Ash: My Dad is my best mate
Ash Vale is the kind of bloke who is never short of a joke, loves fishing, league and Warhammer. He’s father to two daughters, Violet and Autumn, and husband to Vic. In this story, we explore Ash’s relationship with his Dad, Ozzie. They’re self-confessed best mates who openly talk about everything from mental health to parenting and marriage. The bond between them is unshakeable. We look at what it takes to become and stay best mates for over thirty years, as father and son.
Ozzie: "That's the one."
Ash: "No one else is having a cup of tea."
Ozzie: "Yeah, me and you mate."
Ash: "I'm Ashley Vale and I'm father to Violet, who's two years old and Autumn, who is three months old."
Ozzie: "I'm Barry Vale and I'm Ashley's father.
And I have another daughter, Kimberly and they're a lot older than his."
On-screen text reads "Change is possible. Fairul's story".
"I grew up in a small town in the north of the South Island.
Looking back, it was probably one of the best ways to grow up in a town like that
'cause it was small, rural.
So there was lots of fishing, hunting, outdoor activities. Very minimal screens.
Being in a small town, you had your small group of mates as well in the area.
But yeah, my relationship with my dad, who's not really my dad or father, he's my best mate.
It's probably the only way to describe it.
Like the more dads I've got exposed to over the years, you sort of realised how
special that relationship is.
I just thought that was what all boys were like with their dads."
"Yeah, with him, he's truly my best mate.
And that's why we can talk about anything.
And I mean anything."
"I think from my side of it, how I got to the point to have that sort of openness with dad was just seeing the time that he put in.
There was never a lecture from dad, there was just, you know he was asking how your day was, what'd you do at school? What'd you learn?
And then he'd talk about how the boat was.
While he was away, what the fishing was like."
"And so you come home from four days, where you've put 70 hours in and there is this little five year old that just absolutely wants to be with you.
You cannot say, "Oh honestly kid, I've got to do this or do that."
You say, g'day, pick him up and away you go.
And the love you get from your children.
If you put the time in, there's nothing better.
The best thing you can throw at your child, is you and your time.
And that starts very early and then that'll carry on to everything in your life."
"That's probably the most tangible thing I have is just, yeah, the experience of the time you can give your kids. Time and energy.
If you need a practical step, is just finding that association with work you can cut off.
Whether it's your work jacket or your work shoes, something that you can cut off.
So then when, once you walk into that house, that's where your work should stop.
Your priority becomes the kids and, or it does for me.
And it did for dad. And that's why he's passed down to me.
And the magic just flows from there, aye."
"I have come from a background that my father never ever cared. No sympathy was given, so no sympathy could be asked for.
And if there was no blood, there was nothing wrong with you.
You just carried on.
I have struggled a little bit with my son's depression, but in saying that I have been
there for him, all the time."
"From suffering from it and still battling it to this day,
I think it's important to realize you don't need a reason to feel the way you feel.
It is just your feelings.
You know, this was one thing with my dad.
I was always worried about what he would say.
'Cause as you heard like with his dad, I was worried about, you know,
he's not gonna understand, he's gonna, you know, think I'm
weak or something like that."
"And you just sit there and you listen.
You don't have to judge.
You don't have to react to it.
And letting them tell you how they feel without trying to be the man to have all the answers for them.
You gotta just be his mate."
"Be his mate."
"You don't have to always agree as well.
There could be different things.
There's no way he learns anything about Warhammer.
He sort of goes blank in the eye when I talk about it."
"Well instead of a couple of dice, you've got 19 of them, and I don't...
Add them all up. Geez."
"There's no set role in being a father anymore, in my opinion.
You don't have to be a certain particular type of guy.
And each of us can be that guy."
"You can't blame your upbringing.
You have to change it."
And if you're the change, you're changing your life, their lives, and future.
Cut to a black screen. In the middle is the logo for Change is Possible. The logo is in orange and white text that reads "Change is Possible".
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