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Kintsugi Heroes conversations are the stories of everyday people who have found a way through challenges or adversity to achieve something inspirational to fellow humans on similar journeys. It's a collection of stories that are designed to uplift people, give them hope, and inspire them to keep going to achieve their dreams - despite the rocky path they may be on. Our stories cover a wide range of adversity topics including abuse, addiction, crime, dysfunctional families, career or business ...
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Kintsugi Heroes are partnering with the Myrtleford Neighbourhood Centre to improve community connectedness, cohesion and resilience following the Alpine fires by capturing and telling the overcoming adversity stories of some of the Alpine local “Kintsugi Heroes”.
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Mathew Townsend is a neurodiverse social entrepreneur based in Brisbane. Growing up with disabilities he faced discrimination and prejudice finding his pathways into career and passions. Being socially isolated he often had anxiety and depression, causing him to feel low and uncharacteristic. He wasn't confident to speak up about himself to help pe…
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Mike Armstrong is an award-winning contemporary artist, author and veteran of the Australian Army for 23 years. He served in East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and was part of the Tactical assault Group East. He did his Master of Arts while deployed in Iraq, and now works in a variety of media from his art studio in Canberra. Mike has a Bachelor of Arts…
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Neil Morley opens up about his incredible journey from a challenging upbringing to finding success and fulfillment in Australia. His story is a powerful reminder of resilience, the importance of mentorship, and following your heart. Biography I was born in Liverpool UK and raised by my grandmother who had 11 children. She raised me as number 12. My…
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Dan Grey grew up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and loves to surf. He had a loving and nurturing childhood with strong familial relationships and connections to nature. He was academically challenged due to ADHD, which required extra support in school and medication during high school that significantly improved his grades. He studied public hea…
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Jason’ s mother gave birth to him at a very young age of 15. Because of this he grew up in a challenging, lower socioeconomic environment with difficult family dynamics. Jason also experienced sexual abuse by a family member, which led to long-lasting effects such as PTSD and flashbacks. These factors, along with his grandfather’s mental health str…
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Narelle has a severe vision impairment that means she uses a guide dog to get around. She only started to lose my sight about 16 years ago and has lived with only seeing shapes for the last two years. She is an advocate for digital accessibility in Australia and work to let people know about the benefits of ensuring that everyone can access the inf…
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Paul has had an amazing business career in marketing some of the world's largest consumer brands including McDonalds, Burger King and Snickers. He has had lot of fun in growing large and small organisations even setting up his own business to launch into Australia an amazing soft drink brand from Scotland called Irn-Bru. While his life has been fil…
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Justin has had a lifelong battle with Crohn's disease, a crippling bowel condition. His courageous story is about the consequences of that disease, both physically, emotionally, and psychologically, of chronic illness, including the medical interventions and the setbacks around that. Justin believes he had got the disease because of his family dyna…
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In December 2022, Dominic was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Not only did this have a huge impact on him and his family, but it also clearly shook those around him, particularly his male peers, to whom he had always been a pillar of strength. His treatment is ongoing, and he does not yet see himself as a cancer ‘survivor’. He has used his livi…
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Bradley Spillane is an advocate, a community volunteer and spokesperson. Through the men's mental health radio show on Radio Blue Mountains, he is a lodestone, a centre for people talking about something that wasn't fashionable when he started, which was men's mental health and men's health in general This episode is a brutally honest, in-depth con…
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Romina’s story begins with her being swept off her feet by an amazing man after a previous violent relationship. Their marriage developed into her feeling compelled to take part in webcam sex with her partner and other people. Naively she went along with it for eleven years, thinking it was what she had to do as a married woman even though her whol…
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Amira's life has been defined by early adversity, including the loss of young family members to illness, accidents, and mental health issues. These experiences instilled in her a deep empathy and a drive to alleviate suffering. Becoming a mother to a child with cerebral palsy at 20 further shaped her journey, fostering resilience and determination …
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Shannan came from a dysfunctional, abusive family with intergenerational addiction issues. She shares her story of overcoming her past and using her experiences to empower herself to change. She has worked very hard to overcome her addiction and realised, "If you want to make a difference in your life, you will invest in yourself because that is th…
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Kerrie grew up with alcoholic parents and began her own intense but successful struggle with alcoholism and mental health when she became an instant alcoholic after her first drink at fifteen. At eighteen, she joined Alcoholics Anonymous and has remained clean and sober since that day forty years ago. For thirty years, Kerrie has worked and volunte…
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Fran Garton’s story is about how she overcame severe fibromyalgia which was undiagnosed for many years. She describes the long pain-filled path through the medical system while she tried to maintain her work and family life until she finally found someone who knew what was wrong. She was told ‘You are a plant with no soil. You're literally just pou…
