A Personal story of Culture & Initiation

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Mick: [00:00:00] And I had the knife across my throat and I was saying like, “I just want to cut my throat right now. I want it die. I don’t want to live.” And he’s he, I heard a little voice, a little voice saying, ‘daddy’. I dropped the knife, and I looked, turned around, there he was.

[00:00:27] Mike: [00:00:27] You’re listening to the Everyday Legends podcast. The show that is dedicated to helping everyday men building the legendary relationships with yourself, your partner and your world. I’m your host Mike Campbell.

[00:00:40] And the aim of this podcast is simple; to help you navigate life with clarity. Confidence and purpose driven action. With plenty of stories, a load of lessons, and some are loving straight toward somebody.

[00:00:56] Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Everyday Legends Podcast. I’m excited to bring you today’s episode. It’s my next guest interview and I thought long and hard about who do I want to interview, you know, early on in this podcast? There’s plenty of people that I can go to that I cannot wait to get to, but also I wanted to bring someone, uh, I suppose, from my perspective of a different to perhaps what might be heard and many other podcasts out there, um, supporting men, you know, personal development or that kind of thing, and, and maybe different to some of the other kinds of people that I do have lined up. And some of previous ones, for example, the first one with Mark Groves.

[00:01:46] And that brings us to a guest today. Mr Mick Bani. Mick is someone I met about four years ago, I think, in Sydney and an event, we were both attending held by a mutual friend of ours, and he also spoke at an event that I was co founder of last year, Manifest in Sydney. And he brings this amazing presence and charisma. And smile with him.

[00:02:21] Uh, he, I wanted to say stole the show. He, he was phenomenal when it came to speaking at Manifest on many levels and one simply because of who he is and the story that he brings with him. And I wanted to bring him in to the podcast to share and explore his story, which I figured could take us any number of places.

[00:02:47] And so, first of all, what I’m going to do is I’m going to give you Mick’s bio that will start a little bit of that story and then he will certainly explore in it when it comes to this episode. Mick comes from the tribe of the Wagedagam located on Lag Mabuyag and Western Torres Strait. He’s a co founder and co-director of Kayin Revolution, a social enterprise that provides innovative hands-on services and programs, allowing men and women of all ages, the space to discover self idenity and connectedness within the realm of their own inner compass.

[00:03:25] Since leaving his Island home for the first time, at the age of 13, his journey took him along the East coast of Australia from Torres Strait to Sydney. An opportunity came knocking on the door, which led him to play in the national rugby league, the NRL, for clubs such as Manly, Seagulls North Queensland Cowboys and the Canberra Raiders.

[00:03:46] So for those, listening in North America. This is basically rugby. It’s a little different, but essentially is. I know you guys get confused with that. Back to his bio, through his, professional football and part time acting careers along with his own personal and family experiences of living in a remote indigenous community,

[00:04:02] Michael, wholeheartedly and openly, shares inspirational messages of his life’s journey and all the struggles and triumphs that he has endured along the way that leads to the development of mental strength and self awareness.

[00:04:16] And that is really the story that we go into. We explore Mick’s culture, we explore initiation and what that has looked like for him and where he missed out on it.

[00:04:26] And the wounds that were created with, uh, being absent and away from his father and his mother and where he found himself as an adult, still wondering, searching for his own identity, in a sense, something that has a hugely indigenous, uh, element to it in this conversation. But I actually think if you listen, you’ll hear how much this rings true for anyone, um, and most definitely for people of European heritage as well, because I feel like what we’re talking about with initiation, what we’re talking about with the participation, the impact of the community in helping to, uh, shape an individual, certainly a young boy into a man, is the kind of thing that we’re largely missing that we get to bring back.

[00:05:22] That we must bring back. And so I was honoured to bring Mick on and share his story and hear it firsthand. Um, there’s loads in here. I could keep exploring it with him. And so I hope there is something that you can take from this today. Dear listeners, Mick Bani.

[00:05:41] Well, brother, welcome to the Everyday Legends podcast.

[00:05:45] It’s awesome to have you here. I’m super excited to have the conversation and kind of see where we take this. Mate, so where I want to start is, um, you know, maybe going to hit you between the eyeballs a little bit. It’s a question that, uh, I think a lot of men can struggle with, but also it can take us anywhere.

[00:06:01] And so I just kinda want to give you the invitation to take it wherever you want to take it. And that is Mick please tell us who are you?

[00:06:07] Mick: [00:06:07] Hmm.

[00:06:08] And that is a, um, such a great question. Uh, and when you ask me like that, it’s, it’s a kinda, my heart skipped a beat, you know, because I, I personally, I’ve always, you know, I just want to acknowledge the fact that I personally have always avoided that question.

[00:06:33] I’ve always run away from it. Not like run away physically, but just emotionally, never wanted to talk about all that kind of stuff about my, my identity and, and my lack of connectedness with my, myself and my family. So it took me a long time to figure that out. A simple question, but

[00:06:57] Mike: [00:06:57] It seems simple, perhaps

[00:07:00] Mick: [00:07:00] Yeah. It does seem simple, but a lot of us find it very, very difficult to, um, to actually look at that and come up with the answers ourselves.

[00:07:10] Um, even when we do find our meaning and purpose and who am I and, and sort of thing, like ask myself every day, I still find it, like I have to dig a lot deeper and, and kind of peel the layers back again, and then just define what I’m looking for. And then you start again the next day. So it’s a constant thing, and I think that’s part of growth.

[00:07:35] Um, uh, You remember, um, Manifest. Um, when I shared, uh, during my talk, my identity and it is a Yabina Kaapu and  that’s what I go by. It’s a, it’s an analogy that’s, that’s been told throughout the generations, throughout the ages. So it’s, it’s a, it’s an ancient myth. And a long story short it’s it’s about this, uh, a warrior who had his uncle, um, with him and they traveled around the Torres Strait in a canoe, um, going from Island to Island, um, uh, basically killing other, um, Islanders, um, and collecting heads while this warrior was collecting all the skulls for, um, as, as trophies.

[00:08:35] So he was all, he was pretty much messed up like internally. Um, his father, his father left, um, when he was little, he killed his own mother. And so the uncle was with him constantly as a companion to guide and nurture him, uh, to bring him back down to earth. So to speak, to teach him humility and teach him grace and respect, even though there was so much going on inside of the warrior.

[00:09:02] Um, and why he was killing people. Um, when they were somewhere, uh, doing a thing and the warrior, um, Kuyam, his name is, was, and he, uh, was loading, loading the canoe with all his, his prize and it stunk, stunk rotten. And you can imagine. And then uncle Toemagan , he said, um, he said, if whispered something under his breath that this, this is really terrible place to be exposed, this canoe stinks

[00:09:39] and, um, and, and Kuyam looked at him and said, well, what, what did you say? Had he have said something that at the uncle had of said the truth of what he said and Kuyam wouldn’t have hesitated to kill him. Right. Right.

