The Unforgiving60
@RV21 – On Meditating with Gary Gorrow, Surviving Massacres with Wayne Jones and Dying Three Times with Coco Quirke

@RV21 – On Meditating with Gary Gorrow, Surviving Massacres with Wayne Jones and Dying Three Times with Coco Quirke

November 19, 2020

Three interviews with three amazing guests, covering a range of topics that take us from the benefits of meditation, through the battlefields of Rwanda and Afghanistan and all the way to the Australian Stock Exchange.  Our discussion with Gary Gorrow was incredibly thought-inspiring and re-affirmed our belief in the positive benefits of meditation – we reflect on this, and chat talk about Tim’s experiences with meditation, mindfulness and breathing.  We look back on our discussion with Wayne Jones and how he has managed to successfully translate his decades of operational experience into his current role as the CEO of an ASX-listed company.  And finally, we revisit our interview with Coco Quirke, an amazingly inspirational human being, who survived dying three times to appreciate life all the more. 

Enjoy!

 

As always, please let us know what you think!  We love hearing from you – just email debrief@unforgiving60.com.

 

Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

02:30          Tim’s journey into meditation…and reflections on our interview with Gary Gorrow

05:10          Discussion on some of the emerging scientific research on the positive brain-changing effects of meditation

06:00          The link between meditation, mindfulness – and breathing, including discussion of James Nestor’s Breath

10:00          Wayne Jones – champion.  And a great episode

12:00          Is Wayne the first ex-SAS person to be CEO of an ASX-listed company? Let us know.

14:20          Wayne’s experience at the Kibeho massacre – and how he dealt with witnessing the worst of humankind

17:08          …and on Tongue Charge, the band in which Ben and Wayne played together

20:43          Reflections on McQuilty ‘Coco’ Quirke NSC – amazing combat medic and IED blast survivor

22:14          Coco’s ability to lead in chaos – without rank

24:00          Coco’s work with veteran-founded charity and mental health resource Swiss8

27:25          Outro song: Edge of the World, a cracking Externals tune, written in honour of lead singer Moff’s dad.  Check it out on Spotify

 

External Links

 

Music

The Externals … Available on Spotify

 

S2E26b – Daniel Keighran, VC- Courage Under Fire

S2E26b – Daniel Keighran, VC- Courage Under Fire

November 12, 2020

Quotable Quote: “Turns out if you give someone something to shoot at .... they start shooting at it!”- Dan

****

Continuing with Part B of our interview with Daniel Keighran, VC. 

NB: We recommend listening to Part A first  as it is an incredible scene setter.

****

In this 2nd episode we talk about the action in Afghanistan where Dan was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia. His version of events and what he thinks looking back at his actions.

For his role in the action at the Battle of Derapet the citation for the Victoria Cross reads:

‘For the most conspicuous acts of gallantry and extreme devotion to duty in action in circumstances of great peril’.

 

We then talk discharge from the Army in 2011, when Dan commenced work in the mining industry. Initially working in exploration drilling throughout Western Australia and then as an underground shotfirer (blaster) in a gold mine outside of Kalgoorlie.

It was in his cottage in Kalgoorlie that he received notification that the Chief of Army was coming to visit him. In the tiny lounge at Kalgoorlie Airport, the Chief of Army handed him an envelope…. The contents of that envelope would change his life.

In 2015, Dan returned to his home state of Queensland and completed his MBA- we talk about this and life with a VC, but beyond the military.

 

Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

01:30        Dan’s back again in Afghanistan…. Early days and the ‘42 Northing’

05:00        A deliberate decision on risk that they knew would mean contact

06:20        Mentoring the Afghan National Army

08:08        Green on blue attacks

10:10        Crossing the 42 Northing! And what happens next!?

13:20        Troops in Contact

14:45        Dan’s first thoughts and actions in that contact

16:20        Dan send his first radio communications to his Platoon Commander

18:25        How Dan identified enemy positions to enable fire to be brought to bear

20:30        Friendly casualties – Crash gets shot.

