In this week’s episode, Josh is talking to Shane Cook who was the Overall Winner in the 2020 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards for South Australia.
Shane Cook is dedicated to giving back to the community. A proud Wulli Wulli and Guwa descendant, Shane successfully juggles being an artist and a youth mentor. He runs Street Dreamz, a business that handles both spontaneous and scheduled art projects and provides mentoring by encouraging cultural exploration, expression of emotions without words and the processing of complex feelings. Shane is a Peer Mentor for Step Out program, offering valuable mentoring support to young people involved with the youth justice system to reconnect with the community and pursue positive lifestyles. He has helped co-design and facilitate a culturally specific men’s fitness and wellbeing program.
In this episode:
- We heard about Shane’s experience running in the New York Marathon
- Spending 9 months in hospital after a burn’s incident, Shane spent the time learning more about his family’s history and their culture
- Shane shared with us how getting tattooed was a way of gaining control over his body and gave him his confidence back
Check out Shane’s website: Kooka
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Welcome to the inspirational australian’s podcast, where we chat to people making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. And here’s your host for today. Josh. Thank you annette. Hey, quick question for you. Yeah, are you listening to this podcast? Have you reviewed the inspirational australian’s podcast yet? If you haven’t, we’d really love it. If you did, it would really help us get this podcast out to more people. So go ahead on Apple podcast, which is where I listen to my podcast. It’s somewhat convoluted. So you think it’d be easy, but if you need help with that, go towards australia, dotcom slash podcast and we’ve got an easy how to guide. Now if you’re a first time listener, welcome firstly. And secondly, you might be wondering what this podcast is actually about. Hopefully he’ll listen to shane cook, but we what this podcast as it showcases incredible people like shane, try and share their stories, delve into their journeys, and yes, these stories will inspire you. So check out the other episodes and subscribe. And if you’re also wondering who exactly is involved with these awards, because the people that we interview here are through the young achiever award or the community achievement awards programs that award australia run. Then head over to our youtube page, which is easily searched youtube is going to search for what australia is heaps of videos of the awesome winners that we showcase the finalists and the events themselves. So check that out. It’s a hopefully you won’t get lost in a positive rabbit hole of celebrating or some people. So without delaying any further to this week’s dose of inspiration, we’re talking to shane cook, who is the twenty south australian young achiever of the year. shane is an incredible guy from adelaide and we’ll hear more about his story now. His bio is a tough one when I was researching what to write up for his bio, because he does so many things. But you know, one of the cool things that always gets a good reaction from people is Shane actually designed the indigenous round guernsey for the adelaide crows. He’s had heaps of artwork. He works with community . He’s also done the indigenous marathon project, which is just mind blowing for me. I can’t even run 10k, so I was going to throw the u.s. . Welcome. Thanks for having me. My absolute pleasure. So you’re sitting in the car at the moment, which is absolutely on brand for you because you’re always going from here to that you’re working with so many different people and doing so much. Can you tell us what did today look like for shane cook? Yeah, so today I was actually at uni, i’ve almost finished up my first year of my bachelor of arts psychotherapy degree. So almost it’s my first year at uni, which is something that I never thought I’d ever do. And I thought I was done with school, but here I am. Yeah, I’m back and then so then shortly after that I had a meeting with a physios help me kind of overcome an injury that I’ve been kind of battling with for the last eight months after being injured. So I’m actually planning on going off to run the great ocean road marathon in about four weeks time. So that’s one, so that you’re going to be a first marathon in a while. They’ll be my first event back. So I’m actually going to be doing the half this time, which is a twenty three day event. But just for me, it’s just more of the mental challenge of getting back out there and finding some inspiration with all these people that decide to run these events. I guess, yeah, sure. One of the things that was, Yeah, it was a big part of your, I guess, nomination and why, you know, again, it was just one part of what you were doing is the indigenous marathon project. So, you know, I’ve heard about it quite a bit for those who don’t know what it is, can you give us a bit of background on that program? Yeah, so the imf or the anp, the indigenous marathon project was, was created by a great man called rob de castella, who used to hold the world record for marathon. running is one of australia’s best runners holding the world record for marathon running and saying that I blows my mind to even think of that. So he, what he does, what he, what he did was he, after representing australia, he went out to communities and was trying to find the next, you know, next best runner and trying to find an aboriginal person to sit, to take up running. And he kind of my, my understanding is that he went out to these remote communities and not only found some good runners, but he also come across all the, the issues and all the stuff that kind of effect aboriginal people and not in a negative way, whether it be around the health or alcohol or not having the best food being able to ship out to these communities i guess. So he kind of shifted from wanting to find the best runner to almost going back out to community to give young people an opportunity to help their own community. So he, he, he selects 12 young aboriginal people from around australia in the age of 18 to 30, to put their hand up to take on the