[00:10:02] So the uncle then came up with this analogy and he said, “Yabina Kaapu Kulay Sika Susal Pagas Wagel Mudhan Arayk”

[00:10:12] So what it means is he, uh, portrayed Kuyam  the warrior as Yabina Kaapu; the rock. And “Susal Pagas: little fishes swimming behind the rock.” So there’s a, there’s a rock that sits under the, uh, ocean on the ocean bed. And the currents are really strong. Right. And so what the fishers do they swim beyond this rock to seek shelter, to protect them from the currents.

[00:10:46] And that’s how he, and that’s the analogy you used for the warrior. But when you really look at the story, it’s actually the uncle, that was the rock. He was the one that was teaching, uh, the true cultural values and Kuyam was the fish swimming beyond the, the uncle. That’s why in our culture, Torres Strait culture, uncle, are the most important people for young young boys, uncle are the most important men in our lives.

[00:11:19] They’re like. Their, their, their status is, is bigger than a father.

[00:11:24] Mike: [00:11:24] Right?

[00:11:25] Mick: [00:11:25] Yeah. So, which is why everything we do from our initiation to our hunting practices to everything and anything that a young man does, the uncle is there to teach him. Um, so I go, long answer for your question. I go with that. I go with Yabina Kaapu it’s who I am.

[00:11:47] And when I introduce myself to people that like any events and stuff, I made sure I acknowledge where I’m from, like Wagedagam mulag from the tribal of Wagedagam, my Koedal  which is the crocodile. And I told him he is a crocodile, a Kuki Guubalayg, which is the Northwest wind. And Baydham zugub, which is the constellation is the shape of a shark, from my tribal constellation.

[00:12:18] Um, but in, in short, who am I? For me, my family is Yabina Kaapu. And that’s the rock which provides shelter for these little fishes to swim beyond, especially for my kids, they swim there and seek shelter. And eventually they will become a bigger fish and be able to swim against the currents in their own life’s journey. And then eventually they’ll have their own family and then they can be the rock, the Yabina Kaapu for their families.

[00:12:51] Yeah.

[00:12:52] Mike: [00:12:52] Beautiful, Yabina Kaapu. Thank you for that story. Yes. So is it, there’s a few things I’m picking up in there and I know, you know, a little bit about you and you’ve got children and you’re also a stepfather, are you an uncle?

[00:13:07] Mick: [00:13:07] Yep.

[00:13:07] Mike: [00:13:07] So then with all of that, you know, cause you being, as you said, identifying as you being Yabina Kaapu, I am the rock for the fishes to, you know, shelter behind and so on and guide, et cetera.

[00:13:18] So then there’s plenty different roles right? Father, step-father and uncle and with the importance of uncle, and then I’m assuming your will please correct me if not your children also have uncles.

[00:13:32] Mick: [00:13:32] Yes.

[00:13:33] Mike: [00:13:33] So how do those roles kind of play out for you? First of all? And, you know, with you. Cause as you see it, you a that for your children, but then the uncle is such a hugely important role as well.

[00:13:44] So how does that play out for you yourself and then kind of in your family dynamic?

[00:13:50] Mick: [00:13:50] For my sons.

[00:13:52] Mike: [00:13:52] Yeah. Your sons, you know, so, so you know, you are creating that rock for your children, but then obviously you’re their father, not their uncle. Right. So how does their uncles come into that situation. And then, and then for you as an uncle to, to, you know, your nieces and nephews as well. Yeah.

[00:14:11] Mick: [00:14:11] Um, yeah, look, the, the interesting thing with, with my family, um, because my wife’s from Sydney and she’s Australian.

[00:14:21] Um, and so obviously our children, they, they have the indigenous heritage and plus their, uh, European background. Um, so I’ll get you that. Um, and so pretty soon, you know me I like to take it, take you on a journey before I get to the point. Um, last year before the Manifest, I initially, we, we, we had the initiation of my nephew, my, of my sisters.

[00:14:53] Um, so it’s more of the maternal side.

[00:14:57] Mike: [00:14:57] Right.

[00:14:57] Mick: [00:14:57] Um, yeah, so my nephew had his, um, his first shave and I initiated that. So I took that, that process as, as the uncle, but when it comes to my sons, so Michael Jr., and Conan, um, they have the Australian uncles because of their mum cause of the maternal uncles.

[00:15:22] And how does that play out for me is that I then practice, um, that role of being an uncle to my nephews and the respectful thing that I built with my brother in laws is that they are willing to then take on that role as well for my sons. And we’ve had countless, um, discussions about it. And I mean, teaching them about the cultural side of things.

[00:15:55] And I even said to them, like, whatever you say, um, what my sons do – cause you, you guys on the uncles – whatever you say, that’s out, it has to go. So if yous want to plomp him down at, uh, Coogee Surf Club, uh, when he’s 16 or 18 and, and, um, you know, “Hey, here’s a schooner, you’re a man now” that’s, that’s how it is.

[00:16:19] Um, but they’ve respectfully go, no, we want to do it the right way. And which is, uh, It’s quite a blessing. I’m very grateful for, to, to be in that space, to have family members like them who are willing to go beyond their comfort zone to learn about other people’s culture. Yeah. Just to keep practicing that.

[00:16:46] And, and, yeah, so I, I guess I just, as a Yabina Kaapu, I, I just lead through my cultural values and. You know, people, people see that and my brother in-laws they see that too.

[00:17:02] Mike: [00:17:02] So then, cause you know, that’s the word initiation very important and something that I think, you know, as a society, we get to explore a lot more.

[00:17:09] So then how important is this in, in your culture? But I also actually want to hear for you, what was your process of going through initiation and am I right in kind of extrapolating that that’s simply as, the journey from boy to man in this context.

[00:17:26] Mick: [00:17:26] Yeah.

[00:17:26] Mike: [00:17:26] So how did that play out for you? And can you kind of explain a little bit on that?

[00:17:32] Mick: [00:17:32] Well, I looked throughout my journey. Um, I’ve never really went through the process like this, um, growing up and, uh, yeah, that I’ll probably explain that,

[00:17:43] Mike: [00:17:43] tell us, tell  us about your story,

[00:17:47] Mick: [00:17:47] um, but it was uh, an eye opener for me because it was my, my first time. Not, not, not, not so much as an uncle that was, uh, raising or, or  Wakay Wiyan is like giving advice and that to this young warrior.

[00:18:04] I was actually going through this process for the very first time I saw what makes sense as a person, because I never went through it as a boy. So I had to kind of go back to a little boy going through this process, myself and learning, what, what, what the rituals were, the rightful, um, appropriate practices and that sort of thing.

[00:18:29] So, uh, it was, it was a very eye opener. Um

[00:18:34] Mike: [00:18:34] So what can you tell us then, you know, how come you didn’t go through it? What, what was, what prevented that?

[00:18:41] Mick: [00:18:41] Oh, look, I, um, I when I, I was born on Thursday Island so I’m going to go right back.

[00:18:49] Thursday Island?

[00:18:50] Yes, Thursday island in the Torres Strait. I was raised, um, on, on my own Island Mabuyag where my family is from where the tribe of Wagadagamulayg sits, um, on Mabuyag.

