To celebrate Father's Day this year, we spoke to Dan Ahwa, Ty King-Wall, Matt Fells, Liam Taylor & Jess Molina & asked them to share the best piece of advice they have ever received from their father figure or the best piece of advice they will pass onto their daughters & sons.
"My biological father was never around growing up, so my grandparents basically raised me as their own son in Mt. Albert, Auckland. My grandad Atu was my father figure growing up, and to me, he's my dad. He taught me to ride my first bike, was there at every rugby game, and taught me how to drive. He is a man of very few words, but when he speaks, everyone listens. He taught me to do what you love doing with dignity and respect for others, and to always stay focused on what I wanted to do and not worry about what everyone else was doing. These lessons are what have helped me navigate life, and for this, I'll always be grateful to him for." - Dan Ahwa, VIVA (Photo by Anna Kidman)
"I learned from my dad that as a parent, the most valuable gift you have to give your children, above all else, is simply your presence. Growing up in rural New Zealand, money wasn’t ever something we had a lot of, but as a child I never felt poor. That was because my dad always had time for my sister, my brother, and I. We would spend hours playing cricket and kicking the rugby ball in the backyard. I was incredibly competitive, and a terrible loser (nothing much has changed!). My dad was there for the tree-hut building, adventuring in the bush, learning to swim, fishing off the jetty, and the early Saturday morning school hockey games. And that was all I ever needed. It didn’t matter what we were doing, as long as he was there.
When my daughter Bonnie was born, I was acutely aware of my rookie status in the parenting stakes. I understood that I would make mistakes, that I wouldn’t always have the answers. But the one thing I vowed I’d never sacrifice or withhold from her was my time. I’d always be there to play, to listen, to pick her up when she fell (and she’s a toddler now, so that’s a lot). I would, and will always be, present. This year, in so many ways and for so many reasons, has been frightening, frustrating and uncertain. But for my wife Amber and I, to spend this time at home with Bonnie, to be able to watch her grow and to not miss any part of it, there is nothing I’d exchange that for." - Ty King-Wall, Principal Artist with The Australian Ballet
"My dad taught by example on one of the best lessons in life, how to be a good Dad! He always put family first and I'm so grateful for that! Looking back at experiences with my dad, he has taught me so much; how to be nurturing and strong at the same time, how to be encouraging but not pushy. He always told me that I could achieve anything I put my mind to with hard work and I always felt supported by him. Most importantly he taught me the importance of kindness." - Matt Fells, St. Agni
Advice for my daughters, passed on from what I learnt from my Father - "Have an adventurous and ambitious spirit - the world is truly yours, don't always follow the rules or be afraid to take risks... life is a journey. It won't always be easy, that's just life! It's how you approach each kink in the road that will determine how you develop as a person and will only make you more resilient to life's many challenges and make you appreciate the wonderful moments too” - Liam Taylor, Darkhorse
"My dad has always encouraged me to be creative and to follow my passions. I had a wildly creative childhood filled with music and films and books and imagination and it's shaped me into who I am today. He's also taught me that it's never too late to start over and rebuild your life. My dad moved to New Zealand in 2008 and the rest of our family followed a year later. Moving to a new country as an adult is hard, coming here with nothing and starting over takes a lot of resilience and patience and grace and my parents sacrificed so much to give my siblings and I a better chance at life and for that I'll always be thankful." - Jess Molina, Loudly Quietly