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Bishoy Tadros was born in Egypt. At the age of three the family immigrated to the US when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. He grew up in Long Island, NY where he received treatment for ten years. On his thirteenth birthday, Bishoy underwent brain surgery and remains cancer-free. Bishoy shares his passion for health and fitness. …
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Barb spent her childhood in New Hampshire then went to Boston University on a full athletic scholarship majoring in Elementary, Special, and Physical Education. She married in 2001 and had two children. After the terrible pain of losing her daughter Molly in 2016, her husband was ill, and Barb was suffering from brain tumours, she fell into a deep,…
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Adam begins his story in the Solomon Islands where he grew up. At seven, he was traumatised by psychological abuse from a teacher which instilled a very deep fear of rejection. This resulted in not being able to display any abilities or skills and becoming introverted and an unhappy underachiever at work. Eventually he had a breakdown at a conferen…
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Susan’s story is a harrowing and detailed account of an intense period in her life involving the U.S. medical system. Susan grew up as the daughter of the only doctor in a rural western Kansas town. After being a caregiver for her husband and a breast cancer survivor she has seen health care from three different angles. This has led to a passion to…
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The first part of Francois’ story is a gripping account of his life changing experience in the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia. Losing friends there and elsewhere caused him to take the decision to accept his own mortality, live every day to the fullest, to inspire others to do the same and live their best life. He advises seeking professional help when …
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Dinesh Palipana is an extraordinary human being. He was the first quadriplegic medical intern in Queensland and is a doctor, lawyer, disability advocate, and researcher. Halfway through medical school, he was involved in a motor vehicle accident that caused a cervical spinal cord injury. Biography Dinesh has completed an Advanced Clerkship in Radio…
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Joanne talks about her inspiring journey into becoming a true entrepreneur beginning with a conventional bank job after school as decided by her father, then an early marriage as was expected of her. She moved up through promotions in the banking and finance world that made her a role model for women, breaking the glass ceiling of that time as she …
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Ian was born in Hamilton, Canada, a poor working-class steel town. His childhood was extremely challenging as his mother’s partner was president of an outlaw motorcycle gang. He tells his story of the violence and criminality which traumatised him in his early years. He describes how he survived and later thrived because of his placement with excep…
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Melissa’s story is very inspiring. She shares with us how she grew up in a dysfunctional family in California and suffered childhood trauma, undiagnosed ADHD and alcoholism as a teenager. Despite this adversity, her courage and determination led her to meet amazing support groups, healers and mentors and eventually become sober and live an authenti…
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Alan’s remarkable story describes overcoming the challenges that go with building relationships. He raised three young boys after his first marriage broke up. This was followed by business failure, then another failed marriage. His life began to change when he discovered his healing gift. Then he met a group of Aboriginal Elders for a year around a…
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Don Mathewson is a true champion who shares his extraordinary story of courage, determination, a passion for athletics, and overcoming major physical challenges alongside a life of service to others. He is a Masters track athlete who has been World Champion on three occasions across different age groups and received fifteen other medals. During his…
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Today Traci shares her very personal journey helping save her mom’s life… and colon… from Crohn’s disease, which doctors said was impossible, as well as her own experience with a terrifying combination of lead paint poisoning and toxic mould sickness that challenged her will to live. These struggles put everything she thought she knew to the test a…
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Gregory’s story begins in a violent and destructive home environment fuelled by anger and alcohol. He describes in graphic detail a life of neglect and trauma through his years as uncontrollable child in an orphanage. When he left at nineteen, he had no life skills and eventually ended up living as a recluse living alone in a rainforest in Northern…
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Lena describes her dysfunctional family and a long struggle with depression, including suicidal ideation. The loss of a close friend to suicide without her being aware of his pain provided the basis of her passion for creating safe places for other people to find acceptance and support when they need help. Lena faced her own fears to create a pathw…
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In this first guest podcast, the Kintsugi Hero is John Milham. He describes his journey from the crippling grief of losing his childhood sweetheart and beloved wife to how he survived and later thrived. At the same time, he completely changed his life's direction and identity while raising his three young children. He tells his harrowing story with…
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If you've been with us from the beginning, you'll know we've had an incredible year of episodes for the podcast, hearing inspiring stories of our guests rising above their addiction, trauma, mental illnesses and more. The Kintsugi Heroes Team has also grown and, as I'm sure you can understand, 50 episodes of a podcast is a lot! With this in mind, w…
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Natalie shares her story about the experiences she had that enabled her to create her resilience tools and shares several of them with us. As a young woman she experienced the heartbreak of drought in the outback when suffering stock were lost or had to be destroyed. Drought was the first of the three D’s that led to working in animal welfare. Her …
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Terry is an early baby boomer. His life plan to become an archaeologist changed when he was conscripted into the Australian Army in 1966. He shares some of his traumatic experiences as an elite soldier. After two years he left the army and became an accountant and put the military out of his mind. Over time, the memories flooded back, and he had to…
