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The indomitable spirit of everyday heroes

The majority of us could name those who have been or are influential within our lives. Invariably, these are not significant public figures but ordinary men and women who by the genuineness of their living helpfully point us forward.

Recently I read the story of a person who was awarded a Victoria Cross and he described himself in this way:

“As a normal Australian… not a Superman… not an Einstein… just an ordinary Australian who was caught in a very nasty position, recognised the responsibility given and carried out the duties to the best of his ability.”

That applies to many of us, parents and grandparents, who did the best they could with the little they were given, who went beyond the call of duty whether they got a medal to show for it or not!

I have also met many otherwise ordinary people who have found themselves in extraordinary situations. In the past I have interviewed Louisa Hope for our regular program ‘Wesley Impact! TV’, who in an everyday way, arranged to meet her mother for a coffee in the Lindt Café in Martin Place. As they were having their drinks, a person holding a gun walked in and from that point on Louisa’s life would never be the same.

On Tuesday 25 June 2019 we will host a fundraising event and will hear from a range of everyday people, including Louisa Hope, whose journeys offer a revealing insight into the indomitable spirit of ordinary people under pressure. Their names may not be instantly familiar, but their remarkable stories you will have no doubt heard of—

Todd Russell

In 2006, Todd faced the gruelling challenge of surviving one kilometre underground in a small pocket of air when the Beaconsfield Mine collapsed trapping him and two fellow miners under hundreds of tonnes of rock. Todd’s story is testament to the power of mateship and courage.

Dana Vulin

A woman and her accomplice broke into Dana’s apartment in 2012 and set her alight causing burns to much of her body and face. Within seconds her life changed permanently, and she has since undergone necessary reconstructive surgeries and painful, daily therapies. Sheer grit and strength have brought Dana through.

Ben Farinazzo

Ben was an Australian Army Officer and was deployed in East Timor, later being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of his service. In addition, Ben was injured in a mountain bike accident fracturing his neck and spine in several places. Despite these challenges, he has gone on to become a gold medallist at the Invictus Games.

Acclaimed journalist, Leigh Sales, will be our special guest interviewer for the event. Leigh has explored this topic in depth in her recent and best-selling book ‘Any Ordinary Day’ which asks the question… what happens after the worst day of your life?

This question is all too familiar to many people that approach Wesley Mission for help each day. Through unforeseen circumstances, many people find themselves in situations that would have previously been unthinkable. The good news is that there is hope for the future, even after the worst day imaginable, as the stories we witness everyday attest.

Through our gathering together for the annual Heroes United luncheon we will focus on raising much needed funds for Wesley Mission’s Homeless Services and in particular, the provision of crisis accommodation at Wesley Edward Eagar Lodge.

Though the need is great, it will be the contributions of ordinary people and businesses that help us reach our target of raising more than $180,000 at this event. I thank God that he takes the ordinary, broken lives of people like me and you and uses them to offer hope to the world.

Do you feel ordinary? Well, my dear friend, know this—you have something less than ordinary to offer.

I hope you will join with us:
12–3 pm, Tuesday 25 June 2019
Doltone House, Darling Wharf Island, Sydney.

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