Targets from 50-500 metres.

22:45        The situation has fundamentally changed …. And what Dan does then!

24:00        What Dan wasn’t fearful about.

27:20        The hardest thing that Dan had to do that day.

29:45        Out of Afghanistan. Reflections. What was the ‘why’?

32:00        And out of the Army (shortly thereafter).

32:50        Into Kalgoorlie ….. and into mining. Dan’s transition out of the Army.

36:45        General Morrison calls Dan in Kalgoorlie.

38:40        General Morrison arrives in Kalgoorlie…. And Dan is handed ‘that envelope’.

                 How you find out that you have been nominated for the Victoria Cross.

40:30        Life starts to change…. And Mum’s response.

41:45        Cowboy’s (Dad’s) rig at Government House.

44:00        Public relations for Dan. How did it sit with him?

47:45        Dan is offered a position on the Board of the Australian War Memorial.

50:00        Higher education ….. that Dan hadn’t really thought about.

52:30        Dan’s MBA and its relationship with the book, ‘Courage Under Fire’.

54:30        Why Dan didn’t write his book earlier.

55:00        The supportive nature of other VC recipients. Advice from Mark Donaldson, VC

56:20        ‘This will change your life’- David Morrison said. How has it?

 

Quotable Quote: “If you give someone something to shoot at they start shooting at it!”- Dan

 

Music

Thanks to all our artists who allow us use of their music. In this episode:

The Externals – available on Spotify

 

S2E26a – Daniel Keighran, VC - Courage Under Fire

S2E26a – Daniel Keighran, VC - Courage Under Fire

November 5, 2020

Daniel Keighran, VC was born in Nambour, and grew up in Lowmead; a small town approximately 80km from Bundaberg in regional Queensland. His upbringing was anything but normal; Dan describes it as ‘pretty rough’, with a loving mother but an absent father challenging his teen years and where his one male constant was his Grandfather- himself a World War II veteran.

Indeed, the first-person Dan ever saw shot was his father.

Dan then enlisted in the Australian Army at 17 and served his country for 11 years seeing operational service in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia for his role in the action at the Battle of Derapet. The citation for the Victoria Cross reads:

 

‘For the most conspicuous acts of gallantry and extreme devotion to duty in action in circumstances of great peril’.

 

In 2011, Dan discharged from full-time Army service and commenced work in the mining industry. Initially working in exploration drilling throughout Western Australia and then as an underground shotfirer (blaster) in a gold mine outside of Kalgoorlie.

It was in his cottage in Kalgoorlie that he received notification that the Chief of Army was coming to visit him. In the tiny lounge at Kalgoorlie Airport, the Chief of Army handed him an envelope…. The contents of that envelope would change his life.

In 2015, Dan returned to his home state of Queensland and completed his MBA- we talk about this and life with a VC, but beyond the military.

 

 

Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

00:00        Dan Keighran’s citation for his award of the Victoria Cross

06:00        What an opening line to Dan’s new book! A sizzling start!

06:40        Dan talks about his Dad, Mum and Grandfather- including on the topic of love in the family.

11:30        Dan’s discussion with his Grandfather on service.

14:30        Stories from the family ‘home’ at Lowmead ….. basic and hard living, that would prepare him well for life in the infantry!

17:00        Comparing life as a kid…. to life in the military…..

17:50        Impressions on joining the Army- why yelling Corporals, long hours and sleeping in the dirt didn’t phase Dan!

19:30        Dan joins the 6th Battalion of The Royal Australian Regiment.

20:13        1st deployment into East Timor ....

23:03        2nd deployment into Iraq ….

25:15        Under fire in Iraq.

27:29        Improvised explosive devices versus direct fire.

29:44        What it’s like to be blown up by a roadside bomb…..

30:10        Into Afghanistan to support the Special Operations Task Group

32:15        Dan explains the tempo of special operations

 

Music

Thanks to all our artists who allow us use of their music. In this episode:

 

The Externals – available on Spotify

 

Special Episode- How NOT To win Best New Podcast at the Australian Podcast Awards

Special Episode- How NOT To win Best New Podcast at the Australian Podcast Awards

November 3, 2020

The Australian Podcast Awards just announced their finalists..... and we are not one of them.

