As you may or may not be aware, I ruptured my achilles tendon playing tennis in early September. This has required not one but two individual surgeries due to having a fall on the same day I had my cast taken off… Agony!


This has meant that I have had to visit hospital on two separate occasions to have the repair done. Fortunately, I have only really been in hospital a few times, and my visits have been spaced over 26 years and despite the small amount of respite it gives you (from the kids) I would rather take a small holiday to some place with a swim up bar ūüôā

I wanted to write this blog to tell you about the experience I have had visiting the Epworth Hospital in Richmond. The Epworth is a private hospital and seems to have the market of private hospitals in Melbourne sewn up with 12 hospitals/centres in Melbourne alone. I think the reason it is so successful is the culture. From the time I have entered the hospital to the time I have left, the level of care has been outstanding. From the level 2 reception entering the hospital to the discharge room when I was ready to be picked up and every one in between really do make for a great experience, despite the unfortunate circumstances.

During my stays on the ward, I have been thoroughly looked after, the manager/s, nurses, orderlies, cleaners and volunteers and students who come around and say hello and have a chat. Even listening to the conversations in the corridors has always been positive and courteous.
I have always said, if you want a good society, you have to care for the sick and ensure people are healthy and looked after. Often I have heard about hospitals that try and get people in and out as quickly as possible to make as much money as possible. But at the Epworth, I have not felt any pressure to be leaving until I felt well enough to. The level of care that I have received has been fantastic and really helped me get through the initial stages of this awful injury being comfortable and with a confidence and a positive attitude.

Also a big thanks to Ben and Jared who came to visit yesterday helping the time to pass with some great conversation and a game of Scrabble!


Thank you to everyone that makes the Epworth Hospital – Richmond, what it is today!

Here was my view this morning:


24 years ago (1992), I had just entered the workforce having not made it to university or really knowing what I wanted to do. I landed a job in a quarry (Axedale Sands and Gravel) just down the road from where I lived Axedale, and started as a trainee front end loader operator and labourer.

I am a hard worker and picked up things fast, as was required to hold down a job then as our country was emerging from the ‘Recession we had to have”. My job paid $240 per week, and of that I paid $32 dollars income tax and I receive my pay in a yellow envelope every week. I often had to pick it up off the ground as my boss had some power and control issues. I bit my tongue and put up with it for long enough to get the experience I needed to move on.

$200 doesn’t go far now, but back then it was enough to live on as¬†I was living at home at that time, and unlike today having a credit card was not even a consideration. If I wanted something I would put it on lay-by or save up for it. I managed my money very carefully.

So I had been at the quarry for about 14 months when one day I went to work and started to feel some cramping in my¬†stomach, it went on for a few hours and gradually got worse. I decided after a while to take myself to the doctor, who pressed and prodded for a few seconds and then told me to pull my pants down, and roll over in a ball, while he put on his rubber glove… Sure enough, I had appendicitis and then proceeded to take myself to the hospital as ordered by the doctor to have my appendix removed.

Back then, as part of a low paying job in Australia, you receive 8 days sick pay which was cumulative, therefore I had accrued about 9 days over the 14 months, as I am fortunately not sick very often. I also had some holidays that I hadn’t taken which gave me a further 4 weeks of pay. My job required me to do a lot of physical activity and therefore having my appendix removed meant that I was unable to perform my regular job and could not go to work. On doctors orders, I had to take 6 weeks to recover until my scar healed. Fortunately for me my expenses were low at the time and I was able to get by with my holiday pay and my sick pay, which meant I only had 1 or 2 days where I did not get paid.

This brings me to 1997, I had just spent nearly 12 months in Western Australia working in a gold mine where the money had increased dramatically and so had the hours I worked and obviously my skill level. I returned back to Victoria and need to submit a tax return. My friend (Ben) had been living in Melbourne for a few years and I stayed with him for a few weeks. I asked him if he new an accountant, and he had just started seeing a new guy; I made an appointment and landed on his doorstep a few days later and met Tyler Hunter a young up and coming Accountant. After the initial meet and greet, one of the first questions he asked me was, ‘do you have income protection?’ My answer was ‘what is income protection?’ He explained it as follows:

What is your most valuable asset? At that stage I didn’t have much and I said… ‘my car’ (I obviously didn’t know too much about assets either :)) he said ‘wrong’. He mentioned where I had come from in my working career, that is, the time when¬†I was earning $240/ week and now where I was earning well over $1,000 per week and was tipped to have that keep rising. He even referred to a house and said ‘a house is worth $x dollars, but it is generally a fixed asset and is not easily liquidated (turned into usable money). He continued and said ‘we go blindly along and insure our cars and our house and contents, but fail to insure our most valuable asset which was my income, as this is the asset¬†that we receive every week of every month of every year until we retire which steadily increases over time which is worth far more than a car, a house and its contents’ and he was right.

