Great to meet you, Darren. Are you from Melbourne?
Yes, I was born in hospital in Essendon and I grew up in Melbourne. As a child I enjoyed sports including footy cricket and bike riding, and I went fishing a lot. I also completed two marathons from Melbourne to Frankston. I ran for 25 years.
Where did you go on holidays when you were young?
I used to go to St Leonards for holidays with my parents and siblings. My parents had a caravan and we went travelling in it often.
And what was school like?
As a student it was pretty tough. I suffered with a stutter during my childhood that required speech therapy. As I got older it got a lot better.
What did you do when you finished school?
I’ve had a range of jobs. I’ve been a truck driver, a cabinet maker, a glazer, and I’ve worked in the building trade. I also worked at the Kraft factory and as a disability coordinator. I’ve done all sort of things.
An outside of work?
I was a fantastic cook. When I was married, I was the chef of the house and the kitchen was my domain. My favourite type of food is definitely seafood.
What about other interests?
I have lots of favourite musicians. I like Jimmy Hendricks, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, and REM. I also love movies and could talk about them all day. My favourite TV shows are the Brady Bunch, MASH and Prisoner.
Where have you travelled as an adult?
My favourite holiday was when I went to New Zealand – I loved everything about it. I bungee jumped while I was there. The food, the people and the culture were absolutely amazing. I would go back in a heartbeat.
What are you most proud of?
My greatest achievement was completing two marathons. It was tough but rewarding.
What about life at Manor Court? What's it like?
During the day it’s pretty casual. I really enjoy activities and the staff try to make all activities wheelchair friendly, which I really appreciate. My favourite is bingo – I’ve won quite a lot of money over the course of 12 months. I love being alive and knowing that I am being cared for.