Here's our 'not winning submission'..... and incidentally, we thought it was quite good. 

 

That said, you can still vote for us in the Listeners Choice Award:

https://australianpodcastawards.com/vote 

 

(Submissions were capped at 15 minutes.... and it was very difficult picking the three episodes as every guest has been amazing).

 

Intelligence Summary

  • 00:00- 7:00. SAS Tactics to Beat the Zombies with Mick Neven
  • 07:00- 10:20. Alyssa Azar, Summiting Everest
  • 10:20- 15:00.  Rod Bridge.... Losing a Son

*End music by Atlas Chasers

 

@RV20 - On Parenting – and other dilemmas!

@RV20 - On Parenting – and other dilemmas!

October 29, 2020

We’ve been a little slack with the RVs this year – we’re blaming it on the fact that we’ve had a whole heap of outstanding guests, however have found a break in the battle this week to reflect on some of those conversations.   During this episode, we’ve grouped a few of the recent interviews into the topic of parenting and childhood.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve learnt a lot from Steve Biddulph, Rick Pedley-Smith, David Gillespie and Marc Mexsom on what right (and wrong) looks like when it comes to raising children and in this RV, we look back at some of the big take-aways.

 

As always, please let us know what you think!  Good, bad or indifferent, we’d love to hear from you – please email debrief@unforgiving60.com.

 

Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

00:59          What’s an RV?  (It’s been so long since we did one that we’d forgotten…)

02:05          Reflections on our discussion with Steve Biddulph

03:10          Ben’s attempts to incorporate some Steve Biddulph – and David Gillespie – advice into the Pronk household

08:10          Rick Pedley-Smith’s Rite of Passage program

12:24          Reflections on our discussion with David Gillespie, author of Teen Brain

12:50          Ben tries to describe the neurochemistry of a teenager’s brain.  It is unlikely to be very accurate….

16:45          Remembering back to our chat with Dr Linda Monshizadeh and her discussion of selfie dysmorphia

17:30          Comparisons with the Netflix documentary Social Dilemma

20:15          Reflections on our chat with Marc Mexsom, founder of Community Courage

23:20          Listener feedback and questions

24:30          Feedback from Adam, the founder of Boys to the Bush – doing great work in a similar vein to Rick Pedley-Smith

25:30          Nick Kalimeris – Rite of Passage graduate and emerging musician.  Links to Nik’s work below!

 

 Music

All music on this episode is from the incredibly talented Nik Kali, musician and alumni from Rick Pedley-Smith’s Rite of Passage program.  Check out Nik and his work on the links below:

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nikkali_/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nik-kali-666320786

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2vGpmYNitxP9qA6HZ3uKfk?si=DmPHcJY3TjabUCvWl91vMA

 

S2E25- Louise Baxter Shines Brightly- CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation

S2E25- Louise Baxter Shines Brightly- CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation

October 22, 2020

What better cause to commit to than seriously ill children? Well, Louise Baxter is a gun leader and the inspiring CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation. She has over 30 years' experience in marketing, sales and communication before finding her purpose in the not for profit space.

Early in her career, Louise was a member of the Sydney board of Leo Burnett Connaghan and May Advertising, NFPOnline Pty Ltd (the holding company for Livewire) and was founding partner of Brave New World Advertising. As well as working in sports marketing.

Louise has 14 years' experience at Starlight and has been Chief Executive since June 2009.

Since Louise returned as CEO Starlight has been awarded AON Hewitt Best Employer accreditation, is in the top 20 in Australia's Great Places to Work and #1 most reputable charity brand supporting children & young people. In November 2015 Louise was acknowledged by CEO Magazine as Australia's NFP Executive of the Year.