challenge of running a marathon. But it’s also a personal development program for you to step up and be a positive role model in your community. And that’s, that’s kind of where I I see now the people of my community do it before me. And I thought it was pretty inspiring people and they used to wear this yellow singler. And I had a friend called ruth wallace who used to play for the Lakers women’s team. And I said, where’d you get that singlet? Because I wanted to, and she said you got to own this one, bro. And I was like, and I told her that I’ll get one and it was a quite some time after that actually happened to go on. But here we are. And yes, it’s great to kind of follow in her footsteps, and there’s just so many great young aboriginal people from around australia that have all kind of put their hand up to be a part of this program. So now there’s over one hundred graduate, which is pretty crazy. started about ten years ago. Yep. That’s awesome. It’s grown from something that was. Yeah, he’s, he’s out there trying to bring people in and find it. And now people are putting their hands up there, wanting to get involved. And as you said, Yeah, I’ve seen that yellow jersey in many photos, and it is a cool looking jersey and it’s something now that you’re right, it’s recognizable and it’s a it is a role model thing and leadership and helmets. It’s really cool. So you, you went to New York with that, didn’t you? Yeah, yes I, I got selected and I’m 20, 19 to so we had to do a 30 coton trial previous to that you do a whole bunch of different training. So you obviously do running training, but I also do like aboriginal mental health and first aid training. You do you run coach accreditation and we also on a search for sport and recreation. So you have to undertake some study as well. But upon completing all of that and also doing the right things and sticking to my training program, I run a study time trial in alice springs which, which I was successful in being qualifying for the team now going to New York. So yeah, it was pretty exciting for me. New York was probably one of the places i’ve always wanted to go is what I’m really passionate about and growing up, run around graffiti and street art. And that’s where that’s where I come from. So for me, it was actually exciting to go over there and run in the place where, you know, I looked up to and looked at for such a long time regarding where this art form come from. For sure. And I do want to ask you about that the artwork and being in New York. But first I do have to ask the run, how did you go running a new York marathon for some people? Is the, you know, the highlight of marathon running you had I, it was, it was hands down one of the best experiences i’ve had in my life and not like, obviously the run was really tough and, and that was always going to be tough. marathon running is pretty hard on you when you self on your body, but just seeing like how many different people from all over the world does it like? It was kind of blew my mind to see that many people, all in one, one space at the same time and starting off coming. As soon as that, you know what I do is I find that these big fighter planes fly over this bridge where you start in staten island and these planes fly over the top. And then this cannon starts and then you see these, you hear these footsteps and going over the bridge and we just happened to be on the lower level of the bridge. So you could hear, you know, thousands and thousands of people all running and it was so quiet. Yeah. Well, funny. Like all around, just like this really kind of surreal moment. Like all right, here we go. Like this is what I’ve been training for, I guess. And, and then as we proceed through the, through the run as you go to the different five boroughs of New York, like whether it be brooklyn or, or when you get to manhattan, all the different places that you go, people are celebrating like they had like these these people in these drums and that the people breakdancing like deejaying it was, it was a pretty, pretty crazy experience and I would love to, I would actually love to go back in and take it all in because I think I feel like I you know, it was kind of caught up in the moment and so excited. I actually love to go back in and take my time with it next time. Maybe. Yeah. And cycle in rather than just trying to get through the run. Yeah. It shows how, how white i am and my reference when you talk about the five boroughs is like, oh you’re like the beastie boys song. Yeah. Yeah. But anyway, moving on. So yeah, you’re in New York, obviously, your art background is you know, extensive and did you get to, I guess engage with any of that while you were there? Yeah, I, I kind of, I told I told my, um, my, my, my girlfriend, before I went, I said when we got to New York, i have to paint now. I could be saying that would be pretty you know, pretty special to be able to say that I painted. Then I think at the time there was another girl on my squad called siana catala. She’s actually her family is actually from adelaide like from yorke peninsula. Her mother, but she lives in melbourne and I kind of grew up around her family and spent a lot of time on a country. So I mean her, we’re pretty close during the year and she actually works for closing the gap, which is fighting for free. The flag and you know, they’re doing a lot of stuff for like aboriginal rights and that which is really amazing to do incredible stuff. I’m pretty sure most people may have heard of them. But if you haven’t definitely check them out. And been in the news recently because of a gap. The clothing brand sued them. Oh, they go. Yeah. Because they got yeah. So they’ve got to I think they’re in the process of rebranding to clothing the gaps. Yeah, just adding the S on the end a bit disappointing to be honest, like gap’s coming after that, that’s ridiculous. But anyway, they want it right? Yes, I think that’s not. I feel like there’s always, there’s always something that’s going to kind of, I think they’re doing great things and the only one that knows of them, they’re trying to do great things. So that point when that stuff happens. But I’m yeah, so anyway we run the marathon and I took a trip out to I think it was like the South bronx where this where there’s a, there’s this place called