[00:19:06] And I spent the first 14 years of my life, um, living away from mum. So mum was on T.I. On Thursday Island. Um, my biological father was never in the picture. I cannot remember him at all. I have been introduced to him a couple of times when I was little, um, but he was never in the picture. And so I was raised by all my uncles around me.

[00:19:38] And by that stage, They had kids as well. So they had kids to look after, and the situation was quite complex, was quiet because there was influence from all different, um, we were kind of going through all the, the European in style of living. Um, church Christianity being introduced into the Strait. So we, i guess we were at a, at a time where people were unsure how to, how to adapt to them current world.

[00:20:17] And it goes back in the late eighties, early nineties, we weren’t really sure how else to live in our communities. Because we went from living like hunter- gatherers to then having be introduced to this different style of living. And I’m not saying that’s, that’s entirely what caused me of not like the reason why I couldn’t go through the initiation process, but I just…

[00:20:44] Mike: [00:20:44] big new influence by the sound of it. Yeah

[00:20:48] Mick: [00:20:48] Yeah. Um, I just didn’t go through it. I. I just don’t know why I, um, I did all the hunting practices and I did all the stuff. I guess I spend most of my, uh, high schooling away in Cairns um, and I’ll go back for holidays and then back to schooling on the mainland. Um, yeah, I look back and go I have no idea what happened.

[00:21:16] Mike: [00:21:16] And is that something you’ve explored with the community? With your family?

[00:21:21] Mick: [00:21:21] Yeah. With my family. Yeah. Um, and I guess everyone in their own little um going through their own transitioning period as well and going through their own challenges. And, um, that was at that stage, I was like, I was living with my grandma and then my grandma’s sister took me in and raised me until I was 12.

[00:21:47] Um, and then I lived on the Island for two years, uh, with my aunties. And then I finally decided, well, I’ll give it a crack and move in with mum and my stepdad and, and the rest of the siblings. And since I was 14, I moved in with mum and yeah.

[00:22:08] Mike: [00:22:08] So then what happened between, I’m sure a lot, between then and now that you have these children and you’re clearly by the sound of it, diving heavily back into culture and ensuring these initiations and, you know, the cultural practices and values are present and being passed on.

[00:22:31] Mick: [00:22:31] That’s what I, when I looked at my son. Yeah. When you was three or four, this was back in early 2015 was the end of 2015. Uh, my first, um, and my first experience or the Warrior camp, with James Greenshields as we know, James from RLF. Um, I looked at my son and I said, he, I, I don’t, um, the way I’m going, I am going to, uh, create the same space for him as what I experienced when I was younger, when I was his age.

[00:23:15] Mike: [00:23:15] So when you say the same space, what do you mean by that? How would you sum that up?

[00:23:19] Mick: [00:23:19] So the, the lack of identity, the lack of connectedness that I experienced when I was younger. I was going to then pass that on to my son the way I was the, my actions.

[00:23:33] Mike: [00:23:33] And so how do you think that impacted you?

[00:23:37] Mick: [00:23:37] As a father?

[00:23:38] Mike: [00:23:38] No. Going through that lack of connectedness, et cetera, as a kid.

[00:23:43] Mick: [00:23:43] Oh, I was, um, I was very confused, very, very confused as to who I was. Very confused as to where I was going, what I was doing and all those things. And, and living in a remote community, you kind of have to just improvise a lot of, a lot of the time, and just think for yourself and just think outside the square, so to speak.

[00:24:07] Um, because there, there wasn’t much going for me at the time, um, in terms of, uh, You know, the family love and support and everything were there, but just, just personal connectedness, I guess there wasn’t really any of that available for me when I was little.

[00:24:25] Mike: [00:24:25] And were there consequences of that, do you think kind of at the time and then, you know, moving forward into your adolescence and adult life?

[00:24:32] Mick: [00:24:32] Um, great consequences. You know, I, um, I, I just cruised through high school without really showing any interest in it. Um, completed a year 12, just for the sake of completing it. Uh, never really, um, knuckled down into, um, to tertiary education. And I kinda just, I was just going around in circles and wasted all my teens, um, uh, drinking and uh, smoking pot and that sort of thing. And just playing footy on Thursday Island each weekend. Um, this is when I was, uh, 20, 21. Um, and then by, by the time I was 23, I left home. I said, well, there’s nothing for me. So I might as well go away and seek somewhere else. But that, um, that didn’t work out, that, that wasn’t like, What I thought was going to happen, or I might move away and I’ll find something, something as in myself.

[00:25:35] Mike: [00:25:35] And what did you find?

[00:25:39]Mick: [00:25:39] When I moved away?

[00:25:40] Mike: [00:25:40] Yeah,

[00:25:41] Mick: [00:25:41] Same thing. It was the same thing. What I experienced when I was a kid. Um,

[00:25:46] Mike: [00:25:46] Was there that actual thought, do you think; I’ll move away because I’m then I might find like, my thing, what the thing is for me, who I am kind of thing.

[00:25:55] Mick: [00:25:55] Yeah. Yeah. Even when I, even when I moved to Sydney to play NRL, well, not to play NRL, but just an opportunity to

[00:26:03] Mike: [00:26:03] So that’s about what? 23 was it

[00:26:06] Mick: [00:26:06] I was 23 Um so this was 2007 2006 I moved away I was in Bundaberg for 10 months prior and I came to Sydney and then I cracked NRL my first year of being at the club at Manly and played at like 40 something games and thought Hey you know I’m finally finding myself here Um I’m connecting to my identity and this is who I am I was meant to be a superstar and that didn’t work Yeah

[00:26:42] Mike: [00:26:42] So you think it’s a kind of an identity that you started to really you know sit with I am the footballer I am you know to be a star

[00:26:49] Mick: [00:26:49] Absolutely Absolutely

[00:26:51] Mike: [00:26:51] That’s an interesting shift from kind of not having anything and just going in circles

[00:26:55] Mick: [00:26:55] Yeah I guess anything that comes around you cling onto it right You go well what this is this is going to be me And then you soon find out that it’s it’s not really who you are

[00:27:06] Mike: [00:27:06] So what happened next then

[00:27:09] Mick: [00:27:09] And so I went um so that’s where I met my um uh Corinda my wife now I meet Corinda And um and I moved to Townsville uh did two and a half years up there playing for Cowboys And that was very challenging because it had added a new element to my to my journey then because I was in a relationship and she had two kids so she had to stay in Sydney They had an arrangement with the children’s um father and I was in Townsville living a long distance relationship Um and then I moved back to Sydney in 2011 we had our son in 2012 So Michael jr And when he was born that’s when I thought right Children always change Men children always make us you know uh become anew so to speak And no that’s still uh I still found it very challenging as I did back when I was seven and eight years old

[00:28:30] Mike: [00:28:30] So there was ever see this this conscious awareness for you that there was still something missing

[00:28:36] Mick: [00:28:36] Yeah it was like How come like why am I not happy Okay I’ll come I’m always passive aggressiveness was a big thing for me was yeah I was just everyday like in the relationship and the kids um you know with Corinda having two kids as well to previous relationship and and that really like ate me inside you know is that how you say it That’s a

