be anything, his priority is being a good human, and ultimately, is there a single better way to change the world?
Summum bonum. Amor fati. Memento mori. Do the ultimate good. Love fate. Remember death .
Many men in 30's, 40's and beyond, turn to stoicism as a path to a more fulfilling interaction with life. Do what you should, when you should; accept that you don't control the outcome; know that you are ultimately fragile and that life is finite. Accepting this as a man entering one's post prime, feels like a deep exhale. It feels like learning something we biologically know.
But what does stoicism offer a young man barely entering the prime of his life? And, even if he holds the wisdom to believe the merit of the principle, he surely couldn't have been tested thoroughly enough by life to resonate with the deep evolutionary truths of the message surely; could he?
Bailey Ireland is a very interesting young man. He has been raised with optimism & enthusiasm in the face of significant adversity, and now exudes acceptance, compassion, and a healthy lacing of ambition.
Author Steve Biddulph in his book 'The New Manhood' identifies 5 Truths of Manhood, in a list the could be considered a stoic antidote to the absence of coming of age initiations. His list reads:
1. You are going to die.
2. Life is hard.
3. You are not that important.
4. Your life is not about you.
5. You are not in control of the outcome.
At 18 Bailey already knows and accepts these truths, and moves forward into life with excitement, not fraudulently unbreakable, but simple anti-fragile.
Where to begin - this one's a ride; a ride there and back. Not so much a roller coaster ride, but a dusty 460km slog across the Northern Territory dessert on a squealing 2-stoke motocross bike kind of ride.
The stifling heat, the choking dust, the fatiguing vibrations, the ear ringing roar of engines - some times in life you've just got to push your feet into those pegs, narrow your eyes, wind back that throttle and move forward unbroken.
Abused by a friend of the family as a child, going through an explosive divorce and falling out with his daughter, and then having a blow out with his parents/family business partners, Mitch has had plenty of opportunities to stop showing up; but he hasn't. He shows up.
Now Mitch is running his own business, he's chasing around his 2-year-old son who he's raising with the love of his life, he's excited about entering the Finke Desert Race in 2021 (his third), and he's looking to repair those key relationships in his life; because life's too short.
If you do the right things for long enough, life tends to work out. Life's fucking tough sometimes, but again, some times in life you've just got to push your feet into those pegs, narrow your eyes, wind back that throttle and move forward unbroken.
It always feels disingenuous writing a blurb that's near clickbait when you're trying to encourage people to listen to the bloke next door tell his story; so we won't, but that doesn't mean there aren't interesting headlines around this man, simply that the man is more interesting than the headlines.
Jeremy Joiner is a proud Indigenous man and very intelligently informed on current affairs; yet we didn't even touch BLM movement and the current political climate - we explored things in common, not our differences.
Fighting out of Westside MMA, Jeremy is a former XFC Champion and in the very top echelon of Australia's Heavyweight MMA ranks; but we didn't really discuss fighting as a career -that's not why he fights.
A neck fracture, torn intercostal muscles and pending hip surgery, highlight Jeremy's significant list of major recent setbacks; but we definitely didn't talk about excuses - that's not Jeremy'ss style.
On a sunny winter's afternoon, in what was more of a conversation than an interview, Jeremy joined Braden on some patio chairs in the driveway to enjoy some lunch, have a drink, and to discuss their journeys towards being better men through the vehicle of martial arts.
Jeremy is bloody witty, empathetic and articulate. This episode was a lot of fun, and we hope you enjoy it too.
2020 has been a rollercoaster.
This past summer's 'fires of the century' which raged across eastern and southern Australia already feel some years ago. As a former timber industry worker and a man with a couple of degrees and a PhD around marine biology and the effect of climate change on crustaceans, it would have been bloody interesting to talk to Jason about the fires.
In South Eastern Victoria and Southern NSW, a 4-year drought broke after the fires to the extent flooding was an issue. To add to the above credentials, Jason is from a farming family and this would have been something else fascinating to get his insights on.
Covid-19 rolled in and on top of his extensive understanding of biology, Jason resides in Broome, a town heavily reliant on the tourist trade. We wonder what he would have had to say about that?
