Anna Dwyer is a beautiful lady from inside out. She is in my opinion the gratitude queen. Every day for what is now more than 1500 days straight Anna did not go to bed without writing down at least five things she was grateful for on that day.
I’m so happy to have Anna on the show to share with us how she does it and the impact it had on her life. I have learned so much from this beautiful lady in our short twenty minutes discussion and I absolutely loved her energy and positive vibe.
My guest for today’s episode is one of the most humble and grateful beings I have ever met.
Deng Adut was snatched from his mother’s arms when he was just six years old. He was forced to fight for the South Sudanese rebels as a child. After several years of fighting, by chance, he ran into one of his relatives and was smuggled out of the country. He immigrated to Australia as a teenager where he taught himself how to read, write and speak English. He earned a scholarship with the Western Sydney University and went on to become a defence Lawyer, refugee advocate and an author.
You are all invited to my friend Deng’s book launch on the 26th October 7pm at Kinokuniya bookstore in Sydney. Please come and join us.
Resources and Links:
Watch the short and powerful video which brought Deng’s story to mainstream attention
Nancy O is an American best-selling author, a TV presenter, radio announcer, a business owner and an entrepreneur. She’s also a passionate domestic violence advocate and a cancer survivor. Nancy is a woman with a mission, and she is on fire. She is unstoppable!
Her life has been an unbelievably epic journey, and the paths are laden with pain, heartache and obstacles at every turn.
She was an innocent young country girl who dared to move to the big city to pursue her dreams. There she was lured and gang raped by a pack of soldiers who then threw her severely injured body out on the street. She was lucky to stay alive.
Later on, she was a victim of domestic violence. She was beaten, locked in the closet for days and almost died from rat poisoning. Her children were taken away from her, and she was left homeless. She moved to America where she was a foreigner, barely spoke a word of English, broke, homeless and lived on the streets.
Despite her circumstance she defined the odds and achieved the impossible.
He is one of a kind! Fearless and unstoppable and relentlessly pursuing his dream, he refused to allow anything to stand in his way even at the risk of losing his own life.
After the fall of Saigon hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese desperately tried to get out of the country, running away from the madness and chaos that took over. Unfortunately countless people were shot and killed on their very first attempt. Numerous more lives were taken by the sea or by heartless fishermen turned into pirates.
Jimmy Thai did not attempt to leave until a decade later. But once he set his mind to it there was no turning back. His escape journey was horrific and heartbreaking. It took 15 attempts before he made it out alive and the cost was unimaginable. His brother was shot and killed. He was hunted like an animal and was captured, tortured and sent to labour camp.
Decades later Jimmy returns to the very country that almost took his life to build schools and serve the underprivileged. He is an amazing individual, one of a kind!
I’m borrowing today’s episode title from Gordon MacKenzie, an American artist. He used to talk to school kids from kindergarten to year 6, asking the same question: “Anybody an artist?”. And while everyone in kindergarten was enthusiastically raising their hands, as he progressed from one year to the next, the number of hands raised dropped. By year 6 hardly any kids put their hand up.
So Gordon Mackenzie asked the sixth graders: “Hey! What happened to all the artists in this school? Did all the artists transfer out? Did all the artists go to art school? I don’t think so. I think something much worse. I think someone or something has told you it’s not OK to be an artist. If you don’t remember anything else I say today I want you to go home and remember it’s OK to be an artist.”
I am so glad that my guest today – Brian Robinson – was not afraid to remain an artist even though some of his loved ones advised against it. At times it was a lonely road, working long hours, not knowing what the future holds, but that was the sacrifice he was willing to make.
Brian is the 2013 Recipient of the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award, the nation’s richest Indigenous arts prize for exceptional achievements by an Australian Indigenous artist. His works are displayed across Australia, at the Monaco Palace and at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. He spent more than two decades perfecting his craft and never once wavered in his pursuit.
Brian constantly challenges himself to create unique and amazing masterpieces. He uses a variety of methods from printmaking, painting, sculpture, installation and design. His work embodies the customs and traditions of the Torres Strait Islander people whilst also referencing mythological narratives from global cultures.
In this interview Brian gives us a glimpse into his life as an artist, the work involved, the unusual materials and tools he uses for his art work. He also shares a bit about his life journey.
Before you listen to our conversation I highly recommend you follow this link to see his talent on display.
I’ll end with another quote from Gordon Mackenzie’s amazing book on creativity Orbiting the Giant Hairball: “If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.”