And most recently AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies in Aus & NZ list has just been announced and............  Starlight is #1!!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. The list recognises the most innovative organisations in Australia and New Zealand, as judged by the expert panel assembled by The Australian Financial Review and Inventium.

How can (and will) you shine more brightly?

 

 Donate to Starlight here . ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

03:15        Louise’s personal and professional background

09:00        Louise gets hooked at Starlight (first time around!)- as Head of Partnerships

10:30        Louise leaves for a new challenge….  albeit temporarily

13:45        What is on Louise’s internal CV? …. What people can’t see or read.

17:20        About teamwork…. And playing to team member’s strengths.

19:00        Who Louise employs ….

20:12        On authenticity…. and how it exists on a continuum.

22:15        Is it OK as a leader to not have all the answers (vulnerability).

24:40        Louise could lead any ASX200 Company- so why Starlight?

26:50        Starlight’s positive experiences to kids- an overview

28:22        Replacing pain, fear and stress .. with …fun, laughter and joy

30:00        Starlight pivots through COVID-19…. what Starlight learned.

32:15        On Starlight’s own Captains….. Captain Starlight!

35:10        Kids name the Captains ….. What militaries could learn from that!

35:40        Programs for teens and beyond and wish-granting.

39:30        Art skills for life

42:20        Case Study- Nathan Cavaleri . Child prodigy and musical superstar (and Starlight Kid). jammed with Mark Knopfler, toured with BB King, did the US talk show circuit and was a regular on Hey Hey It's Saturday. Nathan on Australian Story is here

46:30        Starlight 5 Chefs Dinner….. fun but meaningful and deep. The landscape of fundraising.

48:45        The Starlight bike ride…. and its growth. And wider fun and silliness.

51:10        What’s next……

53:20        How to find out more on Starlight.

54:40        If Louise had the ears of the world…. What would be her message to the world?

 

External Links

Starlight Children’s Foundation: https://starlight.org.au//

Starlight’s Program overview is here

Louise’s profile on LinkedIn is here.

 

Music

Thanks to all our artists who allow us use of their music. In this episode:

  • The Externals – available on Spotify
  • Mitchell Martin – available on Spotify …. And Mitchell's new single is here

 

S2E24- Marc Mexsom: When your cause is bigger than your case - Community Courage

S2E24- Marc Mexsom: When your cause is bigger than your case - Community Courage

October 12, 2020

Trigger Warning. At the age of 14, Marc Mexsom was sexually abused by two much older men, in positions of power over him.  In this moving episode, Marc tells his story; of the impact of that event, of the turmoil of keeping this secret inside him for 22 years and of the unimaginable courage to finally speak out about it. 

Within 10 days of going public, Marc founded the Australian Not-for-Profit Charity, 'Community Courage', with a stated mission to encourage and support the reporting of current and historical child sexual abuse in the Australian community and for the elimination of child sexual assault going forward.  So powerfully did Marc’s story resonate with the Australian community that he was able to raise over $10,000 within the first nine hours.

Marc has over twenty years’ professional experience working across the military, custodial services and security and emergency management industry, which he also speaks to in this episode.  Marc’s story is profound – at times heart-wrenching, at times hilarious and, always, inspirational.

 

Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

01:45        Not really knowing where to start with this conversation….we just start!

02:30        Marc’s story of being sexually abused as a 14y.o on a soccer camp

08:45        The pressure of the secret – and why Marc didn’t tell his parents

10:35        The catalyst for being able to talk about the event, after 22 years

12:00        Hitting rock bottom…and climbing back up again

13:30        Telling his mates – and the unexpected levels of support that Marc received

16:00        Marc’s series of jobs, houses and locations – and finally being able to stop

18:30        Marc’s initial decision not to go to the police about his abuse, and commencing the search for his attackers

22:00        The moment when Marc was just about to come face to face with one of his abusers – and why he didn’t, and went to the police instead

23:10        Marc’s concerns with the current state of the criminal justice system   

28:00        Marc gives the police the information he’s collected on his abuser

30:25        Revenge – tactical vs strategic – and what it means to Marc

31:50        Community Courage’s goals for change – social and legislative

34:45        Are there rehabilitation programs for child sexual abusers?

