June 2006, various broadcasts, 3AW studios, South Melbourne, Australia
Good evening and welcome to Rex Hunt’s fishing world on 3AW, it’s 11 degrees in Melbourne and twenty degrees in balmy Brisbane.
Well tonight having just spoken to an audience of Brisbane lions football fans at Brisbane Lions football club at the GABBA, i am of course just back from the United Kingdom, and as many of you are aware, I went straight into a weekend of football. However, now I have had time to take a breath I can reflect on my trip.
I did not realise the world was so big.
London was breathtaking in its busyness, and for the sheer weight of people numbers it is really quite staggering. As many of you are aware, my fishing program on television goes to109 countries, including Europe and the United Kingdom. Now I already knew that we had a few followers abroad, but to physically experience the response in Britain was quite amazing.
Right from the startthe people at the Heathrow airport, were on to us. Oxford Street, the main drag will never be the same with the yibbida yibbida cry going down near #s; and what about the guy in the Cambridge coffee shop he got on to me, and was a tourist from the Netherlands.
I feel I want to share these experiences with you people, who have been with me for so long. You’ve seen me rise above being a local reporter for trying to get fishing on radio and television, into what I am today – an internationally recognised angler, representing this country and singing its praises.
But it hasn’t always been like that, you know that. Most of you know only too well what a struggle it has been. But as I said to you in my message to you on June 13, the fact that it has been tough make it all the more worthwhile. As John Kennedy, the famous Hawthorn coach and now commissioner of the AFL once said: ‘the top of the mountain is the reason for climbing it in the first place.’
You people know me well enough by now to know that I’m not here to really pump my own ego up. I’m here to inspire lesser people to do their best. If we all look back, nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved without setbacks, some pain, some tears, and a bloody lot of hard work.
I’ve never see a death certificate state, ‘death by hard work’. Bundi, bundi yes, but not hard work.
By now you’ll be right on to the fact that you have floored me, totally floored me with your response to my address to the nation a few weeks ago. And despite the fact that we have sent hundreds of copies out, many peoplewanted me to let rip again. So I suppose we can do it. For those who didn’t get into the drift before, this editorial was inspired by a comment by a loser – that I was lucky, because I was Rex Hunt.
So folks start your engines and your tape recorders, because yibbida yibbida, here we go.
“Everybody knows that the tall poppy syndrome is alive and well in this country. When you travel overseas you’ll see that other countries have a far greater appreciation for achievers than we do here in Australia. However, it seems in Australia successful people instead of being admired, are subjected to petty jealousy from a minority of people who just cannot bear someone else’s success.
Now John Laws recently said that people who want to tear you down the most, are those who have failed where you have succeeded. These people are very bitter, because they believe that your position, should be theirs, without the work. The true joy of life is doing what you love doing well. We can all do something in this life as well, if not better than others. You must identify this skill and use it to your advantage. The best work in life is that work which is done with passion and a real commitment to achieving your chosen goal.
If a man doesn’t keep up with the others, it might be that he hears a different beat from the drummer. Believe me, people who don’t follow the well worn paths of life, and venture into the unknown territory, can have fantastic rewards. Many of us, and I’m a great example, have spent far too much time trying to please others in this life. Trying to do what someone else wants you to do is not the way to achieve in this life. Besides, you’ve all heard it, haven’t you? You can please some of the people some of the time ... er ... yibbida yibbida folks ... you know the rest.
When I played in the golden years of the Richmond Football Club , the excitement and the rewards were magnificent. We were the best team in the competition, because our record shows that. Thirty years on those days linger in my mind. But the lesson that I learnt, like spirit, and the hard work ethic, and the will to do my best at every opportunity, have been with me ever since, and have been instrumental in my reaching my present position.
We all have to take responsibility for our lives. The true joy of life is achieving what we set out to do. This is the opportunity that so many have right in front of them. But so many don’t recognise the chance. Because it may be dressed in overalls, or disguised as hard work or effort. That’s why I try to inspire the kids to have a go. At least try. There’s no harm in failing. The only harm is if you didn’t give it your best shot, kids.
The most frustrating thing that I see around the place is so mnay brilliant people sitting around and moping and whinging about things so petty and so easily fixed. My message kids is simple: ‘do what you want to do, be what you want to be, yeah’ – it’s a song! But it’s true.