andrew freeman home and it’s a community center out in the Bronx and I went there because I heard that they do like a lot of youth art stuff there. So we went out there and I met someone who I had met through someone else’s really random house. And this person about who I was talking to this guy who is an artist and also does a lot of stuff similar to what I do here in Australia. And I just started chatting with him and I said, oh, you know if there was an opportunity to paint, i’d love to do that. But if not, that’s cool. I’ll tell you understand. And that is that he rang me and said, hey, I’ve got a spot for you if you want to paint and I was like, pretty blown away. So like we were out shopping or we’re out looking around doing some stuff. And I pretty much thought we have to stop what we’re doing. Right. And I wasn’t paying because I’m straight away. I’m going to go do this and then. So we end up going back out to the frame at home, and I end up painting a like a graffiti piece alongside these other guys who were doing these pieces. One girl is from france who was travelling from france and then there was this guy called andre trying to be timeless. And so yeah, painting with them and, and above put like, you know, free the flag. And for me that was pretty significant. A painting that I’ve ever done to be able to like be in New York where the home of graffiti is but, and also feel like I was doing something to, you know, share what was going on back home in our country, around the flag and, and the rights not being not to use our flag on our clothing, which is still ongoing, but I think for me that pace was like yeah, definitely one of my favorite artworks have ever done. Yeah, that’s a really cool story. shane, that’s awesome. So speaking of one of your favorite pieces, obviously that one is, is right up there. Is there any others? Maybe more locally that would rank up high on your list? Those of i’ve done quite a lot like obviously working with the afl clubs and, and working with the afl and the sporting teams is like high profile stuff. And it’s amazing. Those are the kind of things that I always dreamt of doing as a young person. But I think the things that I really enjoy, i actually enjoy the most, is bringing young people on to work with me on stuff. So like whether it’s at a school or a community center. I actually like to Show the young kids about the process of the process of how to create large scale work and also like, you know, collaborating with them to give them the opportunity that I always wish I had when I was their age. Because obviously it’s, i’ve had a lot of people put their hand up, put their hand out for me and give me the opportunity. So I feel like that’s my obligation to do to help these other young people. If, if I want that to give them that give them the opportunity and to continue giving them that opportunity. So yeah, so obviously I also have my own community arts program called straight dreams, which is a collaboration of my own artwork with community which kind of represents st. Obviously for street art and then dreams, which is pretty significant of the, of the dreamtime and dreamtime stories. So it’s about sharing stories, collaborating with community, and also creating, you know, some street artwork or large scale murals. So that’s um that was a dream of mine. And it’s pretty cool to be able to do that and share that with so many young people when I say yeah, for sure. So obviously you’ve got your work with straight dreams. Where does your tattooing fit in? Because I know you do a lot of tattoo work as well. Yeah. So that’s, I was always kind of, I was always kind of in and around the you know, around a lot of people that were tattooing and for myself actually, I don’t know if many people would notice, but some people do. I was in an incident where when I was very young, so I had like 30 percent of my body where I was burnt, but I got to an age where I could start getting tattoos and tattooing for me was at the time I looked at it as like I just loved getting tattooed on a laptop. I looked back at it now and I feel like that’s when I started getting my confidence back as a young person, after having this traumatic thing happen in my life when I started getting tattoos was like kind of like me taking control back of my own body and I felt like the more I got tattooed, the better off felt about myself. And so yes, I’ve been given the opportunity by a black diamond and amanda and kelly was massive because it was always saying, I would have loved to do. And I’ve done a little bit of it when I was younger and kind of moved away from it back into like the youth stuff. But I feel like the environment they’ve created down there. Really kind of made me feel valued and they kind of said, you know, we know you’ve got a lot on but we definitely feel like today you’re saying that would be really great for your community because we got so many people in here asking for tattoos and sometimes we, we do it, we do it for them because that’s what they’re asking of us, but we thought it would be pretty special to have someone who is for first nations the nationality to be able to do that for them. So yeah, kind of given me a huge opportunity to be able to give back to my community in that way as well. Yeah. Especially if you know, you tell me if this is correct, That maybe if they’d come with a design, that might be easier for them to do it. But if they’ve come with more of a concept, then really it’s that’s where having you, there would be like the ultimate, like you can do to help the design. Yeah. drew the tattoo and it’s really from your culture. The connection is so strong that rather than you know, I guess losing that kind of that culture connection. Yeah, absolutely. And I’m always the one thing to do is I always encourage any first national aboriginal or torres strait islander person that come into the studio to, to work with me on a design is to, you know, talk to their family in the community and, and get them involved as well because I’m really just like the vehicle to help them . You know, share the identity on their skin really like so. Many is like a way of, you know, so some people who may have trouble with identity issues. We may not be have the darker skin or whatever, but they want to, you know, feel proud of who