[00:29:06] Mike: [00:29:06] new role to take on

[00:29:08] Mick: [00:29:08] Yeah So not only I was a new father but in 2012 or experiencing that father role for the first time But I was also a stepfather and a that was still too for me personally like internally that that was still challenging Like each day was just a day of trying to survive really mentally I was just in I thought it was I thought it was just fine The years after I finished playing professionally And as I I rode that rollercoaster as well And I used that as an excuse I went off footy is over now So I’ve got lots of injuries so I’m depressed but that wasn’t really why I was depressed Like these were going back Years and years to my childhood And so a part beyond that the trauma that my families and myself and everybody else have experienced throughout the years up until that point And that’s when I decided

[00:30:14] Mike: [00:30:14] But you’re still not aware of this at the time right They’re just there’s there’s this

[00:30:17] Mick: [00:30:17] I wasn’t no

[00:30:18] Mike: [00:30:18] Of what it was You were ware of something though not really knowing what it was

[00:30:22] Mick: [00:30:22] There was constantly like I wrote a blog once and I I spoke about um the relationship I had when I was in Townsville I spoke about a relationship I had with um I spoke about the black dog and there’s the black dog Institute I think it is for mental health space And I spoke about that right in my blog And I wrote how each day no matter how things are going great for me this this dog was my constant companion It was quite almost it was almost death coming up like knocking out the door going like I’m here also. Like you don’t have to just live life where you are now You can also yeah I was in that kind of head space.

[00:31:10] Mike: [00:31:10] And this is when you’re still playing football right?

[00:31:13] Mick: [00:31:13] Yeah Um after I finished playing football the two years playing Bush footy. Um, and, you know, by that stage, I had two kids, two of my own plus my two stepchildren.

[00:31:26] So my little family was growing. Um, I was, you know, married and living in Sydney and things like that and

[00:31:36] Mike: [00:31:36] A long way from home. So then we hit 2015 and you see, you look at your son and you say, I don’t want the same thing for him.

[00:31:44] Mick: [00:31:44] That’s right. Um,

[00:31:45] Mike: [00:31:45] What happens next?

[00:31:47] Mick: [00:31:47] Not that I couldn’t control that. Like whatever happens for him, it will happen.

[00:31:51] It has happened. It will happen. That’s his journey. I guess what I was, what I thought at the time, that very moment I, I actually picked him up that I remember this day I picked him up. I was, I shook him, but I was so angry. I was so angry, just an anger just came out of me from, from the depths. And that’s when I realised this is not right.

[00:32:18] And then there was another incident, not long after that with me and Karinda where we had this massive fight this argument and I pushed her to the floor of the kitchen and I had the knife across my throat And I was saying like I just want to cut my throat right now I want to die I don’t want to live And he I heard a little voice a little voice saying Daddy I dropped the knife I looked turned around there He was junior standing there at the age of three I think at the time And his hands over his ears because of the the noise we were creating Um or we’ve created And that’s when I realised wow this I need to go on this search to find that person inside that that that lovelyMick Bani you know the beautiful Mick Bani I need to go and find him he’s in there somewhere And that was that little kid that little boy that that I’ve sort of neglected all these years growing up And I pushed him aside and I looked into myself Asked myself the question you asked at the start of this conversation who am I and who do I want to be What do I want to be And go go and find it And I went on this journey Only to you know obviously guided by the right mentors and coaches and and and friends and brothers only to realise that the answer to that question was always inside of me It was never anywhere else other than within

[00:34:13] Mike: [00:34:13] Um thank you for sharing that

[00:34:15] Mick: [00:34:15] How’s this journe so far

[00:34:18] Mike: [00:34:18] Beautiful Some very powerful things Thank you for sharing that So Um you yeah man I feel like I could take there’s there’s there’s a bunch of questions here but there’s something that she that you you spoke to but I think it’s going to link to all of this you know you wanted to find you and the lovely beautiful smiley Mick Bani who is the one I know because I met you I dunno when 2016 or something like that um you said something in there and you know then you started to When you did you started to explore your culture and dealing with your trauma and then what’s actually been passed on in a sense you kind of spoke about you know what what your your family and your generations of have kind of been through Can you dive into that What you’re speaking to there

[00:35:16] Mick: [00:35:16] Absolutely Um Sure

[00:35:20] Mike: [00:35:20] I’m assuming this is something that you’ve then started to really discover it as you explored it Looking for Mick

[00:35:27] Mick: [00:35:27] The more I think I’ve only found ‘M’ I’m still got I C K It’s a lengthy process It’s a journey that’s worth your while It’s um it’s it’s taken me to great places within myself more so And um I You know as as I always say to the kids like to to find the cause of what’s the causal issue of of uh how we behave We have to peel all these layers of onions and onions make you cry and we’ve got to keep peeling it back peeling it back in it’s gonna hurt Um but eventually you will find that that that the gem the gold within um within all that pain and whatever you’re going through So it’s it’s been kind of like that since 2015 it’s just been peeling a layer upon layer Um you know we still have our challenges um uh experiences where it’s uh you know to to transition from one thing to the next

[00:36:47] Mike: [00:36:47] And of course life isn’t all roses

[00:36:51] Mick: [00:36:51] Um,that’s right

[00:36:53] Mike: [00:36:53] But I’m guessing now that is there’s you know there’s the finding of elements of you as we’re discussing but then also that’s taking you into the culture

[00:37:01] Mick: [00:37:01] Right

[00:37:01] Mike: [00:37:01] And there’s other kind of passed on elements

[00:37:05] Mick: [00:37:05] Yeah So to to kind of explain it Um what we what I what Karinda and I do Uh our company our family our pedestal selves what we base um even Yabina Kuppa Um we we sort of work around what we’ve created the Kayin Compass and that’s kind of like taking the emotional triangle So the spiritual emotional physical and that triangle and adding that cultural element to it And I think it was like for me and for our children it was very very important because that’s kind of the looking back into my childhood to my teenage years even my early twenties that was the thing that I kind of put it put to the back seat and said well I’ve never been through this initiation process so I’m not going to worry about culture anymore Culture did nothing for me And and so that was that was that element of my inner self that was already I already threw away And then ah spiritual the spiritual element So there’s four points spiritual cultural mental and physical the spiritual element It was all just Christianity Um so I didn’t really uh explore any other uh spiritual beliefs or practices that are out there um other than Christianity So that was kind of like almost just a one way one one way to do to practice your spirituality

[00:38:55] Mike: [00:38:55] and knowing what you know now that I’m guessing is different but did that also take away from perhaps what spirituality you might’ve learned through culture