Just because you’re not top of the class doesn’t mean you can’t buy the school. I look back at my younger years and I can see clearly the brilliant students and the classic footballers. Fair dinkum, if I played two hundred games of league football, some of these kids should have played a thousand. Potential is a nasty word. Along the journey of life, talent is not enough. And as Kieren Perkins said, ‘the world is full of educated derelicts, and nothing is more common than an unsuceessful people with talent. Great character is built from adversity. You must have a burning desire to achieve even under stress and difficulty. Remember the old clichés, tall oak trees from one seed grow. A long journey commences with one small step. No job is too big when you divide it into smaller jobs. The stink of failure and fear is also essential to make sure you keep your eye on your goal. And remember, nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved with out blood sweat tears and a lot of hard toil.
The constant focus on your goals, and the burning desire to win, together with the glorious uncertaintiy and adrenaline that comes from having a go, are the true joys of life.
Not sitting on your butt knocking others, while the rolling a fat cigarette and waiting for the next handout.
Bitching that the world will not dedicate itself to making you happy. Success in life for some is how much money you have. Well I don’t subscribe to that. I know plenty of sad sacks that could buy and sell me with the blink of an eyelid. The only time money meant something to me and Lynn was when we had none. I’ll never forget the time the bank wanted my house. My success is spending my life the way I want to spend it. And that surely is the true meaning of life. I believe that we should not be a servant to anyone’s authority, no matter what walk of life we’re from. If life’s not good enough, change it! Get out and have a go. The worst that can happen is that you fall over. So what! Get up and go and again. Yibbida yibbida is death, and that’s the end of everything, in my mind anyway.
The thing to do with your life is the thing you do best. Never do something just to please others. There are no consequences for them if you fail. Besides, most of the standoverdopes of my time are now nothing anyway, and boy, do they deserve it. Noone has a right to make you feel inferior, without your say so. You have no idea what a poor opinion I had of myself when I was a kid, and now I realise how little I deserved it.
So kids, stand up for your rights, to thyself be true, warm to yourself and others will follow suit. I want to inspire you to dream, to build, to plan, to reach your goal in your chosen field. Doing it your way, and you should all have the right to sink or swim doing it the way that you want to. We’ve got to encourage them along the way, give them some rope, let em fall, pick ‘em up, encourage them to go again. What is the use of being a parent if you can’t help your kids. What are we here for anyway?
My success is daring to be myself. Despite the knockers I press on. And folks if they only knew how it inspired me to greater heights, they surely wouldn’t give me such a valuable gift. Such a reason to do well. And while I’m driven by a desire for success in my chosen field, I must admit I get great satisfaction out of proving lightweights wrong. Losers, who have never done anything but knock. And I’m delighted to announce that there’s never been a monument erected to the memory of a critic. They just prey on someone to fall over, and when asked to make a positive contribution to society, they let you down. Every time. Without fail.
Self belief is my most valued possession. I do not choose to be a common man. I do what suits me, what I’m comfortable with. I answer only to myself. I seek opportunity, not comfort and security. I take the calculated risk. I thrive on the thrill of the moment, and the exhilarating feeling that the challenge gives me. The misinformed idea that success spoils people by making them bigoted, rude, intolerant and big headed is incorrect. On the contrary. In most cases, successful people are considerate, humble and kind towards less fortunate people.
Failure and jealousy make people cruel and bitter. Successful people in life work hard, damned hard. They grasp at every opportunity. They realise that if they believe in something hard enough, eventually it will happen. Now long after I’m dead and forgotten, it won’t matter what house I lived in, what car I drove, or the size of my bank balance. What might matter is that during my time in fishing, and the example that I set to others, was important in the life of a kid, My kid – Matthew. Who hands these ideals down to his kid, and then those, down to the other kids. And then one hundred years from now, I dream that a father and a son will catch a big snapper in Port Phillip Bay, and perhaps, just perhaps, they might remember the fat kid from Mordialluc High School, who kissed a fish and let it go. They might also remember the same kid standing up to the thugs in the scallop industry who thought their standover tactics would work again. They didn’t.
I am prepared to go even further with any group who dares to threaten the existence and future of fishing, and families, and the unlawful damage of the delicate environment, that goes with fishing.
The thing to do with your life is the thing you do best. The sin is not to do what you were meant to do. Last week that fat kid was in Cambridge two hours out of London. A bloke came up and said he enjoyed my show. He gave me a business card. The address was the Netherlands. This is dizzy stuff folks. But I’m sure you, my loyal listeners, can understand that that’s not what this is all about. This is about setting an example to the kids. No matter what. No matter what! We’re all good at something. Recognise it now and go for it.
If I can do it, so can you!
In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, the famous American president: ‘far better it is to dare mighty and impossible things even chequered by failure, than to take rank with those poor souls who neither suffer, not enjoy much at all’. They live in the world of mediocrity. In the grey twilight that knows not victory or defeat.
Have a go kids, and damn the consequences.
I’m Rex Hunt, and this is 3AW Fishing!