they are as an aboriginal person. So be nice to give them a tattoo which shows and promotes the cultural identity to, to, to themselves for themself or for the, for the wider community. I think that’s, I think that’s a great thing and, and I’ve had a great response from so many people, not even from outside, but from around australia. There are another, there are a few other tattoo artists in Australia that are doing, you know, who are aboriginal as well that tattoo. And I think that’s amazing. And I think it’s really good to be able to connect with them as well to see what they’re doing in their state. So it’s been a really interesting you know, first, first year that I’ve been at the studio, but definitely can, I think it’s just beginning. I think I think there’s a lot more to explore that. Yeah. And the timing to me sounds really good too. Like last year was a difficult year to go and see other people in other places and connect with them and learn and share knowledge. But this year, obviously we can do that now and you know, maybe you’re doing this now is the timing, right? Yes, it was funny because like when I, I, I just got the opportunity to stop back a black diamond and I was there for like a week and then it hit pretty bad and everything got that when I was what a time, what a time to what it’s time to start back at the studio so, but what it did is it gave me a lot of time to destroy and talk to other people from, you know, from all over the place and let them know what I’m doing. And I kind of get their advice as well because I think for, I think for a lot of a lot of aboriginal people I think having, i feel like sometimes it’s hard because I think it’s hard for me because there’s people that want to support aboriginal people and would like to do that kind of pays respects to the first nations people, but then it’s difficult. So I don’t feel comfortable with tattooing, you know, aboriginal first nations work on non first nations people. And so that’s kind of tricky in itself as well, where a lot of those conversations and people around that, you know, and, but it’s really good. I think it’s, I think it’s, I think it’s great that people are asking and not asking people who are wanting to seek more clarification around that stuff because they obviously don’t want to offend anyone. But what I’m getting from it is just seeing how many people actually want to support know first nations people I guess. Yeah. Well, let me know if I’m putting in a spot here with this question. So feel free to answer it, but for people who want to be allies and show that they’re, that the allies are really supporting first nations people, you know, do you have any advice around what some great steps people can take or things along those lines. I think I think to be a good, good ally in that with aboriginal people would just be you know, be a friend to aboriginal people. First of all, I just get to know them and build genuine, good, genuine relationships and connect with them. And look, come to come with an open mind like you know, and to talk to one aboriginal person or torture, the person and then to talk to another. And you’re going to realise that we are very similar in some ways, but in other otherwise we’re very different. Like I believe in certain things. Another aboriginal person might think is very wrong or they don’t believe it at all . So I think just building genuine connections with aboriginal people and, and if you got friends and ask them, how can I help you or what can I do to help? But I think it just comes naturally. If you’re their friend, like I support my friends who happen to be aboriginal, i still support them as just by building genuine relationships with them. I guess. I think it starts from that. I think once you start, there’s genuine yeah. friendships and then it builds on it’s easy, it’s easy to come by, but you definitely get people that I’ve had people saying, hey, I want to get an aboriginal tattoo and I’ve had to explain to them like, you know, I don’t feel comfortable with this. And this is why, and I hope you understand and some people kind of some, i’ve had a few people where it’s kind of been a bit difficult to help them understand that. But I think just, I think patience is key. Things take time and, and even with aboriginal people that come get tattooed, sometimes I tell them I’m like, look, I’m not going to tell you that I don’t feel comfortable with the design from, from art, from an artistic perspective. Like I’d much rather make you wait for a bit longer and be confident in what I’m doing rather than having you in doing something and then regretting it later. Yeah. Yeah, I love that advice about just be a friend and just have an open mind because to me that doesn’t matter whether you’re talking to someone from a different culture, with a different ability, whether it’s someone who has a disability, whether it’s somebody who speaks of the language, whatever it is, just yeah, just be friends and have an open mind. Let that advice translate to everything and I think so. Yeah, that’s, that’s the way that’s, that’s the way I see it. And that’s what I was saying is all, you talked to different aboriginal people and they’re going to have, they’ve got their own lived experience. You know, some people who have had some people who’ve had it really hard and some people are way more open to sharing things. So you just got to be patient with them. And if someone doesn’t feel up to sharing, then that’s ok as well. You know, like just to just have the patience and empathy to let people be who they, they are, you know, and I think, I think the biggest thing is letting aboriginal people lead that stuff too. Yes. Definitely. I think that’s, yeah. I wish I remembered who told me this, but yes, I asked a similar question once and it wasn’t on the podcast. But the response here was just give people a chance to speak like, don’t speak on their behalf. Yeah, let them share their opinion and their thoughts and their experience as you said, their lived experience. And again, that could be for anything, any type of situation. Just yeah, I think that’s a don’t speak on people’s behalf. So yeah, it’s funny. Sometimes the simplest things like, you know, some things are just yeah, I find it funny sometimes because I feel like we’re so busy and so