You may have heard about some of the issues that coal seam gas mining is causing in the Condamine River and surrounding areas where I grew up in Australia. You may not have heard about the devastating emotional and human toll it's taking on some of our farmers. We're honored to have worked with Helen Bender - George Bender on the video for our collaboration with Rob Hirst, The Truth Walks Slowly (In The Countryside) and hope after watching you feel as shocked and outraged as we do.
A couple of weeks ago after taking the kids out for dinner I grabbed a couple of beers and went to the skate park, tire them out so they crash without fighting.
There were 2 kids there, long blonde haired kids who's skating skills defied the laws of gravity and who spoke kindly, respectfully to the younger less talented kids like mine.
And I met Denim, their dad.
With long hair and an obvious story to tell, we started chatting.
I was intrigued by these children, while my son complains that he needs his fortieth pair of shoes for the month and picking his nose in front of the school principal these guys are winning state competitions, training younger kids and have an incredible ability to connect with adults.
They must have a mum with her shit way more together then me. Their dad must be totally strict and focused.....
Well that night I learnt that these children were pulled out of school against all advice, without even home schooling and driven around Australia on a quest to skate every single skate park in the country.
You see a few years ago Denim had the horrific job of telling these two gorgeous boys that their mum had died by suicide. After that period of indescribable hardship Denim decided they need to pick up and leave, giving away or throwing away all of his possessions and embarking on a trip of healing with no time frames or certain direction, he told me that he let his children "choose their day" if they saw something they wanted to do, they just did it.
Schools said no, they said the boys will be held down a year, police even pulled him over questioning why the kids weren't at school. But Denim followed his parenting instincts and gave the boys what they needed to heal. All on a modest single parents pension, which we all know couldn't have been easy.
They decided to hold their heads high and made a pact to make mum proud and speak of her only in the light and never dwell on the darkness.
Upon returning Denim asked the schools for 1 request, don't hold them down. They have grown and healed a lot, please just let them try in their own years. The school agreed and what do you know? They flew through the year.
Not to mention the boys both won "king of the concrete" 1st and 2nd in the state and have 3-4 sponsors each. Pretty fucking rad for high school kids.
It's just reinforces my beliefs that everyone's doing what they believe their kids need and some times the most unconventional parenting turns out to be the most beneficial.
Proud to know these kids and call Denim a new friend. 💗💗💗💗
Mt Oxide mine, abandoned since 1971. One of Queensland's 15,300 abandoned mines, 317 of these are classified as giant. After major rain fall events, local creeks can run turquoise for up to 7 km due to acid and heavy metal pollution. #minerehab
Big mining companies have made millions out of this country, it’s time they put some back: http://www.lockthegate.org.au/minerehab