I should explain what ‘Income protection’¬†is for those of you who don’t know. Income protection is an insurance that you can buy that protects your income in the event that you are unable to carry out your usual job, as I explained above or can be for almost any form of illness, broken bones, heart attack, cancer etc etc. For instance, when I had appendicitis,¬†I could have received my pay from my insurer for the income lost during the 6 weeks that I was in bed recovering, but instead I had to use all of my sick leave and holiday pay to meet my daily needs. Having done so, I had to forgo my¬†holidays where I would usually relax and doing something other than work for the 4 weeks. I also had to risk getting sick again which meant I wouldn’t get paid any more until I accrued more sick leave, even if I had a dose of the flu and needed to stay at home. Income protection has many different forms and

I must admit, I didn’t take his advice there and then which was at my own risk, but a few years later, when I finished my university degree (as a mature age student) I made it a priority to get income protection. This is even more relevant when you have a family to support and the loss of your income could rapidly send you into debt if you are unable to make your mortgage, car, education daily living expenses, which mount up very quickly when you take away the most important asset… YOUR INCOME.

Whilst I don’t sell income protection myself, I would highly recommend going to see a financial planner or financial institution and speaking to them about income protection. It is not a cheap insurance, but it is tax deductible in Australia and could just save you if the unexpected were to happen. Thanks for reading!

The worst thing about an injury that immobilises you is there is no training period for using your new temporary mobility aids.

Never did I need this more than on Thursday of last week when I was given the go-ahead to commence being more mobile and take up residence on the couch, but with the aid of crutches. I had just finished dinner and organising my nephews and my kids to wash the dishes in the kitchen as our dishwasher has given up the ghost; when all of a sudden my crutches slipped on the tiles causing me to plant my right foot (injured one) on the ground to prevent the fall. As I struggled to keep myself upright, I relived the whole rupturing experience again, next thing I know, Im on the floor writhing in pain.

Fortunately, my wonderful sister Naomi (who is a nurse) was visiting, and went straight into triage mode and helped me by keeping me calm and then providing me with some pain relief and getting me back to bed.

Prognosis. I visited my surgeon on Friday РMr William Edwards ( who is fantastic, and managed to squeeze me into a late notice appointment, ordering me then to get an ultrasound to assess and prepare me for the new way forward.

Whilst this is a huge setback for my recovery,¬†Im now clambering around to find other people who’ve had the same experience so that I can glean from their experience in the hope that I can resume a¬†relatively normal and active life post achilles surgery. Ive even joined an achilles tendon recovery¬†blog ( that¬†has other people with similar experiences. I need all the positive thinking techniques I can get as I am a bit worried about how it will turn out. So please send me all your positive energy thoughts and prayers! Much appreciated! Thanks for reading.


Im not a gym junkie or star athlete, but I do love to participate in sport. I have never pursued lessons in any of the sports, and even as a kid I was only able to attend a few sports (cricket, football and tennis) due to a lot moving around, divorce, no money and my mother failing to get her licence, until we all left home.

I played cricket for a few seasons having been able to catch the bus to Heathcote after school, and wait to be picked up after dark, when my step father finished work.

I played football for a few seasons in my adolescence due to having friends who lived close by, able to give me a lift home after training and to the games, sometimes the car was full and I missed out as there was no way of getting there.

I played tennis for a few seasons when I was about 16, til I was 18 or 19 because I was able to catch a lift to the venues by the other players, who were all in their late 30’s or early 40’s with kids of their own. The tennis courts in Axedale were just down the road so I could ride there on my bike or walk there in a few minutes.