you know, occupied by the living we forget to just just take things there. Everything’s in a rush. Sometimes I think things good things take time and I think we’re just so used to the kind of things happening so instantly that when it doesn’t we, you know, we, I don’t, I don’t know what it’s trying to say there, but I just feel like they’re saying sometimes sometimes so less is more and this is just, this is my thing. Is that your approach as well with, you know, when you go into community or when you talk to young kids because I know you’re really passionate about working with young people in and things like that. Yeah. Like when I go into this, when I go into these places like I go in and some people look at it as though I might be trying to sell myself as an artist. But I kind of look at myself as someone that’s going in there to create an opportunity. And there’s not an opportunity for me to create something. It’s an opportunity for me to go in there and say, what can we create together? And then what do you want to do and, and, and then got it, but I just show them how I would do it. And if they want to do it that way, we can do it that way. By other ideas. Maybe I’ll learn something, you know. Yeah, do you have like an example of when that kind of situation is played out? I think that it just happens a lot around when I go into schools and do school workshops to do murals, like I’ve got a preconceived idea of how I did my own artwork and then I’ll go into a school and the kid wants to maybe do like a portrait or do something that’s kind of saying that I don’t do it and I go, oh wait a minute. This is not something that makes me a little bit nervous. The first I don’t know how this is going to turn out, but I feel like when I just do my best and show them that by doing that is showing them as well that it’s ok to give things go. It’s ok to give things go and sometimes it’s going to take time to get to get good at it. Not everything you do is going to be your best work. But I feel like I’m learning learning from the psychotherapy side of it and the well being sort of just having the opportunity to create and having that time and space to do that. That’s really good for your mental health. Whether it’s the best piece you’ve ever painted, or it’s something that you just see exploring or experimenting with just that time and space is really good for your mental health. So shane, switching gears a little bit, you know, you’ve got so many different things on the go straight dreams doing the marathons, your own personal fitness. And obviously you got to try and fit in the time to spend with your partner because I know what you know when you do so much that a loved one. Sometimes they’re the ones who bear the brunt of of us. Nothing. So yeah, I guess what is a what do you reckon that the rest of twenty twenty one or maybe hold or do you have like a, a path that you are wanting to kind of narrow or at the moment? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I definitely feel like I’m in a stage where I’m starting to really try to refine back what, what I try to do because sometimes I do take on a lot and, and yeah, and then, and that does suck when it starts impacting on my relationships with my family or friends or my partner and I’m, I’m not making events and stuff that I probably could be if I just took the time out to not overbook myself so much. But I definitely feel like the timing is something that I’m trying to be as consistent as possible because I’m really enjoying that. I feel like after this first year I might give you a little bit of a break just to kind of give myself some breathing space to really spend some quality time around the doing stuff as well. Also going to keep continuing to work with the schools and the counselors and stuff like that to keep creating these projects for the young people. But I definitely feel like I definitely feel like, yeah, just kind of maybe taking a step back from uni in the study though. Kind of give me some breathing space to create some quality quality stuff. Not saying that I’m not going to go back to uni, but I definitely feel like that’s what I’m looking at. I’m going to study for like the rest of my life if I can. So I’m not really worried about taking too big a break from it because I just feel like it’s part of my life. But definitely going to try to put some more quality time into the tattooing. Yeah, the only thing that’s really interesting me. So. Yeah, well you know this better than anyone, life is a marathon, not a sprint. So I got my head. Yeah, true. Very true. So, you know, the reason I’m asking about all this stuff that’s going on is, you know, casting my own mind back to the judging of the seven years young achiever award. So you were a winner in South australia and to let people know kind of part the curtain a little bit, let them know what happened. You’re a finalist in two different categories and know incredible kind of story of what you do. And I think the thing that makes it so powerful is that it’s so humble and that you’re just, you know, very honestly happy just doing it because you love doing the things. And it just happens that the stuff you do, it impacts a lot of people. So you had a bit of an interesting experience because we did an online event most people at home, but just kind of before that the restrictions eased up and you could have these little mini gatherings. And so you went off to conclude those who don’t know there are an arts organization in adelaide, but this i’ve never been in there, but I’ve seen it a beautiful old building in North adelaide and you went in there for like this mini party as a finalist and what was it like kind of being in a party, but then you have to get in front of a screen and be part of an online event and then rejoin the party. Yeah, it was, I was really good. I think everyone was really excited actually to be there. I was that the first time that a lot of us had been back into a, you know, like a social setting. I guess it was also pretty special for me because when I was younger growing up I went for I went for a lot of like personal development grants and stuff through pockley. So when I was younger, when I was, when I was just finishing school, I was still under 21, i think I, I spent a bit of time, you know, with spending time