36:50        Potential funding models for police child sex offence units

39:10        Starting Community Courage – the initial goal and what Marc’s learnt since then

41:00        The support received to date has included both community and professional support

45:00        How can you help if someone confides in you that they have been sexually abused?

49:20        Are there any warning signs or recommended actions we can take as parents?

53:00        Marc’s time in the Australian Army – and why it didn’t go so well

57:00        What Marc does – for himself

1:00:10     What’s next for Marc’s case and his cause

1:02:45     And in fantastic news, since recording this episode Community Courage has been approved as a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) & Registered Charity with the Australian Charity and Not-for-Profit Commission, allowing corporate sponsorship and tax-deductibility for donations above $2.

 

External Links

  • Community Courage, the organisation that Marc started to encourage and support the reporting of current and historical child sexual abuse in the Australian community and for the elimination of child sexual assault going forward
  • Community Courage’s gofundme page
  • If you need help in this area, some great resources (within Australia) include Beyond Blue, Lifeline, Kids Helpline and Crime Stoppers

 

Music

The Externals – available on Spotify

Atlas Chasers – available on Spotify

 

S2E23 – Hard to Keep Killed - McQuilty ‘Coco’ Quirke, NSC

S2E23 – Hard to Keep Killed - McQuilty ‘Coco’ Quirke, NSC

October 5, 2020

McQuilty ‘Coco’ Quirke has died three times and also been awarded the Nursing Service Cross. In this incredible interview Ben and Tim talk to a career Army medic whose life is anything but ordinary.

Coco talks about the incident where he was awarded the NSC, and life beyond into the operational theatres of Iraq and Afghanistan. It was in Afghanistan where Coco found himself blown up by a roadside bomb. After all the medic was not the one who was supposed to get hurt. In the attack, Coco suffered two shattered vertebrae, a shattered left femur, a broken left foot, broken right ankle, broken right leg below knee, a shattered left elbow, a dislocation and fracture of his right hand and traumatic brain injury. He turned 31 two days after the incident and was told he would never run again.

It was a long journey back ….. to where now Coco continues to serve (and does actually run). His selfless sense of service has now expanded to being an Ambassador for the charity Swiss8.

 

Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

08:30   Coco describes the event where he was awarded the Nursing Service Cross.

19:05   Ben talks about the Nursing Service Cross.

20:05   Going slower motion on the day of the incident…. On leadership when you don’t hold the highest rank.

25:00   A leader with no eyes …. Coco talks about leading using a radio.

28:10   Using a diary and the importance of taking notes.

33:50   Other times where Coco felt pressure- talking about a tragic and high-pressure situation in Afghanistan.

41:00   The incident where Coco found himself on the other side of receiving treatment in Afghanistan.

48:00   Combat first aiders start to work on Coco’s traumatic injuries. And then Coco shows nil signs of life.

51:40   5 hours of immediate surgery. And receiving kisses on the cheek…. then evacuated to Germany.

55:40   Waking up in Germany.

57:20   32 surgical procedures and it was the best day of his life!?

1:00:00 What Coco got out of that day?

1:02:10 Three parts to resilience in the eyes of Coco. Not one single foundation.

1:08:06 The world is small- about Swiss 8. Coco’s role as an Ambassador.

 

External Links

 

Coco’s profile on LinkedIn here

Swiss8 is a health promotion charity founded by veterans: https://swiss8.org

 

 

Music

 

Mitchell Martin’s - ’Hold On’ –available on Spotify . With continued thanks to Mitchell for the use of his music.