2020 obviously wasn't done yet, and with the awful death of George Floyd in the US, the global BLM movement put a spotlight on our treatment of our indigenous population. Being that Broome is a gateway to many of our remote north-western indigenous communities, and being that Jason, among other professional responsibilities, teaches the business aspects of aquaculture to the local traditional landowners, we can't help but think it would be amazing to get his take on the state of the closing the gap efforts.
With the above absorbed and considering Jason is married to an incredible lady with whom he awaits the arrival of twins, that he has a great job he loves and that he has a strong friend network, it could almost seem a waste to discuss with Jason to be the ups and downs of being a man.
Braden probably felt the same, but 5 minutes in he had to pick up his jaw off the floor. Jason is a genuine, empathetic, generous and very intelligent man; but life still found him, as it does us all. Buckle in.
The apple may fall far from the tree, but it's still an apple.
How does the son of a pharmacist mum and a factory worker father from Mysore in South-West Indian end up in Perth opening an authentic street food restaurant and building his own family? Simple really, through modelling the same ethos of hard work that he watched his mum and dad put in to ensure he and his brother had every opportunity in life as they grew up.
Ashish Chibba holds a Masters Degree in Hotel Management, and after quickly building a formidable CV in the broader Hospitality & Project Management field, he backed himself to go it alone, and in typical Ash fashion, one business was never going to be enough. Ash now has 3 diverse businesses on the go (Including Street Eats Eatery), whilst trying to raise two young boys with his highly intelligent, supportive & beautiful wife, Ashu.
Whilst Ash's drive makes it all but inevitable that he will build a beautiful life for the four of them, he and Ashu are working hard together to ensure he takes time to enjoy the beauty of their life today - and there is a lesson in that for us all.
When you meet a bloke who has a gorgeous family of 5, an elegant double story house, is the GM of a rapidly growing company, and plays weekly at one of Australia's top golf courses, you assume you're looking at someone who has taken a fairly consistent path through life.
However, while Colin Ross's obsession for working hard originated in his late teens, it took until his early 30's until he could move past other addictions and move forward with life.
As it seems we do every week, we cover an awful lot of topics with Colin, from losing a friend to a heroin OD and falling behind on your tick, to amicably co-parenting in a blended family and the importance of local sports clubs.
Honesty, bluntness and empathy are a rare mix, a mix that Colin exudes and a mix that make this episode fairly entrancing.
How the hell does a wee Scottish lad from a Labour/Nationalist factory town end up in Alice Springs, married to a conservative-leaning indigenous Australian?
In an episode topical to the current political divide and racial discussion across the Western World, Colin explains to us how while he’d never judged someone on their skin colour, he now understands how our indigenous people have traditionally sorted by skin type.
After an abusive upbringing and a toxic love affair with drugs and alcohol, Colin somehow wound up in the heart of Australia, sober, a proud husband and father, and an up-and-coming awarded musician with beautiful folk tones.
In a chat that went for not nearly long enough, we discuss:
- trying to be a good c#nt,
- having a better half who doesn’t take any crap, certainly not his, and the couple of influence he and Jacinta Price have stumbled into being,
- competing on The Voice and the tough times artists are facing during Covid-19,
- plus much, much more.
Strap in – Colin is very intelligent, articulate and hilarious; but life is still tough, and this is a tough conversation. But aren’t those the conversations worth having? As Colin says of the current situation, ‘Difficult conversations are important, it’s only when we stop talking that we end up in trouble.’
This one’s heavy fam – strap in.
Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men tells the true story of the Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Police Order and their role in Poland in the early 1940’s. It’s a damning encapsulation of what atrocities can become justifiable to reasonable men, when the journey to evil is broken down into small steps.
As men, it’s easy to think we would make better decisions in other people’s shoes, that we would be the hero, not the villain. We assume this ignorant both to the small innocuous decisions along their path which compounded into an unimaginable broader outcome, and also ignorant to the statistical probability of such. That is to say that if you were a German, born in the early 20th century, it’s 99.9% likely you became a Nazi, rather than became a hero hiding Anne Frank in your ceiling. We all know it’s wrong, but not many know that we would likely have been as wrong if we wore their shoes.
If you adequately understand the above, it’s confronting.
Once you understand the worst you are capable of, your judgement will usually be replaced by empathy for those who have taken a rougher path than you.