with people from cockily to, to try to further develop myself as an artist. It’s pretty cool to be back there for that for this event. And yeah, it was just, it was, I think it was nice for everyone to just kind of it was everyone’s first step back into a social setting. So everyone was in a really good mood. It was really, really, really, it was really good. Who are you there with kind of a company, a company. So I bring my partner oleanna with me. Yeah. Which is, which is awesome because I was like the first kind of kind of like a I had had maybe one previous exhibition before that, but it’s always nice to invite people to events, especially something like this where, you know, it’s a pretty significant award to, to be a part of the awards night, so that’s a big thing you know, to be to be nominated for these events is huge and I probably didn’t realize it at the time. But now looking back at it, it’s like I’m still blows me away to realize that I’ve actually that I actually was nominated, let alone won. So yeah, very honored, very honored to have been a part of the awards. And like I said to you previously, i would love to continue to be a part of it and help out and identify young people who are doing great things to try to showcase them as well. So shane, you talked about the fact that you’d love to be involved still with the awards and helping to, to recognize these young people. And that’s where us is running the awards really need help from the people in the community because you know, everyone knows their networks of young people, whether it’s through the family, through the work, different community groups, sport church, whatever it is. We just need that little little heads up. Hey guys it so and so over here is doing a great job pop in the nomination form, which for those who don’t know it’s very easy. It takes maybe three minutes to say you choose an example. shane. shane is a great artist, he’s been part of the indigenous marathon project and he worked with community a lot. You know, that’s what’s that two sentences but kind of one long sentence and a couple of contact details. That’s all it is. And then from there, our team kind of makes it all happen. So it is quite easy. And yeah, thanks for offering to kind of keep that, that role going because it was great when you were part of our judging panel for this current year’s awards. Maybe not met or really known people. You knew of a lot of people through your work. And you can kind of say, hey, I know that what they’re doing here in this hall and it was really good for the panel to have that knowledge that you had of people in their work. Yeah, that was, that was really interesting and no sign that I kind of was pretty nervous about because it’s a pretty, pretty tough situation to choose who you want to nominate because there’s only so many worthy people. But it was just, it was just a, I think was just awesome for me to, to reflect back on what I’d done that year and how hard i put into the stuff. And, you know, I just thought because I like you said I do it because I love it, but it’s also nice to be recognized for what you do. And for me, it meant a lot because that’s my way of showing all those people that you know, looked after me and gave me opportunities along the way. I was more like showing them that their effort and their time actually went to something positive because those times in my life where I probably wasn’t going down the right, you know, in the right way or was having a bit of a hard time with my mental health and those are the people that stood by me so to be able to win saying like this is for me is like the most biggest thank you I could give to them possible. So one thing I didn’t ask at the front and why not ask it now better late than never is what’s like your upbringing, like and as a kid coming up through school and stuff, how did you kind of get into art and, and all of that kind of stuff. So I’d like to think that the pretty, pretty good childhood i grew up in, in silsbee, in the northern suburbs of adelaide and I played soccer a lot. I just remember playing soccer like my dad was a really good soccer player back in the day apparently. And then. So I kind of had a passion for soccer. Always kind of like just remember being down the park, kicking the soccer ball or the footy or a lot of sports, you know, cricket things like that. And then then when I go on I was in an incident like I said before, I actually got burnt. And I spent nine months in hospital and that kind of got an opportunity to learn more about my um, my family history. Like I always knew that my nana was an aboriginal person. And my mum was and obviously we had, I can tell, obviously our skin color was different to the rest of our family. But I really didn’t know what that meant for me being a young aboriginal person in society. And I think being burnt, kind of gave me the opportunity to really find my passion for drawing because I couldn’t play sports obviously. But then what happened after that was I got out of hospital and while I was still recovering them, my mum’s health become declined quite rapidly and she needed a kidney transplant. So she was on dialysis. So I went from being in this hospital trying to recover from my own traumatic experience to seeing my mum in such a very vulnerable state. And so from the age of really like 12 to 17, 18 years old was that was a pretty rough time for me. And you know, it’s pretty, yeah, pretty rough time for me and probably only identifying things now that have that really affected me. You know, so like doing this psychotherapy and doing my own counseling and seeing a therapist and all those things which is, you know, growing up especially as a, as a man. So in some ways with, you know, if you talk or you show emotion, you can be weak, i guess, but totally, especially, i’m like, yeah, I agree with that hundred percent people, especially in high School and stuff. If you know you told your friends back in that time. Yeah, I’m seeing a therapist or doing this and that. Yeah. You get to get laughed at or said, oh that’s, that’s not what I looked at like this week. You know, it’s like you’re showing weakness and, and that, and that’s just not true because I feel like I feel like you need to control your emotions. So you don’t affect people around you who