For some strange reason sports was the lowest priority of my parents, and thus I fought ‘tooth and nail’ to do the sports I did. We used to live in a place called Barnadown on a property that my step father was managing and I played cricket in Goornong. So to play, I had to ride the 8-10 kilometres in the morning to leave my bike at the coaches place, and make sure I would beat the bus, so I could catch it en-route to school. After training I would ride my bike home with one of those dynamo powered lights which only gave light if you kept the wheels going. The roads in central Victoria back then left a lot to be desired, and so every time there was a car or truck coming I would have to pull all the way off the road to be sure they would not hit me.

To play football when I lived in Barnadown, I would sometimes ride my bike the 25 km to the venue (when we played at home in Toolleen (Mount Pleasant). I would then play in my under 17’s game then also play in the reserves and then ride home. I was super fit… I dont think I was very good, but I always liked participating in the team and even though we got flogged most weeks, I just loved playing, running around and having a kick.

When I got my licence on the 15th January 1993, (a day etched in my memory banks as one of the best days of my life), I had freedom. I could go where I wanted and when I wanted! However with my age and having just finished secondary school (year 12) I had to get a job. At that stage of my life, and with everything else on my plate, University was not an option, I didnt value education as I do now, so I drove around to different places in search for a job, with nothing more than a piece of paper with my name, address, home phone number and a couple of lines about my work at McDonalds and on a farm – that was my resume. Now this blog is not about my career from then on, what Im telling you is that I had to get a job and with no experience and no leverage, I had to take what I could get. This meant working when and where I was told.

I started work at Axedale Sands and Gravel and this job had sporadic hours and I needed the overtime, so this took priority over my sporting career (if you could call it that). I also had a girlfriend and so I made that a priority too. That was just it, sport was and never was a priority of mine or else I would have made it work. I instead chose to do paid work and that allowed me to get better at that side of things and make more money, which was, and is still a priority of mine.

The fact that sport wasnt a priority to me didnt change the fact that I enjoyed it. So in the years since getting my licence, I have played a few seasons of various sports. This was always combined with catching up with my friends and enjoying a beer or two after a game. I played a few seasons of tennis, cricket and table tennis. I also like mountain biking, rogaining – which is like competitive orienteering and hiking.

I do like to stay fit, but the days of owning a 6 pack, or caring for one for that matter are gone. I think the whole fitness industry is ridiculous to be frank. It preys on the weakness of people and causes people to cough up huge sums of money, knowing full well that unless the person is completely obsessed with fitness the rest of us are just paying for the ‘privilege’ of saying “I go to a gym”, it might be once a year but I still go.

So, we were at a friends place a few months ago now and one of the friends of our friends was telling us about playing tennis in a competition on Thursday nights. My ears pricked up! I said, ‘well if you need a fill in let me know’. He (Steve) said ‘really’? we have players pull out all the time and we have to forfeit, so be ready for a call! I was thrilled. Mind you I hadnt played tennis in a competition since ive been married which is nearly 10 years and before that maybe once or twice in a few social games with a mate. Armed with the fact that I ‘could’ be called up the following Thursday, I went a bought a racket. Sure enough the call came on Wednesday evening… ‘Owen can you play in Eltham tomorrow night?’ ‘I’m there’!

Rocking up on the Thursday night was great, I limbered up as best I could, a few little hip flex moves, stretch the quads, move the hips and arms around and I was good. We won the game that night which was great, I played a few good shots and I was back… thank you muscle memory! I continued to play for the next few weeks and was accepted as part of the regular line up. We lost a few games too and I thought, if only I got to practice some shots and watch the ball onto the racket we could win every week… white line fever… can you see it?

I caught up with another mate (Ivan) and he mentioned he’d love a hit of tennis too and so we arranged a regular fortnightly Monday night game. I rang around finding a place to play, with Ivan on one side of town and me on the other, I wanted somewhere central. So where else in Melbourne, than good old Melbourne Park, you know, where the Australian Open is played. Unfortunately centre court was unavailable and so we were ushered to one of the indoor courts with no grandstand seating. Again after a few stretches and limbering up, we were into it and decided to have a game as all men do… who is going to win bragging rights! About 4 games in and POP!!! Im on the ground rolling around in agony. Someone has just thrown a brick at my leg but turning around no one was there! I knew instantly what I had done… My right achilles!

