“Family legend has it, that I was conceived on Kangaroo Island in the winter of ‘69. Which says a lot about my innate love of the ocean, beach, eucalyptus and of course, the dreaded koala.
My wonderful grandparents once ran a farm in Cygnet River. My mum and her siblings grew up on the farm until our family moved into Kingscote.
By the time I came around, my grandfather had a brick factory in Kingscote which supplied the local house builds – a brick by Bill Dart was a brick to build with.
My fondest childhood memories were formed on KI. Whenever we were on the island, we just had pure fun. Summers were spent on Emu Bay, swimming, rafting, dune-bugging. The star-filled nights gathered us around a fire on the beach with family and friends. We ran amok!
I would join my big brother fishing on the jetty, we would literally put the line in, catch a fish, then take it home to Grandma. She would cook us fresh Tommy Ruffs for breakfast. It’s comforting to know people still live a good and nature-filled life on KI.
Our adored mum passed away many years ago. She always told us that when she dies “she would like her ashes taken to Kangaroo Island”. We honoured her wishes, and celebrate her life as a family every time we visit. Her grandchildren and ourselves feel connected to her amongst the soft white sands of Emu Bay.
London has been my home for many years. I work as a Breathwork and Meditation Teacher, Writer and Wellness Coach. I’m on a mission to assist others with their positive mental and physical health.
I’ve kept my KI spirit alive and well in everything that I do; ‘mostly’ simple living, honest and hardworking – these are the qualities that Islanders uphold.
In 2019, I was on the island with my extended family for Christmas and New Year’s. We were there on the day of the fires. On that Friday, 19 of our family members were having an early dinner at the Ozone. We’d been talking about the smoke all day. The island is usually much cooler than the mainland, but that particular day was really dry and hot – very distinctive. It gives me chills just telling you this. Our beautiful island was on fire.
Some guys came into The Ozone as they’d just returned from the western side. We were assertively told, ‘Listen everyone, go back to your accommodation, pack your bags – this fire is really taking a serious rage and if the winds flip, it is going to head to Kingscote.’
We went back, packed our bags, three generations of us. My sister-in-law and I stayed up all night and kept watch on the news. Luckily for us, the winds didn’t change, and then dropped out.
Announcements were made the following day telling ‘all tourists to leave the island.’
As someone who considers KI my spiritual home, I was affronted by the realisation “I am actually a tourist on my island”. If I didn’t live in London and had the means, I would’ve stayed on and done everything I could to help everyone.
I was recently looking at a photograph of my Mum, brother and I taken at Flinders Chase. The woman who gave me life, gave me this incredible island as my home.
I’m now in a fortunate position to help islanders post-fire. My book ‘The Power of Yoga for Men’ supports my mission to assist men struggling with their mental health. I’ve developed a mindfulness program for Kangaroo Island farmers and rural men, which I am making available for free to anyone struggling.
To any man who needs my support we will connect once a week, online. I will teach you how to sit and breathe, slow down, and make a meditation practice a priority. This is an essential and most important skill to develop, particularly for those struggling with mental health and depression.
It’s good to know that you have a space that is honourable and discreet to ‘share your truth’.
I will get back to you immediately to arrange your Zoom call. We’re all in this thing called life together and I’m here to help.”
2 thoughts on “Jarod”
Just reading this story gave me a moment of peace in another hectic, stress filled day. It’s easy to say “not my thing” to what Jarod proposes. The answer to that is simple in my view: “how can it not be!?”. If you don’t need more peace, calm and moments in your day to step back from life then good on you. The rest of us should take him up on the offer. We all need a bit more “KI” in life…
I love the sense of peace that Jarod evokes, and of course I have to celebrate his mother’s style. It’s too easy to forget the simple pleasures of life in the midst of all the manic demands and responsibilities. It’s perhaps testament to his mother and the strong women and men in his life that Jarod is offering support to other men. We all need a safe place and I celebrate everything that ultimately supports us all, if I had a Y chromosome (and a koala) I would sign up in an instant….go KI….Sarah