In interviews and general conversation, people often ask me who my role models are or who I look up to and while I struggle sometimes with answering that, because I’m lucky enough to find inspiration in so many moments with different individuals every day - there is one particular person whose story and strength is at the back of my mind as a constant source of inspiration and hope.
It might be surprising to some, but one of my biggest role models is actually one of my younger cousins. Having grown up in the care of his grandparents, facing trauma caused by a Mum and Dad who were constantly in and out of jail and around drugs - and a range of other obstacles and tough times, the ways in which he has emerged as not only incredibly successful, but also equally kind, generous and committed to giving back, never ceases to amaze me.
Proud Gamilaroi man, Braidon Burns' name is one you probably associate mostly with the Souths Sydney Rabbitohs, and while he is a great rugby league player, it’s the way he holds himself - and how it understands his position as a leader for the next generation - off the field that I wanted to showcase in today’s chat.
We talk about his start in life, the realisations he’s had in the ways his childhood trauma has effected him today and his commitment to breaking the cycle, especially for his little brother Dray, who he now has in his care.
Put simply, this conversation is one you absolutely need to hear and I'm honoured to be bringing it to you.
Massive thanks to Braidon on making the time and wishing you the speediest recovery with your recent on-field knee injury.
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Always Was, Always Will Be Our Stories is Written, Hosted and Edited by Marlee Silva and now produced with help of Keely Silva, on the unceded lands of the Dharrawal people. We pay our deepest respects to those people and their Elders past and present, whose connection to this place has remained unbroken for over 60 thousand years.
Follow us on Instagram @alwaysourstories
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Theme Music: 'Run' by Tristan Barton
Podcast Artwork: @wuruhi.auaha