So much of a Dad’s work can go unsung. Father’s Day is one of the precious few chances we get to celebrate him. Wayne shares his special story this Father's Day as part of The Dad Files editorial series.
I want to always be there for them
When Gladstone born-and-raised Wayne and Kate had their first child, they were living in Brisbane with little support.
“We’d come home to Gladstone for a weekend and realised how good it was with the support. I transferred my job up here and we’ve been back since 2004. One of the best moments of my life was seeing the little fella come up: the build-up of waiting, the look on Kate’s face wanting to know what the sex was. I’ll never forget it - it changes your life tenfold.“
Wayne, a police officer and wife Kate, a child psychologist, work hard to give their two children Chloe (15) and Ben (12) opportunities. He likes to show his kids something to follow and teach them to have community pride, demonstrating it through his presidency of the Chanel College P&F, chairing Gladstone’s junior and senior rugby league judiciary and coaching the under-12 boys Junior touch team. He coaches Chloe’s touch footy team, the Gladstone Tox Free Ladies touch team too, and says, “They’ve won the last four grand finals in a row – they’re going well.”
Wayne’s parents were busy people when he was growing up but his dad was the person he could count on to have a chat.
“Dad always told me ‘choose your words correctly because one day your mouth may get you into trouble’. It’s one thing I’ve always tried to stand by. Listening is massive in my line of work: choosing my words carefully comes in handy every day. Another one Dad says is ‘common sense isn’t very common.’ His third piece of advice is to just make the most of what you’ve got because one day it won’t be there.
“He’s been unreal; always there. I want to be the same for my kids – to always be there for them for a chat or catch up.”
Every day is something unexpected
Wayne is proud of his kids. “The kids are doing really well at school. Academically they are cruising along and they’re having a go at everything.”
Like their dad, Chloe and Ben are heavily involved in sport from netball to touch football (both made high level rep) and now “Chloe’s just started netball this year, trying a different sport after touch footy. She’s in a new phase of her sporting life.”
Of course life hasn’t been without its challenges and little things can get the whole family down. “I’m a shift worker and it’s amazing how much the kids have helped Kate out when I’m working night work and how the little things they do put a smile on your face.”
On Father’s Day Wayne will be enjoying bacon and eggs, a game of footy, a beer and relaxing.
“It’s special just to have the recognition for my dad and all the fathers on Father’s Day. It’s a pretty tough gig, but without the support of my loving wife… it’s really pointless if you don’t have support. There are some who can’t celebrate Father’s Day.”