I lied on the floor of the tennis court for the next hour and twenty minutes in pain just trying to stay still and putting up with Ivan’s jokes about me being old etc… Never did I realise what this was going to mean for my life for the next 3 months and up to 6 months. If only I could take back one minute and pause for a longer drink, a rest, run around and pick some balls up, would that have changed the result. Maybe we couldnt get a court, or something else become a priority… but no, it had happened and I am lying on the floor in pain, waiting to go to the hospital.

Im now 14 days into my rest/recovery period which sees me not able to get out of bed til Thursday, with strict doctors orders to stay in bed 23.75 hours per day. I had surgery last Monday and Thursday is my first post operative appointment, hoping that the swelling and recovery is going to plan.

For the family this has had a huge impact, I am the primary carer for our 3 children, its my job to get them to school each day and pick them up, whilst running my business, allowing my wife to be the main breadwinner of our household. Fortunately, I have an amazing wife (Lisa) who has gone above and beyond to do the best for me and our kids while I recover. She also has a very supportive workplace who has allowed her some time off to take up the slack where we are unable to arrange care for the kids. This has made my wife’s life (hell) very stressful, which upsets me and Im sorry for, but she is taking it in her stride, which is great.

Ive been waited on hand and foot for the past 14 days, which is something that I could never get use to. I have so much to do for my kids,¬†my new business, my work and around the house which¬†is going to have to wait while I recover, however long that may be, much to my dismay, but I will be back! I dont really know yet what to tell people yet for how to avoid this type of injury, but when I do, i’ll let you know! Thanks for reading!

The past few years for an Essendon bombers fan have been, lets say hard to bare. This is in reference to the supplements scandal that has taken the life out of, what was an amazing and successful football club.

For those of you who dont know, we are going to talk about Australian Rules Football (AFL) in this post… I’ll embed a link to a game at the end for your viewing pleasure…

Now, I have barracked for the ‘Bombers’ since 1978 when I was about 4 years old visiting my nana in Vera Court, Dandenong, and remember vividly that she used to stick a¬†Bombers sticker to her letter box¬†every year – probably free out of the Herald Sun on a Saturday. I remember going and checking if the sticker was still there every time we’d¬†visit Nana. Remember this sticker?


Well this sticker is what made me as a 4-5 year old follow the Bombers til this very day. The ‘plane’ insignia was enough to get me hooked.¬†I had and still have a fascination with planes (as a lot of boys do), but it was enough to have¬†me throw down the navy blue beenie and jumper (Carlton) my dad tried putting on me at the same time. It was my Nana and I, and it was our thing. I was then able to brainwash one of my brothers and now my kids into being Bombers fans too.

Lets say, I’ve backed a pretty good team, and whilst we weren’t successful in the late 1970’s, we dominated the 1980’s, well I like to say that… where we won 2 premierships (84 & 85) and runners up in 83. The Bombers have won 4 premierships and been runners up 3 times since Ive been around, not to mention making finals a total of 23 times (thanks wikipedia). Some other clubs havent made the finals once in 50 years… but we wont go there and open up wounds for other readers…

So every year since Ive been able to, Ive made my way with some mates and now my children to the football to watch a few games. Im not fanatical by any stretch, but I do like to go to a few games a year and watch it on TV or in a pub too. Its a chance to yell at the top of my¬†lungs and get behind my¬†team – although my kids give me plenty of opportunity for that… ūüôā

With the football season also comes the ‘other’ fun things about football, like footy tipping and fantasy football like Supercoach or Dreamteam – I think if the amount of time people spend on these three activities could be harnessed and focussed into one activity, we could actually build that fast train between Melbourne and Brisbane… :).

I personally have ran a few tipping competitions over the years and also dabbled in Supercoach for a few years which has been great as it allows you to really get to know some of the players from other clubs. Although, sometimes tipping in the footy with the focus being –¬†winning money at the end of the year, has its flaws, you can end up not being happy if you’ve not backed your team to win and they get up! Conversely, you might pick your team to win every week and find yourself on the bottom of the tipping ladder very quickly!

GLOAT ALERT – you know… I did win, not 1 but 2 footy tipping competitions in 2007, netting me about $1200 for the year… although, its been a long time since those glory days now…

But this year – 2016 – has seen me¬†barely participate in any form of football activity for the whole year! No footy tipping, no Supercoach and I have only been to 1 game of football (Essendon V Carlton – where we did win) for the whole season. This was due to most of the Bombers players being suspended for the whole year! This has been a result of the relentless pursuit by the media to bury people within the Essendon football club and to get a story – its been horrible and lasted over 4 years. I have it on good authority that there were several other clubs ready to be exposed for similar drug and supplements they were taking, but unfortunately Essendon was first, and with the fallout of the scandal sent the rest of the clubs to ‘rethink’ their declarations.

