They raised us through good times and bad
“My mum died when I was five years old, so my dad has played a huge part of my life. He is an amazingly strong man. Not only did my dad lose my mum, but his mother and his sister in the space of a month, it was hard for him to deal with, but he managed to raise us kids."
When Katie Beckett lost her Mum at such a young age her Dad had to pick up the pieces. Frustrated at the media's depiction of Aboriginal men, Katie wrote the play ‘Which Way Home' inspired solely by her dad and his impact on her life.
They stand up against hate and support us
"I was more concerned, with my dad being the successful footballer that he was, that he was going to be resentful towards it and everything like that. But as soon as I told him, this weight had lifted off my shoulders and he was very supportive of it, and he's embraced me ever since then."
AFL player Nicky Winmar has a long history of standing up against hate and when his son Tynan came out to his Dad as a gay man it made their relationship stronger than ever. The pair have shared their story in the lead up to the AFL's first pride game, held to raise awareness about homophobia in sport.
They are our role models
“Dad always encouraged me to aim high and chase my dreams no matter how big they were.”
“When my son was born I thought I needed to have a look at myself, get fit, be someone they can look up to, and be a role model for other kids in the community.”
Arrernte-Guindji man Luke McKenzie has not only been a role model to his two young boys but also to the wider community. After surviving Leukemia as a child, Luke decided to get involved in running and is now an ambassador for the Indigenous Marathon Project, which aims to promote healthy lifestyles for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
They are champions both on and off the field
"Apart from the birth of our two children [Frankie and Charlie], this is the most emotional I’ve seen him," Jonathon Thurston's partner Samantha Lynch told the media after the Dally M ceremony.
"It's just such a momentous occasion that may not happen again. It probably just hit him."
Johnathon Thurston led his team to victory in the 2015 NRL Grand Final and the stole Australia's heart with the adorable picture with his daughter Frankie. The same year he was also named Phillips Sports 'Dad of the Year' and won a Dally M for 'Player of the year'.
They believe that we can be superheroes
"Just like any loving parent, I shared my love of superheroes with my son (and sometimes even forced the point); thankfully, he fully embraced it."
"The passion of comic books blended together with 60,000 years of culture and history makes this something special – and when my son is old enough to watch and understand these stories, I hope it empowers him too. That’s why the hero in Cleverman has my son’s name, Koen."
Ryan Griffen has transformed his love of superheroes into the phenomenon that is 'Cleverman' and it all began out of sharing that love with his son Koen. Not only an inspiration to his family, the TV show has proved that Ryan and his 'Cleverman' will be a role model to many young Indigenous kids.