Are you mental ?

I think it’s sad that you equate trying to make myself and the world BETTER as mental illness.

No *really* are you mental ?

Look, it’s really wrong and unfair to stigmatise mental illness, OK ? Some of the finest and most decent people I’ve had the privilege of meeting suffer from mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. Many of the homeless that I would sit and trade stories with, share food and drink with were dealing with profound issues like schizophrenia.

Look, stop dodging the question: are you mental ?

Maybe. Are you ?

Are you serious about the superhero stuff ?

I always was, but not in the way you think. No, I don’t believe I’m BATMAN. But I do believe that we – you, me, us – should always aspire to the kind of values and personal ethics that nowadays we dismiss as unrealistic or ‘comic book’. Captain Australia was a way of articulating that, saying that I would hold myself to that higher standard, in the hopes that it might resonate with you.

What did you like most about Captain Australia ?

I remember vividly walking through Sydney after an overnight patrol. I’d just finished talking to a homeless person, who asserted he was the Devil, or rather the Devil was talking through him as a vessel. He said that his insanity prevented him from filtering the message and allowed Satan to communicate through him. Sure, he was bonkers, like a man eating a raw potato …. but it was creepy, and it set me into a very reflective mindset. I was walking, lost in my thoughts, through the Sydney morning rush hour, grey everywhere. Suits passing me, and me in my green-and-gold-mad-bumblebee costume walking against the tide. The sea of grey suits broke around me, not even noticing me. Then I looked up, I felt how surreal and beautiful it was, what a good metaphor it was for our work-a-day lives. And I saw this older woman looking at me, openly smiling, like .. not “haha you look like a tool!”, but joyfully smiling, as if she got it. We smiled at each other. Waved. That moment had a certain gravity for me, it’s moments like that which meant the most.

Did you really help anyone or was it just posing ?

I spent many hours with the homeless, walking the streets, meeting people, talking to them about right and wrong. I spent somewhere between $5000-$10,000 of my own money – I replaced a couple of stolen pushbikes, I paid the electricity bill for a single mother who I randomly met in the streets (she had two young kids in tow and had said to me “I don’t need a fucking superhero, I just need to pay my electricity bill”, so I did. She was clearly frazzled, struggling, and I think when we went into the post office and paid it – maybe a little bit amazed).

Did you ever have problems with people ?

I’ve been spat on, threatened and physically attacked. I’m just an old man, but I’m not afraid of people. What I love most, what makes me happiest in my dealings with people is when somebody gives me the opportunity to change their mind. I had a few drunk blokes in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley try and threaten and bully me one time. One guy outright shoved me, but I took his arm and pulled him off balance and said “don’t do that”, his answer was “why ? you going to bash me up, big man ?” to which I said “no. don’t do that .. because it’s WRONG”. I wasn’t afraid of him, or his friends, even though a violent encounter wouldn’t have gone my way, most probably. But I think they saw through the daily pain of living, the confusion of society, and that it was true. We talked for about a half hour, and they apologised to me. That’s what I want for the world : pull back from thuggery, selfishness, theft, evil big and small. Let’s be better.

This BIG WALK, is it really for the kids, or is it mostly for YOU ?

Both, really. I explain in the BACKGROUND PAGE how I did a BIG WALK when I was just a child, and it healed me. This is really just a continuation of that, an overall big walk – a lifetime of falling over, getting back up again and moving forward. So yes, it’s for me. A pilgrimage, to pull everything back, unplug it all – get in-tune with life, nature, spirituality, the future, hope. The dressing up bit as Captain Australia is mostly for the charity, a ‘look at me look at me’ approach in the hopes that people who visit WILL DONATE TO THIS WORTHY CAUSE (The Kids’ Cancer Project).

Will you retire Captain Australia after the BIG WALK ?

I don’t know. I honestly can’t see that far into the future. When my travel insurance company collapsed, I was on the edge of personal collapse as well. Physically, spiritually, financially, emotionally – I was broke in every sense of the word. But I had worked hard in my life, and saved, we were way ahead on the mortgage, so we (my family) have been living off that hard work these past couple of years. But the mortgage equity is slowly drizzling away, I’m now only about 6 months ahead. So I have this precious time to fix myself, and I resolved to help the charity – but after that I need to get a job, figure something out, and Captain Australia isn’t paying work. If the BIG WALK attracts your interest and support, maybe that means Cap has a future – if you’d like to see me compete (and dominate) on “I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here !” or something 😉

I really don’t feel that we got a definitive answer on that “are you mental” bit ?

OK. Fine. No, I think I’m sound as a dollar. I’ve faced horrible adversity in my life, from childhood through til present day, but I haven’t allowed it to darken my outlook. Cancer almost broke me, but I’ve fought back. HARD. I’m obviously biased, but I think that even through my cancer, my concern for others was a great redeeming quality. I’ve been pretty prolific on these kind of cancer forums, wanting to help people who were a few steps behind me. If unselfishness, wanting to do Good is mental, some kind of savior complex or something, then yeah, OK, I’m mental. But I can live with it. In the darkest part of my post-cancer recovery, I probably did meet the criteria for clinical depression, but it was situational not chemical, and I overcame it.

What is THE BIG WALK going to be like ?

I’m going to try and make it fun, funny, heart warming. I’m going out into the world, walking every day, dressed as the boofhead superhero Captain Australia. I’m going to help people if I can, and every day I’m going to do these “DAILY DONOR DARES OF DOOOOOOM!” where people who donate to the charity can dare me to do any old ridiculous thing. If you see one of those, please share it as prolifically as you can, as it will help me attract people in to support The Kids’ Cancer Project.

What are some of your core beliefs ?

What we do, say, even THINK, it truly MATTERS. I believe that there is an underlying spiritual meaning to our lives. But I also believe that we – you, me, us – none of us knows the real deal, or ever truly can. You cannot prove YOU EXIST, therefore you cannot prove ANYTHING. Some of the smartest minds in our world assert ‘Simulation Theory’ is possible (not that much different to a wizard in the sky, because it means all the sensory rules we live by are subject to instantaneous change).

So my core belief is that beliefs are like rectums, we all have one, and they’re not much fun to compare (and it can get messy).

What that teaches me is that we, all of us, MUST learn to coexist and allow our beliefs and opinions to coexist. Consensus is great, but in it’s absence, Acceptance and mutual respect is more important. I believe that goodness and kindness propagate – they have a beautiful ripple effect of inspiring others, which spreads and spreads, brightening the world. Hate and cruelty work in the same way. We have to tip the balance.

How can I help you ?

Watch this space. As we get into late 2021 (from September), I’m going to start going out into public dressed as Captain Australia, to promote the charity. I will ask you to SUPERHERO UP FOR SCIENCE! (where you make a fun video of yourself in a mask or some kind of superhero costume, make up a name and say “I’m LASER-LAD and I support CAPTAIN AUSTRALIA’S BIG WALK!” and share the crap out of it across all your socials (linking to the charity page https://captain-australias-big-walk.raisely.com/), and I will also do daily live streams including these DAILY DONOR DARES OF DOOOOM! where donors get to dare me to do any old crazy thing, and I have to follow through (within the boundaries of the law, kindness and decency). You could watch and follow them (@CapsBIGWALK on facebook) and share and spread as much as possible ! We really need as many people as possible looking at that charity page, in the hopes that they drop some financial support on The Kids’ Cancer Project before they leave.