So, how does a handsome, tall, athletic, well-raised private schoolboy & politics graduate, end up being arrested naked when customs raid his parents' house with a drug warrant?
By in moments of weakness giving the wrong answer to a series of innocuous questions, across over a decade or so of life. By taking small misjudged steps, without the foresight to see the culmination of those steps was the road to hell. If you’ve read Ordinary Men, or if you’ve lived a rough life yourself, you know the answer is exactly that, and seemingly benign.
What we want to know, and what is hard to explain, is how in the fuck do you rebuild your life after that?
Michael Claydon tells us how he found a way to the surface, and how he's now starting to thrive.
“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it”
― Clarence Budington Kelland
Consistently within the first 10 questions a mental health professional will ask a man at a crossroad in life, is 'So tell me about your relationship with your father.' It is a key principle of developmental psychology that a man's ability to succeed in life is heavily assisted by having both a mother (or positive feminine role model) and a father (or positive masculine role model) consistently in their life through their developmental years.
Daniel is our first guest who is also the father of a previous guest, Jordan from Episode 8.
A huge motivating factor in developing this platform was to encourage men to have meaningful conversations with the key figures in their life; critically (although not exclusively) with their father figures; biological or other.
Whether through modelling or despising, we piece together the man we will become based on the men we have available to admin, or not to. Developing a strong relationship, or at least an empathetic relationship with these figures, is a key part of finding inner peace with the men we have become.
Daniel is a bloody good dad, a loving son to his own parents, and a very interesting man on his own accord. We really enjoyed this chat, and I know you will too.
Special Episode: Braden had the opportunity to speak with Carl Nelms.
Carl completed his Master's Degree in Psychology through Monash University whilst acquiring an impressive range of clinic experience with exposure to a variety of issues pivotal to men's mental health and behavioural matters. Feeling a real void in the market for mental health which was approachable to men, Carl launched his clinic 'Blokes Psychology' in Highett (Melbourne) in 2018, and to say it found a market would be an understatement. Men were literally dying for the lack of this. Bloke Psychology has changed the Men's Mental Health climate in Melbourne and beyond.
Braden gets Carl's professional take on themes that have arisen during our interviews with everyday blokes, and the discuss manhood & masculinity in 2020. At 45 minutes it will certainly leave you wanting more, and don't worry - there's more to come.
The iceberg principle - we've all seen the classic motivation meme with an above and belief surface view of an iceberg. The exposed tip will have fame, fortune, wealth etc. with the submerged component shown to represent sacrifice, repeated failure, burnt money, insane work hours, and so forth.
Our relationships with even our closest peers have in large become such that we are mainly interacting with each other's exposed tip - no innuendo intended.
Our constant consumption of the distorted highlight real that is social media, falsely assures & secures us that we are up to date with all important goings-on in the lives of those we care about. We're only shown the highlights, at most, and that's not where life happens and it's certainly not what builds a man.
Following the release of each episode we have received at least one message which, among with much positivity, has without exception include a version the slighting embarrassed statement - 'I'm really close to him and I had no idea about them having gone through *Situation X*.'
Mid 20's, engaged, dad to a fur baby, a homeowner with a very respectable job, a great family network - life's surely been cruisy for Jordan, yeah? To an extent that's what our host Braden thought was the case heading into interviewed his good mate Jordy. Once again, you don't know the answers to the questions you've never ask.
Outside of the key features of their situation here and now, how much do you really know about the people you care about? Furthermore, what could be more rewarding than to know those you care about more intimately?
Ask those you care about difficult questions; do so with the intent of their answer leading to you appreciating them more even for who they've become.
It's a cliched phrase in psychology, but 'the masks we wear' is a mechanic true of us all, and Lachlan Floyd certainly has had to be many men to many audiences.
From suffering crippling anxiety attacks through his teens, to being an apparent extrovert and running his own company in his early 20's, Lachie has transformed his output whilst keeping the input the same - an incredibly supportive family, a drive to be a better man, and a willingness to wear his heart on his sleeve in spite of the vulnerability that it opens the door to.
Recently becoming the dad to an instant family, life doesn't sit still for long around Lachie, nor has it missed him; but his positivity and passion consistently show up to the challenges that arise.