[00:39:05] Mick: [00:39:05] Exactly Yeah That’s what I mean um I something I do now through meditation I could I couldn’t have done her back then Cause it was all about praying That make sense No one really I’ve never discovered meditation when I was younger Um and then also the mental element that comes into play Um no one prepared me or I didn’t even prepare myself to move to a place like Sydney let alone to play a professional sport and to have like a professional job so to speak Um and obviously the physical element was always on my side Um that’s just a Gene thing So um and I’m not talking myself up here but all the other elements were missing and it’s kind of like that with my journey at the moment like you know I keep I have to keep going back and peel these layers back Cause there are still other elements that I need to need to address and need to identify and explore and embrace and and um acknowledge in that Uh so in answer to your question about um or your suggestion to share with you about the trauma Now I’m going into it in a cultural level because I’ve just recently discovered that um my biological father’s side uh it goes back to the Aboriginal community from Normanton And that’s in the gulf up in North Queensland the gulf of Carpentaria there They my great great grandma was part of the stolen generation scheme in Australia So her family was shipped up to the community in North Queensland and her daughter was taken away from her never to be seen again Um so that’s the that’s the the trauma in itself And because it’s my biological father’s side it has been passed on from generation to generation And I carried that with me when I was young moved to Sydney married husband father I have that I have that line of trauma of going through that um uh that that that experience that of my great great grandmother is does that make sense

[00:41:54] Mike: [00:41:54] Yeah So then what have you learned about that You know there’s intergenerational trauma and perhaps how is it specifically impacted you Do you think

[00:42:08] Mick: [00:42:08] it’s it’s um It’s another piece of my identity That’s undiscovered Yeah Another piece of my identity that uh that adds to to to my um to to like get us to piece of a puzzle so to speak And and if that’s impacted me then I can only imagine how it impacted and still impacting the families and the communities you are still going through that kind of experiences

[00:42:46] Mike: [00:42:46] Yeah Oh quite directly that the generations above you So your biological father and so on beyond that Yeah Is it is it something that you have want to like explore with Your father is it possible Do can you speak to that at all

[00:43:08] Mick: [00:43:08] I sort of had to you know I held a lot of resentment towards him and towards my mum as well And that was the thing that I had to really look at was it wasn’t just a a fatherless connection that I had with my biological father or lack of connection Um cause when I had finally healed myself with that then I started to address my mother’s wound If you’re familiar with the mother wound

[00:43:44] Mike: [00:43:44] please go on for us

[00:43:48] Mick: [00:43:48] I then had to address that How um you know my my wife and her son uh our oldest son my stepson there and they’re going through the same thing They’re experiencing the same thing and and I’m I’m just holding holding space and sharing my journey of what I went through when I was uh my step son’s age And The relationship that I or lack of relationship I had not just with my biological father but with my mother as well Um because we spend nine months in a mother’s womb and everything that we are through our DNA is passed on through the mother to us And then we Like that’s why our belly button in our culture a belly button is the most important like sacred chakras Is that a practice that um people do where there’s sense sacral or sacral I’m not sure what the most sacred chakra sits there

[00:45:01] Mike: [00:45:01] What’s the name for it in your culture?

[00:45:06] Mick: [00:45:06] Maytha Kupay

[00:45:08] Mike: [00:45:08] Maytha Kupay

[00:45:09] Mick: [00:45:09] Maytha Kupay, so kupay is the cord that ties us right in that cord the umbilical cord physically It’s an umbilical cord and you cut it and you’ve experienced that recently but you never know spiritually and emotionally you never cut that You just don’t It just doesn’t happen You are forever connected to your mum And so when things happen in our lives where um whether it’s by choice or whether it’s forceful removement like my great great grandmother with her daughters that’s that’s severing that connection emotionally And that’s the mother’s wound For me

[00:45:58] Mike: [00:45:58] So then when you say can you can you kind of explain to us so that’s the mother’s wound meaning that there’s an absence there What does that what does that kind of mean If you expand upon it for us

[00:46:08] Mick: [00:46:08] Yeah there’s there’s um there’s through neglect I suppose some people would say that Um cause mum just couldn’t really come and take me from the Island Um Cause uh it was kind of like a cultural thing that once once our grandmas or aunties take us in then you you cannot say anything

[00:46:31] Mike: [00:46:31] Right

[00:46:33] Mick: [00:46:33] And it is still practiced like that back home as we speak Um but I feel from my personal experience Uh that that almost deprived me of having a relationship with my own mother So growing up I and for the first 14 years of my life I hardly knew her and um when I moved in with her when I was 14 I spent two years with her until she had to move again back to where we’re from So it’s kind of a complicated story And then with the high school and then leaving home throughout my 36 years I think I’ve only spent three years actually being like in the same uh living with mum And then that’s You don’t really build relationships by being away you kind of have to have that interaction and that face to face eye to eye contact and you kind of have to have that nurturing growing up the giving advice and that sort of thing You can’t just do it when you’re so far apart Um and I think that’s what I was deprived of when I was little With all these cultural protocols that were at play that I never got to really spend time with mum and get to know her

[00:47:59] Mike: [00:47:59] So you were in the culture right There were certain aspects So you were obviously learning and being passed on some elements of the culture But as you say with Dad not there and also not being around your mother and then not going through these initiatory steps and stages There was still clearly some Gaps and some absences right And therefore some of these wounds created and you’re talking about

[00:48:21] Mick: [00:48:21] Absolutely Um with the initiation uh you know both side of the family have to get involved uh maternal more so maternal side Cause they’re they’re like the gatekeepers so to speak

[00:48:35] Mike: [00:48:35] Right

[00:48:35] Mick: [00:48:35] But the paternal side has to get involved as well And with most kids in the Torres Strait when we practice this culture More often than not the paternal side are never involved because they’re so distant They they’re they’re not even part of the picture Right And that was my nephew as well And that was to me when I was a kid growing up that I never really had my father there or my father’s family um to nurture and guide me as well Um And so I had to really heal that wound the wound I had carried the pain Um the resentment the anger towards my parents my biological parents

[00:49:19] Mike: [00:49:19] What does that look like

[00:49:20] Mick: [00:49:20] the healing of that wound Well it was for me I mean people go through their own journey I guess but for me I just had to um acknowledge that write it out on paper And release it Um just just tell them like not physically face to face in my in my thought process in my um spiritual being I just had to look at my mum and dad my biological mum and dad and say to them that you guys don’t You are not the reason why I’m like this I am like this because of how I perceived all these um experiences growing up And so I kind of basically saying to them they don’t own me They don’t own my emotions I mean I own my emotions I control my own emotions My thoughts words and deeds And I had to just release them And when I did that man I guess you kind of You know you put yourself out there to the universe And as soon as I did that I get a phone call From my biological father

[00:50:37] Mike: [00:50:37] right

[00:50:38] Mick: [00:50:38] Yeah Like just like that I’m like wow the power of the universe So power of God or something or whatever it’s working Hello I’m so close to finding the M uh okay And then we just had a conversation and we both crying on the phone and it’s not like I wrote him a letter physically wrote him a letter or texted him or called rang him and said we need to talk It just happened And when we speak on the phone now he acknowledges those is those moments that that he made of me and growing up

[00:51:23] Mike: [00:51:23] So then that phone call was quite integral to that healing process for you as well yeah

[00:51:29] Mick: [00:51:29] absolutely And my mum She never she barely you cannot get a boo out of her Every time I talk talk to her now the conversation is so different and our relationship is kind of as more it’s more nurturing It’s almost like she’s um I’m the kid again she’s starting her mother process of looking after me as a child