you love negatively. And that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s just generally i’m still on now. It’s like trying to, trying to say that I’m trying to talk to those people and trying to figure out what happened to me then that’s affecting me now. So I don’t have to, in a certain way be, you know, don’t affect the people around me negatively. Yeah. So, so that’s, that’s why I do that because I think that’s what I’m talking about your problems and being vulnerable so you can get better and be stronger to me. That’s what I that’s, that’s real strength to me. Yeah. And I agree because I feel like that when you, when you speak about those feelings and those hard emotions or those hard times, that’s actually really hard to do. Like it’s, it’s difficult to do that. And if you think about the analogy of you go to the gym, you’re lifting weights that are really heavy. It’s really hard and strong because it’s not. Yeah. If it was easy, it you don’t get anything out of it. You know what I mean? So yeah, absolutely. I agree, I agree. So it’s good that people are talking about it now that we’re saying, hey I’m, I’m getting this help. I’m physically fit and I’m trying to get really emotionally fit and mental as well. Yeah, I totally agree. I think it’s, yeah, it’s just more more about your overall well-being and health rather than just your physical health. What you can be, but also there’ll be, you know, mentally unwell, you know, so like trying to make sure that you’re healthy and fit over all of those, I think is, you know, as santa saying, great, great to aspire to. Yeah, definitely. The other thing I wanted to mention is that I’m excited to have you come along to the young achiever event because I didn’t get to do that last year. So that’s coming up in a couple of weeks. I’ll be here before we know it. And I think that’ll be, that’ll be nice because we’ll be able to actually present you as the twenty, twenty young achiever of the year. And then we’ll present the twenty twenty one young team of the bus, full circle closure. What do you think is from your perspective, where in the inspirational trains podcast? I think you’re a very inspirational shane. What’s inspirational to you, inspirational to me is someone that decides someone wasn’t really inspiring to me, is when someone does something for more than just themselves, like when they do something that’s going to affect can affect create greater impact, but not just for themself. Whether it’s like you’re just going to be something as simple as like, you really love to cook, so you want to become a chef. So you can cook nice food for people like things like that. I’m really interested when people find something that they enjoy and they try to be good at it . And then, and then, but the ripple effect of that is they actually great, great things for other people to enjoy too. And I think that whether it’s like running or tattooing or dancing, i feel like, as I’m trying to, you know, refine my own craft back as I’m starting to notice other people who have been doing stuff for them, you know what they really enjoy. And that’s what, when I, when I come across, people like that, that’s what really inspires me when someone’s taking, you know, taking their time and energy and putting it into something that I really enjoy. And then to see that how it positively affects people around them, that that to me is really, that’s what inspiration is to me. Yeah, that’s awesome. That is a beautiful thing. And I think, you know, I don’t know if you agree with this, but as you get a bit older, you know, you’re coming up to your 30s now, is that right? And you mature and you kind of get that appreciation for? Yeah. As you said, honing their craft and then they’re doing that. It’s going to have a positive impact. That is a really cool thing. Yeah, it doesn’t have to be nothing big, just little things like whether you’re just like resigned before whether you’re just going for a run because you know, it makes you feel better, which is going to impact people around you more positively to me that’s, that’s inspiring and that, that motivates me to continue to do this stuff to, you know, that’s awesome. shane on that. Note we probably at a time before we do go, how can people connect with you? Because I think it’d be really cool people to see your art, your tattooing and the stuff you’re involved with. Yeah, so I’m on my social media is on the chancha. So like shankaracharya. Okay. For chancha, my website, shankara dot com, the, all the community art stuff is all undestroyed dreams. dreams spelled with a Z at the end. But yeah, I’m out in community, i’m out and about most people see me at events. I try to make myself as present to many community events as I can to network and connect with everyone and just be a part of it. Yeah, and this is a selfish question, actually, if someone can make people buy artwork from you. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I try, i’m having an exhibition coming up. I’m having an exhibition, a few exhibitions coming up, which I’ll promote on my social media coming up. So the rest of this year. But a lot of my work around I try to, I try to create my work more and commissioned artwork rather than make writing a whole bunch of to. So I like to really paint for people and really know what they, what I want and really get to know the person that’s going to be buying my work. So my, my way of kind of creating art is obviously ideological murals. But as far as commissions go, I like to really kind of connect with that person before I sell them. That’s awesome . shane, one of the things that is obviously very impressive on your resume is the fact that you design the indigenous round guernsey for the adelaide crows. Can you talk us through how that happens? You know, one question like how do that? How do you get to Design that secondly, what was the inspiration and yeah, anything else you want to share about that? Yeah, so I was that, that for me was, was a massive opportunity. You know? And so that’s how that came about was I was actually had a studio in port adelaide and I had a bunch of young people come in to come visit. My dear, i had, had, have had a friend, a mentor of one approached me and said, hey, I would like to bring some young kids into you here so you can work