I got an email late last year that was most unexpected.
I wouldn't be alone in not considering myself to be the typical Aussie bloke. I've used my BBQ at home once and that was only for eggplant. This invitation was a total shock and a huge honor so of course I said yes.
Fast forward to the week leading up to Australia Day. I got to rock this ever so sexy Australia Day hat at the launch event in Bankstown. Of course I forgot to take it off for the train ride home so people thought I was a bit of a nut celebrating the day a week early. I'm quite used to this though. Every time I have a name tag of any kind of anything you just know I'm going to be wearing it like a dag the whole day. I go get a coffee and the person behind the counter says "No worries... NIC! Anything else I can get for you?" while a cheeky smile as if I get the joke but I never do...
Then a lovely day out at the Con for an event, sweating in one of the the rare instances I wear a button-up shirt these days. For the record, my nametag ended up on my back this time which was only slightly less embarassing. My dear (and oh so hilarious) friend Faggles thought it'd be a real hoot if she sneakily took it off my front and put it on my back. I only knew it was there later when we went to lunch and a waitress mentioned it.... Well played.
So on the big Australia Day day itself I got to do what I love doing the most. I did a super quick one day speaking tour through 3 different towns in Corowa Shire near the border of NSW and VIC. I met many lovely, genuine people down there and had some really great conversations with them afterwards, one of which was our Federal Minister for Health and Sport, Sussan Ley. Super bummed I couldn't stick around longer but absolutely loved the experience. Thankfully I met some great people there who are helping me get back to speak to the schools down that way.
It was such an incredible experience and I'm so thankful I was able to be a part of it.
Hopefully this will be the first of many... maybe I'll never be drinking on Australia Day again?? hmm...