[00:51:55] Mike: [00:51:55] Right

[00:51:56] Mick: [00:51:56] It’s different Yeah And it was just from that moment of Um me releasing them from from my um inner self and I guess all those thoughts all those negative thoughts I had towards them were stopping me from forming that relationship Does that make sense

[00:52:16] Mike: [00:52:16] Yeah So the thing that you wanted from them

[00:52:19] Mick: [00:52:19] yeah or

[00:52:19] Mike: [00:52:19] the things whatever they were nurturing and love et cetera were being held back by your own stories and resentments around

[00:52:27] Mick: [00:52:27] Yeah

[00:52:28] Mike: [00:52:28] So in that there’s wounds right And there’s there’s absences and there’s things that you’ve needed to let go and write out catharticly and release So then what do you think it was that you were missing What what what was in that gap you know that essentially created the wound that you were missing from them Cause you had placed stories right around and blame but what was it that that that little Mick was actually needing That perhaps might have negated the wound to start with

[00:53:02] Mick: [00:53:02] I think for me it was um well I have to say for me cause it’s not for anyone else Um I think it was more nurturing from both sides Yeah Just just a way in which they spoke Um Uh when I see my biological father now from time to time and when I go up to Torres Strait um how he approaches me how we interact it it all comes down to that nurturing And that’s that’s what I like looking back to my to to my son’s first few years of his life I never gave him that I wasn’t really into that Um Come here and cuddle and kisses and that stuff So I never really gave him any of that nurturing because I guess subconsciously I was thinking to myself well I never had that so why should I give it to you So I was I was very strict I was very don’t do this don’t do that And I’ve already kind of had his uh years planned out um is only three at the time and also from my my experience through through playing footy Um and the way I kind of just um got shafted to the side That built up this anger inside of me about the game of rugby league I said to my three year old son that you don’t come to play rugby league You ever turned around to me and say you want to play footy I’m going to say no cause you’re not playing that sport it’s a terrible game But that was just my anger that was sitting inside that I felt towards a thing and in life that throughout my upbringing and

[00:54:54] Mike: [00:54:54] And potentially passing on some of your own trauma again

[00:54:57] Mick: [00:54:57] Exactly that’s what it was And that’s what it was It was just me then reenacting what would everyone has been doing throughout the years and just creating that same space as I was saying before that that that’s kind of not what I envisioned for my for my child Then he was just going to grow up the same kid as I was hurting as well Not having a relationship with his father

[00:55:26] Mike: [00:55:26] even though he’s around

[00:55:28] Mick: [00:55:28] Yeah Even though I was around and I see a lot of that in um in all the communities where most of us don’t have uh either a father or a mother or sometimes even both parents aren’t around And some of us who have parents around we don’t have that relationship with them We think we do from my experience especially when I became a father I’ve never really had that like that bond that real connection and with my children So I had to really develop that Um Quick smart for they grow up so quick and I had to do that real quick in the last five years and turn my life around I guess to go well um I need to be this light I need to be this beacon for them this rock this Yabina Kuppa And I need to start working on that and focus on on my inner self

[00:56:34] Mike: [00:56:34] So does that mean that you’ve kind of in a sense taken yourself through it I know you’ve been through some guidance and mentoring and so on as well A bit of an initiation

[00:56:46] Mick: [00:56:46] Sorry

[00:56:47] Mike: [00:56:47] Does that mean that you’ve kind of taken yourself through a bit of this initiation Like I know you’ve also been through some some mentoring and some experiences and so on but it would you say that that’s kind of been happening now

[00:56:58] Mick: [00:56:58] Yeah I almost had to create my own initiation Um whether it is if someone looked into it and it’s deemed culturally appropriate or not I’m not sure but nevertheless it was some initiation process that I had to go through on my own And um and learning I guess bringing all the elements together the spiritual cultural Mental and physical elements and tying them all into this one theme Or so if it’s a compass like this the center point of the compass which is my inner core my inner self and now like living up in beautiful Sunny Coast as a sun is coming through It’s a blessing because I have this space and throughout this COVID I have this space to really look at each of the elements to really look at each of them for points of my own inner compass and work on that Yeah And god and be dealt with uh uh a bit of a challenge in the last two years And so I neglected my physical health and then I had to then work on that since coming up here and having the space to do that Um so there’s all these different things that I’ve got to look at within myself And what what uh what are the cause of why I’m not progressing So with my culture for example why am I not progressing with that And then I look at the cause well I not only have on my mother’s side of the family and and and the tribe and all that but I also have my father’s side something that I also need to I need to explore still because it’s a huge family

[00:58:51] Mike: [00:58:51] Yeah Okay So then you know you know from my own experience and education and learning but also from this conversation you know seeing clearly the power the impact the importance of initiation and it’s by the sound of it something that you’re still you know really exploring and learning as well So can you share with us then like What do you see as the the the point what what is its place This initiation this transition you know in a sense we’re talking kind of from from boy to man if okay Let me ask you this one two three go wherever you want with it Points for why we need initiation today

[00:59:43] Mick: [00:59:43] Oh wow um man

[00:59:48] Mike: [00:59:48] Hit me me

[00:59:49] Mick: [00:59:49] Okay Um firstly personal development which is very important We all look at external things We all look blame things and blame people And and I think The purpose of, of having these initiation, um, uh, practices and it doesn’t have to be something that’s been practiced for thousands of years.

[01:00:17] You can just make one up yourself today and that’ll be it whatever works for you.

[01:00:24] Mike: [01:00:24] So what do you think then is when you say, make something up so, so what has to happen, do you think?

[01:00:29] Mick: [01:00:29] Oh look, um, I guess it can be something is as simple as a physical activity for, for instance, um, my family, uh, been going through, uh, our own challenges and how I worked with the kids in, in recent weeks,

[01:00:49] um, was to get to express themselves onto paper. So just write things down. How do you feel, why do you feel this? What can you do to, to work through this, to, to help you transition through this feeling? And they’ve written everything down. Everything. And it was so amazing, so powerful. Um, and then at night we lit the fire.

[01:01:16] Um, you know, we had to pick a cool, nice crisp evening. Can you imagine putting a fire on, up in the Queensland and scorching heat? Um, so we lit the fire and then we just stood around the fire and they, um, just read the notes. And then just said up a few things, um, just off the cuff and just chucked it in the fire and just released it like that.

[01:01:45] And then you can just see them. Just like, just the behaviour shift, they grow like not, not physically, just emotionally. They, we’re all crying around the fire. And then some people might say, wow, Mick that’s pretty full on, want you’re doing to your kids, but to me and them, because this is something that we talk about beforehand, that’s kind of like a little initiation practice that we go through, if we want to release our, our emotions that are, um, not toxic, but just kind of, um, disrupting.