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Danny grew up in Guernsey Channel Island, bullied for being grossly overweight. He had a good home with a hardworking single mum but didn’t fit in. He was surrounded by wealth and privilege and felt trapped and became involved with drinking, drugs and violence. After many other experiences and now living in Australia, Danny had a moment in time whe…
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Judy’s truly remarkable story begins at the age of fifteen after a childhood of unimaginable fear and torment as a victim of sexual enslavement by her father. She had the first of several extraordinary 'transcendent' experiences that gave her insight into the extraordinariness of who we are. She learned that we could access the universal intelligen…
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Paul’s story is very moving, confronting but overall filled with hope. Over the past two decades, Paul has spent multiple nights in some of the darkest places on the face of the planet, rescuing children who have been sold into the global sex trade. He has felt a drive to do what he can to mobilise a movement of people to help bring an end to the a…
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Derek has always been active and healthy, playing sports, in clubs and involved with communities. He was in scouting for eighteen years and is a Queen Scout. He has researched and studied food, human behaviour, and longevity for the last twenty years. As a single parent, he suffered from burnout and depression, and this is where he begins his story…
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Ros Addison is the wife of Quinton Addison, who's also shared a story about the Black Saturday bushfires. And her story is quite remarkable. Sitting there with three German backpacking young ladies who were staying with them at the time, doing all the things that they learnt to do to try and save their house, which they're unsuccessful, and sitting…
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Monica is a wife, mother, mogul, jet setter, and socialite who shares her own personal struggles with social anxiety, failure, and fear to illustrate how to stop being pushed by pain and start being pulled by your own vision. Her story is a compelling account of how she transitioned from poverty and homelessness to a fulfilling and abundant life us…
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Ross tells his harrowing story of his lived experience of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression and addiction. He shares his recovery story with us in the hope that it assists in alleviating the stigma of mental health and suicide. He has been sober and gamble-free for nearly 20 years. Biography Ross has worked in the mental health fi…
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John McEvoy lives in the Alpine Region of Victoria where he is a school teacher and farmer. He tells the story of his experiences during and long after the catastrophic Black Saturday bushfires on February 7th 2009. Although his property did not directly impacted he tirelessly protected and supported his neighbours and the wider community. John has…
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Sophina grew up working for her mother in a not-for-profit business and was drawn back in when her grandmother asked her to help with her mother’s foundation. Determined to learn everything she could she left the business for others to run while she travelled. But while she was away funds were misappropriated and Sophina ended up in jail for a year…
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Kyle’s powerful story begins when he is a healthy young man who develops a serious infection in his heart and is rushed to hospital. He and his loving and supportive family go against the grain by not accepting the medical advice and using natural healing methods then find ways to heal the damage. Kyle was able to work with a cardiologist and event…
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In this episode of the Kintsugi Heroes Alpine Special, Ian spoke with Jill Graham who is Manager of the Myrtleford Neighbourhood Centre and also the Moyhu Neighbourhood Centre. Kintsugi Heroes are partnering with the Myrtleford Neighbourhood Centre to record the real-life stories of people who were impacted by or involved in supporting the communit…
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Nathan received an A.B.O. incompatible kidney transplant from his father, Michael in 2009 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. The incompatible program at Cedars allows people who are not blood compatible to successfully receive kidney transplants. He was the 16th person in Cedars history to receive the transplant. Biography Nathan Gu…
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David’s extraordinary story of resilience and courage begins in his early teens when he was very involved with sports but diagnosed with Fairbanks Disease or multiple epiphyseal dysplasia a rare genetic disorder affecting the growing ends of bones. He had to change his focus and tried golf but eventually had to give it up and he had the first in a …
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Mark Kettle shares his unique perspective in his story about the Black Summer fires in 2019-20. During the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires, he was the Fire Advisor to the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. He describes in detail what happened behind the scenes of the government's response to a major emergency in managing and report…
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Mandy was a functioning cocaine addict for sixteen years and is now entering her fourth year of being clean. Her relationship with drugs started at twelve when she experimented with weed, then mushroom, acid and ecstasy, all mixed with alcohol. She has now completely reinvented herself, her mind, body heart and soul and become a successful entrepre…
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Simon developed OCD from the age of around eight and his early life of bottling up his emotions and feelings His struggles with mental health continued after his parents separated and he felt responsible for the family safety at thirteen. He also developed depression on top of his OCD and he finally got help at the age of twenty-eight for his depre…
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Although Darren was not directly affected by the 2009 bushfires, he was a member of the Lion’s club in Myrtleford. He describes the response based on immediate needs like water and fencing, helping people socialise and fund-raising. He also shares the problems experienced by the business community during and after the fire when COVID hit, including…
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