with them on some how they can just see how you work. And I said, yeah, absolutely, bring them all down. I’d love to meet them. And then so when I, when they come down, just so happened that eddie hocking was part of that program as well. And eddie hawkins, the first aboriginal coach player ever. The South australian pie ever i guess and, and I know I know of him, but I’ve never really met him. And. And the first time I met him, we spoke a little bit, but not too much, but it wasn’t until a few weeks later I told I told them if they would like to come visit me while I was actually painting a mural. And when I got there, I was painting with my mom because I bring my mom to a lot of my I try to bring my mom along as much as I can. So she obviously can’t work because of a health, but I try to include her and what I do now, which is great because she comes out to schools with me and stuff like that. So I think when they all worked up and I think any sane me painting with my mom, I thought like this is awesome. So you mentioned to me that he had been asked to Design the guernsey, but he’s not an artist himself. And what I like to help him in, and I was like, absolutely, I’d love to do that. What an opportunity. And so I end up having a meeting with him and the club and went down there. And he had an idea of what you would like the dog to look like. So I went away and created a painting and bring it back to him. And from what I’ve heard from him, he was pretty impressed with it. And it was to him impressed him so much. He said it, it kind of like I took what he said and I ran with it. And I’m just glad that I’ve done it justice because he’s he seemed to be pretty proud of himself. But it’s just great to be able to help him share his story because he’s done so much for the football community and also now he works with young people as well. So we’re doing some similar things, but I was just really happy to help him share his story. For sure. And that was that 2018? I’m trying to remember back. That was 20. I think that was twenty twenty twenty twenty. That was the year last year. Twenty twenty is all mixed up and if I’m remembering the guernsey you had a big eagle on the front. Yeah. Well I had the big car on the front, but yeah, I still had no idea. They had the big crow in the front, but we wrapped it around so well and the pies we got to make the boat look like they had wings up the back. So that was a pretty cool idea that I had, which I don’t think I’d seen yet. So that’s something that I approached him and said, I think this would look amazing. He kind of took my word for us out of that we should go with that and I think it turned out really great. Yeah. And I’ve also seen that you paint boots for players as well. Is that kind of something that someone might ask you to, to do it? Or do you offer it up to people or? Yeah, yeah, I like. This is awesome. I was like kind of my first opportunity that I got like with a, with a high profile kind of client which is the port adelaide football club. Yeah. And all I don’t but it’s awesome. And I now I’ve actually I run workshops with schools to go out with the sestra academy and paint the school paint, which were the students for them to wear as part of the football carnival. So that’s really cool and we’ve documented a bit of that and that’s what my instagram is all of the little video of them. painting them and stuff, which is pretty cool. Yeah, but it’s just cool about the funny story about paying the bills was like when I was younger, when my shoes used to get trashed, i used to paint them because I didn’t want people to I didn’t want people to see my shoes that were trashed because I didn’t want to get stirred up about them, but I think it’s funny how and from painting my shoes that were, that were destroyed to painting supplies. But that’s pretty funny. And is it better to paint black boots or shoes or white? What I do with a white pair of boots, i’ll just, I’ll put a bit of a bite straight down, so I’ll end up having a black anyway. Yeah. I was going to say like, I haven’t really seen too many white boots painted. That’s why. Yeah, yeah, I think the white bush needs to be painted, but I think the colors to me, I think it, they send out a lot of the black background. That’s just my style of painting, i guess. But I love your idea because I’ve got some, some white airforce ones in the, in the, the closet there that haven’t got around because they’re just pretty old but they go get em painted and new lease of life. pressure them up. Exactly. shane, thanks for your time. Thanks for your time. It’s been absolutely brilliant. All right, thanks for your time. Thank you. I hope you enjoyed that interview. If you liked it or any of our other episodes, it would be great if you can write and review the inspirational australian’s podcast. It really helps us out if someone you know, needs a little taste of inspiration. Why not let them know about this podcast? And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribed, so that you won’t miss an episode. Join us each week as we talk with ordinary australians, achieving extraordinary things. You can always head to our website at awards, australia dot com slash podcast for more information and details on each guest. Now before we go, i’d like to thank annette our producer. Here’s a fun fact. annette is my mum and our other host, geoff, is my dad. This podcast is brought to you by awards, australia, a family owned business that proudly uncovers the stories of people who make a difference for others. We can only do this with the support of our corporate and not for profit partners as they make our awards programs possible. So do you know someone making a difference? If you’d like to recommend someone to be guest on the podcast, get in touch through your instagram page, inspirational australians, or maybe your business might like to sponsor the podcast or get involved with the awards. We run head to website awards, australia dot com for more details until next week. Stay safe and remember together we make a difference. Thanks for joining us today on the inspirational australian’s podcast . We hope you enjoyed listening and have been inspired by ordinary australians achieving extraordinary things. So it’s goodbye for another week. Remember, together we make a difference.