[01:02:23] Mike: [01:02:23] Something that’s maybe being held onto. And so what I’m getting there is the letting go of, and I know, you know, parts of initiation is almost looking at, you know, like, kind of the death of something. Right. And so for you, when it comes to the culture and this initiation, you know, that a boy must go through, is that something that’s happening there? It’s kind of in part, you know, not to really speak to the heightened version of that term death, but the death of, the letting go of the boy and in one sense he’s always there, but so that the man can kind of emerge from the flame, so to speak.

[01:03:00] Mick: [01:03:00] Yeah. Absolutely. So that’s yeah, whatever, like exactly that, and that that’s almost like the personal development that we have to really focus on, um, the self first and not, not in a selfish way, but just, just look at the individual and go, right –

[01:03:18] where, where, where is he at? So, in my case? Where am I at with my compass? How are my four points going. Like if I were to put, like, rate them and put dots on each of the four points of my compass, will I get a perfect circle? If I do a reasonable circle, then my wheels going around perfectly.

[01:03:41] Mike: [01:03:41] Yeah.

[01:03:42] Mick: [01:03:42] There’s times where I don’t get a perfect circle. You cannot push your wagon if your wheel’s not round, um, And that’s that’s, that’s like in life. So personal development, um, productive learning, I guess, would be another one. The points for initiation. Yeah. It’s constantly doing things and, um, journaling for me, that’s productive learning. Cause I’m constantly learning about myself and others.

[01:04:14] I’m constantly growing. Um, doing things like coaching, uh, mentors and, uh, someone, um, as wonderful, such as yourself is, is a great coach. Um, and I’ve, I’ve follow your work very closely and, you know, that’s your helping men, um, not just, uh, transition through these phases that we go through in life, but to have an outcome, to have a purpose, a meaning. Um, and all, you know, I think what I experienced, especially in the last year doing the initiation was empowerment

[01:04:55] It was just about sitting there in the hut with my nephew, having a chat to him, having a laugh, just like we are doing right now, having a conversation, just interacting, forming a relationship, building that trust. And it’s empowering. Not just, it wasn’t just empowering for me, but I’m sure it was for him, um, to have someone like myself sitting there across from him and just having a chat in the hut.

[01:05:24] Mike: [01:05:24] Being seen.

[01:05:26] Mick: [01:05:26] Yeah, exactly.

[01:05:26] Mike: [01:05:26] Invited to a new place. I think that’s, that’s something I think is really powerful. And then, you know, on a broader scale I know I’m, you know, I’m actually listening to some content at the moment around initiation is it’s incredibly insightful stuff. So then what I want to ask is, so then what part does this then play back into the community?

[01:05:47] The initiation of this, this person.

[01:05:51] Mick: [01:05:51] So it’s all, it’s almost like the, the young warrior and then becomes that rock for the community. When we, when I, when we marched him, uh, on set the right term, marched him when we took him from the, from the hut then to present the young warrior to the family to say, um, is kawkuyg, which is a young man.

[01:06:20] We’ve, we’ve done all the right things and we’ve shaved, he had his shave and now he’s ready. Um, I was, I said something and this was, you know, you said it was advice from my uncles. Um, but went something like this: um, ngoey nuyn moerapidh balbag tidan.

[01:06:50] So what it meant was: we’ve when we make the spears out of the bamboos, it’s a lengthy process. So we have to straighten the spear and you go, they kind of like a, I don’t know what they called, they’re rivits or something like that. Um, so you gotta, you gotta work on them and straighten them, hang it up on the tree and bring it down and do the same thing again until you get a perfect perfectly straight spear.

[01:07:18] Um, so that’s kinda like what we do with the young men, uh, throughout the initiation process, we’re straightening him through, through the values, the cultural values we share and have experiences with him. We take him hunting and that sort of thing. And so that’s what he learns throughout it. And it’s like, we straightening that spear.

[01:07:38] So that then is then able to provide or, um, be that rock for his family. And

[01:07:46] Mike: [01:07:46] Yeah, the other thing that I’m getting there as, you know, A spear that isn’t straight doesn’t fly so well, whereas when it’s straight, it can actually follow, you know, considered direction and it can follow that direction.

[01:07:58] Mick: [01:07:58] Absolutely.

[01:07:59] Mike: [01:07:59] With impact.

[01:08:01] Mick: [01:08:01] Um, yeah. And, and the other thing too, I said was, um, uh, I should think back. Um, so not the nathanu siayka and nath is the platform. And this is back in the ancient days when we never had like motorised boats and stuff like that. So they used to build these, uh, things, um, platforms and stick them out in the, in the ocean.

[01:08:34] Like, obviously not too deep just to, um, put them on the reef or something. And men was standing on top of that, sometimes for days. And they would sit there or stand there and wait till, till the their catch or whatever they were hunting would swim up the platform. And then that’s how they caught, um, food for their families.

[01:08:59] And you can imagine standing there, hot sun, you’ve only probably got like a couple of coconuts not sitting there where you can drink from, to hydrate yourself. No food. You, you then, it would then, like in terms of the cultural value, you would learn humility, you would learn patience, you would learn all these important things that makes you a great hunter, a true warrior.

[01:09:28] And obviously we don’t do that anymore. Stand on them, put a kid on a platform. I don’t know if any of us would be able to survive doing that. There are other ways of doing stuff. Other ways or do we things that kind of resembles that. Does that make sense? With our initiation that we are discussing that anyone who’s listening right now can come up with their own initiation can create their own way of ritual with themselves, their families, their wives, their partners, um, whatever, whatever works to actually connect yourself to your inner self.

[01:10:09] If that makes sense. And, and that’s, that’s what I said, nathanu siayka goeygaythka ayka poeybayka. So to provide the community with his cats and that, that was the whole analogy beyond it; was that we straightened this young man, this young boy, like we do with the bamboo, and then now we handing him over to the family in saying that he’s, he is, ready to then do the same thing, what us men have already done and for the generations to follow.

[01:10:47] Mike: [01:10:47] Beautiful. I love it. Thank you for sharing your story and the journey that’s taken us on. Um, and ah, some beautiful little reflection points in there and also for sharing it and some of that and your language. Um, so it was one of the things I want to ask you then as we come to the end of this Mick is,

[01:11:09] you know, you said a couple of, many things in there, but one being there was this Mick who was kind of in a circle that wasn’t necessarily going anywhere. This incident happened, you know, with your wife and your son, and then you started to explore things and there’s been this shift and this exploration in the points of the compass and so on.

[01:11:30] And I was just said, well, look, this is actually kind of the Mick that I’ve I’ve known, and this is the Mick that I see. I see this groundedness. I see this presence. And so I’ve got a couple of questions for you. One, what do you think that is? What would you call that? And then the second question is what has been important for you to kind of really get to that?

[01:12:00] Mick: [01:12:00] What would you call that?

[01:12:02] Mike: [01:12:02] Yeah. You know, I, I use those words, groundedness, presence for you. What does that, is it something that you can recognise in yourself?

[01:12:13] Mick: [01:12:13] Ah, look, there’s so many things that I could, um, that I could say to kind of explain, like what would I call that? But yeah, the, the one thing that I always, um, you know, people will go to me.