 

S2E22- David Gillespie – Inside Teen Brains

S2E22- David Gillespie – Inside Teen Brains

September 25, 2020

David Gillespie describes himself as a father of six, a recovering corporate lawyer, a former co-founder of a successful software company and the author of eight bestselling books.  He is widely known for his book Sweet Poison, which he wrote after recognising that the traditional dietary advice he was being sold wasn’t working.  Since then, he has written extensively on issues that are close to his heart, including his latest work Teen Brain. This fantastic book should be compulsory reading for anyone who has anything to do with a teenager – it explains in very accessible terms the chemistry of teenager’s brains and why this makes them so susceptible to addiction to the ‘porns’ of the modern tech environment – ‘danger porn’ and ‘approval porn’.  In this interview, David shares with us the key points from his book, as well as some practical advice for parents to address this scary and unprecedented

Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

01:05   The Social Dilemma on Netflix – David recommends this as a great source of information from the tech perspective on how social media applications are being deliberately designed to be addictive

04:13   David’s background, and the catalyst for writing Sweet Poison

07:30   Debunking the myth that dietary fat makes you fat – and that sugar is OK

10:30   What on earth is going on in a teenager’s brain?  The biochemical answer:  the importance of dopamine and GABA, and how these relate to addiction

16:30   The unique environment teenagers are facing at the moment – a drop in certain addictions, but a scary rise in new ones, enabled by smart devices

19:30   Would Steve Jobs let his kids have an iPad?

23:00   The ‘perfect storm’ of adolescent hormonal states and addictive software

23:46   The desire for risk in teenage boys, and how it is being exploited by ‘danger porn’ - online gambling and gaming

25:50   Teenage anxiety and depression rates have doubled in 10 years

27:00   How can we separate the good from the bad on our teenager’s devices?

28:20   Is anyone addicted to Microsoft Excel?!

31:10   What’s the difference between TV and social media – and how to address the question of connectivity with friends

34:20   How to parent against these challenges

36:00   The evolution of parenting styles over the last century

39:00   The relationship between demand feeding as a baby – and parental confidence later on in life

42:00   Using devices as sedatives

43:15   How we learn from our brain’s reward system

46:16   Why all babies are psychopaths

47:00   Rules:  their importance and how to set them

48:05   Celia Lashlie’s outstanding book He’ll Be OK

49:50   Why parents need to harden up to save their kids

54:00   The importance of consequences – natural and imposed

55:30   Corporal punishment as a consequence?

57:15   Rite of Passage events

58:20   Why women bothered to invent men….

 

 

External Links

 

Music

The Externals – now available on Spotify

S2E21b – Wayne Jones: ex SAS Sky God and Rock Star turned ASX CEO

S2E21b – Wayne Jones: ex SAS Sky God and Rock Star turned ASX CEO

September 10, 2020

Part B of our special double episode with Wayne Jones. Wayne picks up where we left off last week by talking about his transition out of the military… and into life as a CEO of the ASX listed iFly Australia. Taking a lot of risks and being supported by mentors including Steve Baxter… this is the story.

 

Intelligence Summary (INTSUM)

01:45   Intro from Tongue Charge

02:00   About the song ‘Kelly’s Last Dance … and then we play some of it.

03:50   The song ‘One Crowded Hour’, Wayne could never remember the song … and then we play some of it too.

05:45   Wayne describes the genesis of his current role as CEO of a listed company running indoor skydiving wind tunnels

08:10   Walking footpaths, belting down doors and googling ‘what is a signature block?’

12:00   After the capital raise…. time to make an indoor skydiving facility.

15:15   What is a wind tunnel?

17:42   How close is indoor skydiving to the real thing?

19:00   Jumping with weird and wonderful stuff.

21:00   Leadership differences: SAS to ASX.

24:58   The theatre of leadership: in an ASX Co.

26:30   The future of simulation and growth.

31:20   Talking resilience.

34:27   Ego and feelings.

36:30   Good habits and routine- what does Wayne do?

39:38   Breathing…. Relaxing techniques?

41:26   What’s next and settling down….. Wayne’s thoughts.

 

External Links

  • Wayne’s company iFLY Australia – Go get involved with some indoor freefall!

  

Music

Tongue Charge!  Recorded in various locations from Cottesloe Beach to Uruzgan Province

 

Contact

Get in touch with us: debrief@unforgiving60.com

www.unforgiving60.com

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