A natural entrepreneur, Paul took on the corporate world to fuel his ambition, before returning to his family ties to fuel his soul.
A generous and empathetic fella, Paul wears his heart on his sleeve and takes us with brave candour through having the courage to leave an abusive relationship, and also how leaning into the support of his local football/netball club helped him get through following the unexpected passing of his father.
Paul is that rare mix of intelligence, articulation, and empathy that make someone incredibly earnest and relatable to listen to.
One of our favourite chats to date, Paul's story covers a lot of issues relatable to many men.
It’s hard to know where to start in writing a blurb for episode 5, but as a theme that may be true to many men, our interview with Jamie Hall gave us the impression that:
He can comfortably experience empathy for others far more easily than he can for himself, and he's worked out that it hasn't served him well. That’s not to say that he can’t act in a fashion that is hard to separate from 'selfishness', but that there feels like there is a causal connection.
Lessons learnt from working in domestic violence.
Losing a father figure to a messy death.
A one-night stand, turning into an unplanned pregnancy, turning into a family of 6.
An embarrassing gambling addiction.
Mental health in the workplace.
The dark side of social media.
Online support communities.
We cover a lot, and it’s some sort of a ride. Enjoy.
Close to 2 metres tall, covered in tattoos, and enough hair to intimidate Costa Georgiadis, Daniel Njegich doesn't scream introvert, but he is; and we talked for 2 hours without skipping a beat.
Misassociations with social anxiety or shyness leave many thinking an introvert is someone who is socially withdrawn, but the traits are mutually exclusive. Daniel is a school teacher, a professional photographer, a former event manager, and a man who thrives in team sports. Daniel knows himself well, and he takes us on his journey of getting to know the key figures in his life.
From the messy separation of his parents to losing his grandfather, and even separating from his fiance weeks before their wedding, the trials of life haven't missed Daniel; and he's ok with that. He's reflective, and he's excited for what comes next.
Blokes Do Talk, they just need someone to want to hear their story. Be that someone. You'll be glad you listened.
Married with 3 gorgeous girls, educated and ambitious, a go-getter in the dairy industry who splashed the pages of the Weekly Times and was nominated for Farmer of the Year - at 31 Aaron appeared to have the world at his feet. He's handsome, articulate, generous - the loveable local-bloke-done-good.
So how did Aaron end up in the farm shed with a loaded gun in his mouth ready to end it?
About the only thing more spectacular than the coming to light of Aaron's demons, is the fashion in which this bloke has rebuilt his life.
In the engaging interview with Aaron, we cover losing a parent to cancer, functional alcoholism, imposter syndrome, shame in the public light, and marriage break down; before we rebuild through amicable co-parenting, mental health advocacy and riding across the state to kick cancer's arse.
It was a privilege to interview Aaron, and you need to hear his story.
VFL Footballer, business owner by 23, fit, discipline, good looking and from a very loving & supportive family - life's easy right?
As Corona Virus swept in and changed our norm, Corey caught his frustration, smiled, and embraced change as a young man who has already been the phoenix of his own fire.
Schoolyard bullying, not being good enough, proving people wrong and then growing to not need to, Corey takes us through his journey to self-acceptance and a new period of growth.
We had managed to keep this to 40ish minutes, plus 10 minutes of Interview the Interviewer at the end.
From marine biology & walking baby rhinos, to losing his mother to cancer & being left by his girlfriend in consecutive months, Jake Hobson talks us through his journey to date.
From humble beginnings, through to some extraordinary challenges and adventures, Jake's lessons are universal, and you need to hear them.
We went way over the advertised 30 mins on this one fellas, but when a brother is opening his heart like this, you've just got to stop clock-watching, and listen.
Launching April 2020, we're starting a conversation.
Released weekly, we look forward to bringing you 30-minute interviews with ordinary and extraordinary men, discussing their relationship with mental health and happiness.
You'll hear what real-life tools they've picked up along the way to help keep their heads above water. They'll also discuss what vices/habits they've learned to avoid on their path to happiness.
Hopefully, a few fellas out there who may be doing it tough, can implement some of these tips and improve their own state of mind.
'Blokes Don't Talk' is an independent PodCast, produced in Gippsland in the South East of Victoria, Australia.