[01:12:29] So, um, they share their experiences on what they think of me, my wife, Karinda does that all the time. And well, with just stories the way you talk and stuff like that. It all comes down to one thing and that’s humility. And humility is the biggest thing for us in our culture. And whenever we do something like this here, you and I, I was, I honoured you for that.

[01:12:56] And I actually, uh, humble myself before you, as you just say, like, you are the one who is, um, uh, how do I explain it? But I am in your service. So to speak, I am here to, um, obviously your purpose, uh, is much greater than, than the, um, how do I put it in words? You you’re helping men. Yeah. And this conversation will provide a space for, for men, not just to heal, but also to, to learn and grow, grow from.

[01:13:40] And that cause that purpose is so big that I then have to humble myself to help you to sit, to be at your service so that we can reach all your audience. And then that’s, that’s the thing that we always acknowledge whenever we, um, through events, through feastings, through special occasions to, uh, through deaths when we have funerals, um, everyone that whoever talks always has to say that.

[01:14:13] And they humble themselves. So ngay lak mina koeyma apasin, to say, I am very, very humbled to be in this space and I do it with the kids. I, we go down to the beach, um my son on, Junior surfs every Saturdays and you see him walk down and he stops before he enters the water.

[01:14:38] And that’s what we say. We apasin humble ourselves to be in that space. And then we request permission to enter the water. That’s that’s what I see. That’s what I feel, humility. And a second one is that it’s a constant, constant growth, constant learning, and it’s all it’s about finding, finding what’s right for you.

[01:15:11] You know, there’s so many things out there that people can, um, give you advice and direct you and things like that. But at the end of the day, it’s all about you and what, what works for you. Um, after this conversation to, to debrief myself, you know, to go through this journey with you this morning is, is quite, uh, it’s powerful.

[01:15:38] It’s emotional. Um, a it’s kind of, you know, really bringing the older, the past traumas back into play. Um, not knowing how to deal with this, these kind of experiences can really, uh, impact your day to day living. So for me, like I will journal about it, but straight after this, I might go outside and do some gardening.

[01:16:08] So I’ve got some gardening stuff waiting there.

[01:16:11] Mike: [01:16:11] Beautiful.

[01:16:11] Mick: [01:16:11] It’s been sitting there for a week,

[01:16:13] Mike: [01:16:13] You’ve be waiting for this conversation.

[01:16:15] Mick: [01:16:15] Yes. I’ve been waiting. I knew there was something coming up, so

[01:16:19] Mike: [01:16:19] You’re welcome

[01:16:21] Mick: [01:16:21] Karinda will come back and, she’s gone for a walk with the little one, and she’ll go, Oh, now you want to do gardening now say no, it was inspired by Mike, right?

[01:16:34] Mike: [01:16:34] Beautiful. Um, thank you for sharing that. And I want to share as well, a word that popped up for me in all of it that you’re, that you’re sharing. And that is respect. I get this deep sense of respect is, is almost the foundation for all of that, right? For the humility, for, you know, everything basically that you’ve discussed how I respect myself, how I respect those around me and my family and my community, and so on which

[01:17:01] I see, and, and I have, um, felt that, and I also respect you for sharing that, and I do honour you and very much appreciate you for sharing all of the story. Fascinating. I’m so happy that I can introduce some of, you know, your culture to, um, the listeners and, um, yeah. If they would like to learn more about you, what you do in the world, where they can, they find you? Let’s start there.

[01:17:31] Where can they find you?

[01:17:32] Mick: [01:17:32] Where can they find me

[01:17:34] Mike: [01:17:34] Online? What are you doing with your business?

[01:17:38] Mick: [01:17:38] They, you know, I still practicing ancient rituals saying ancient teaching. So if they want to find me, then they’re going to have to look really hard for that smoke signal. Or I might have to send them the pigeon.

[01:17:54] I went through this phase in not a phase. It was a, a growth process where I went without a phone for nearly two years. Um, and that was, uh, well, actually I got, I only got the phone last year before the Manifest. Right. Um, but prior to that, I had no contact. So every time people found it frustrating. And said to me, well, you got to get something. I said, why? Cause we gotta contact you. What For? I kept saying that to them like, Oh look what the smoke signals. Should’ve gone to Specsavers, haha.

[01:18:33] On a serious note. Um, we do have, uh, a social enterprise, um, where we, where a lot of it is to do with this, these kind of, um, what we talked about. Um, but it’s, it’s all bringing that awareness into a young men and young women’s, um, lives, and, and we, we go, we go to schools and, um, at the moment we kind of, uh, we’re rebranding ourselves.

[01:19:10] Um, so kind of starting fresh,

[01:19:13] Mike: [01:19:13] Ok, so that has a name or that’s being rebranded?

[01:19:16] Mick: [01:19:16] So the name is still what we’ve always had, which is a Kayin Revolution. So Kayin in Kala Lagaw Ya our language, um, Kayin means, uh, It means new, it means rejuvenate. It means regeneration, regrow. So when new shoots come through, we say on this Kayin malguy come through, um, so Kayin Revolution.

[01:19:41] Uh, you will find that on, um, Instagram and Facebook and

[01:19:46] Mike: [01:19:46] Yeah, I’ll get a, I’ll get all the necessary things and make sure that people can come.

[01:19:50] Mick: [01:19:50] Sorry. I’m kind of, um, Promoting my own business. Sorry,

[01:19:57] Mike: [01:19:57] I asked you the question. How can people find you?

[01:19:59] Mick: [01:19:59] But Mick Bani, just just type in Mick Bani and you’ll, you’ll come across the only Mick Bani, the only Mick Bani.

[01:20:08] Mike: [01:20:08] Oh Shit.

[01:20:08]Mick: [01:20:08] On, uh, on the, on online I’ve got Instagram and Facebook.

[01:20:15] Um, but yeah, I, I I’m, I’m always, I’m always learning. Always learning. Always growing. Yeah.

[01:20:27] Mike: [01:20:27] Well, thank you for letting us into a little part of your journey and that growth. And it’s been a, it’s been an honour and a pleasure and, um, yeah, everyone, you know, if you do want to learn more about Mick, go and check him out.

[01:20:39] The only Mick Bani.

[01:20:42] Mick: [01:20:42] Here’s the thing before we finish up, you know, we said, but like finding your identity and connectedness, and I’ve only come on, I’ve only found ‘M’ perhaps someone out there might want to come on this journey with me to help me find the ‘I’.

[01:20:58] Mike: [01:20:58] I think the I might be your job.

[01:21:02] Mick: [01:21:02] Yes.

[01:21:05] Mike: [01:21:05] Thank you very much.

[01:21:06] Mick: [01:21:06] My pleasure. Thank you.

[01:21:10] You’ve been listening to the Everyday Legends podcast. The show dedicated to helping everyday men build legendary relationships; with yourself, with your partners and in your world. If you have got something from this podcast, please share it with someone that you think could benefit from it.

[01:21:27] And please visit your home for podcasts. Like us. Subscribe to us, leave us a review. Your feedback is phenomenal in getting this in front of more eyes and ears. Until next time I Mike Campbell. And remember to build that legendary integrity.



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