Despite having a bad year, where we only managed to win 3 games for the season, it has worked out ok for us. We have first round draft picks that we would never ordinarily get, as we NEVER finish on the bottom of the ladder and we have most of our players returning for the 2017 season, we have a new coach in John Worsfold, who has done a great job this year with a young and inexperienced team.

I love watching Australian Rules Football, its a great opportunity to have a few beers with my mates and continue sledging other teams all in the name of some fun. Im looking forward to the 2017 footy season and getting back into following my team again.

So at the start of this post, I suggested I would embed some footage of a game (courtesy of Youtube). Now I originally wanted to put in the biggest come back in AFL history between Essendon and North Melbourne in 2001, but I think this ANZAC day clash against Collingwood is a sweeter victory! Enjoy!


Hi there, just thought i’d drop a line to give you an update of my life as a stay-at-home-dad, because¬†it has now been nearly 19 months and amazingly, Im still here!

Well, the past 19 months have been fantastic. When I say fantastic, I haven’t¬†said ‘easy’, or ‘a walk in the park’, or ‘without its challenges’. In truth it has been exhausting, thrilling, rewarding, sad, lonely, frustrating and emotional, to use a few adjectives. Im not saying I use each of these feelings every day, but on the whole, it is a roller coaster ride that I’m learning¬†to¬†endure and roll with (no pun intended), knowing that (sometimes)’¬†every day’¬†is a new day.

I still have 3 amazingly different children with whom I love and a very loving and supportive wife.¬†I have days when nothing seems to get in my way and I get heaps done, and others when nothing will go as planned. Being a project manager, I like to solve problems and get a solution or outcome, but Im learning that some days it’s better to let things go and fight the battles I can win. I heard or read something once where the person said ‘I make my bed as soon as I get up each morning, at least then I know I’ve accomplished something for the day’. As simple as it may be, I started doing this every day too and it does help, particularly being someone who is driven by writing a comprehensive list of things to do and ticking them off as I go.

I have to say, one of the hardest things I deal with on a daily basis is the social aspect of this role as it is often a lonely job.¬†¬†I am a dad who takes 2 of my 3 kids to school each day. I have done so for 19 months and unfortunately being a male, in a generally female dominated area, has its challenges. If I was a woman (mum) and took my kids to school, it would be nothing to stop and have a conversation with another mum and talk about what I was doing for the day, ‘oh and I have half an hour free this morning, lets grab a coffee’. But unfortunately being a man (dad), Im alienated¬†from being part of this social aspect of being a stay at home parent. I understand the perception that a man and woman, who are both in committed relationships going for a coffee, could be frowned upon and get front page in the school gossip column, but sometimes it would be just nice to have some adult/friendly conversation during the day on purely a platonic level…

Watching my children getting a bit older has been a real blessing. I get to listen to them read, do maths problems and work them out, watch them try and succeed (and sometime fail) at their sporting or extra-curricula activities and see them explore and work out where they fit into their little world, it is great! When my older 2 children were young, I spent a lot of time away, late at the office, leaving early in the morning and only really seeing¬†them (to be honest) for about 45mins – 1 hour per day. Enough to say good morning… and then bathe them and put them to bed in the evening. I missed out. But with my youngest one, I get to see him throw his first massive tantrum (terrible 2’s) experience gravity with his food (yes, it drives me nuts) and be defiant and push the boundaries (and my buttons) but that’s just it, I get to see it!

In reflection, over the past 9 years, we have had every form of child minding available, we’ve had nannies, aupairs, baby sitters, mothers-in-law, child care, day care, after school care… with the aim of providing some financial security for our children and our future. But in the end, all our children want is time with us, and to have us (parents) around. I highly recommend, if you can work it, and do away with some creature comforts, take a step back,¬†and have at least one parent home with your kids at all times (even dads). You will never regret it. A¬†wiser person than me once said, ‘on your death bead, you will never wish you had worked more…’

So all in all the past 19 months has had its challenges, but its a time that I will always remember and time that I will never get back!