Former boxer Adrian Hearn, who was born in Port Fairy, goes Under the Auld Pump with TIM AULD.
Hearn, the son of Marty and Pat, has eight siblings - Kerry, John, Shane, Brian, Margaret, Michael, Leonie and Kate.
His sporting highlight was being ringside at Caesars Palace Las Vegas in 1991 when Mike Tyson fought Donovan 'Razor' Ruddock in a heavyweight fight and Jeff Fenech fought Azumah Nelson on the undercard.
Adrian, we'll talk about your sporting highlights shortly but firstly we'll speak about your sporting background. Did you play footy when you were young?
Yes. I played junior footy in Port Fairy. They used to have four sides who would play at the Gardens Oval. I then played footy for gold side at Monivae College. We used to play on Saturdays. It's while I was at Monivae College that I came first came across Tiwi Islanders and Aborigines playing footy. I was amazed with their skills back in that era and still am today.
Where did you play senior footy?
I played at Tower Hill in the senior and reserve sides for three years. Kevin Leske was the coach. We had some tough, handy players at Tower Hill including Frank King, Kevin Heard and David Sharp.
Another sport I took part in while I was growing up in Port Fairy was basketball.
We used to play basketball in the old drill hall in the town. I can still remember Mrs Hull. She did a wonderful job organising the basketball sides and for keeping young children off the streets.
I was also heavily involved with the Port Fairy surf boats for three years with blokes like Howard Sharp, Graham Woodrup, Greg Dalton, Kevin Heard and Barry Dempsey. We used to compete in events up and down the surf coast.
Aerobics was another sport I loved. I used to take classes in Port Fairy and Warrnambool.
We used to have boxing training and I really enjoyed that. I think that's where my love for boxing came from.
I finished playing footy with Tower Hill and I moved up to the Northern Territory where I taught in the Wadeye Aboriginal Community. Wadeye has one of the biggest Aboriginal communities in Australia. There was more than 2000 students in the community.
It was a wonderful learning experience, not only for the students but for the teachers.
We ran a junior footy competition and often I would umpire. I played in the senior footy competition on the Saturday afternoons. There was no place for the faint-hearted.
We also started up a basketball competition. It was all about setting up different sports which would help the young children develop not only their sporting skills but life skills.
I moved over to the Wangetti Education Centre in Cairns. There was really nothing there when I started. The area was an old rundown caravan park but after plenty of hard work by the teachers and people in the community the place started to develop. I think there were only 40 students when I started there in 1982. I spent 18 years working there. It turned into a co-educational boarding college which comprised of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. I taught health, lifestyle and physical education after three years I was the deputy principal before being made the co-principal.
We used to travel around the various communities across the Northern Territory. It was just the best job anyone could have asked for. The 18 years working at Wangetti were the most fulfilling of my life.
The students were fantastic they had no hidden agendas or egos, they just wanted to learn and have fun.
They had no money. There families had no money but they were happy.
I learnt a lot about the aboriginal culture while I worked in the Northern Territory but my world changed forever in the year 2000.
What do you mean your world changed forever in 2000?
I was not feeling very well so I decided to come back home.
To be truthful with you I was very, very sick. I had various visits to the doctors trying to work out what was wrong. I was very lucky doctors like John Hounsell and Barry Morphett worked out my health issues. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue - myalgic encephalomyelitis.
A new journey started for me and it's one I'm still on to this day. It's the worst nightmare anyone could have to deal with.
I manage the chronic fatigue on a daily basis. I have regular visits to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne where I'm under a professor for chronic fatigue.
I walk, ride my bike a lot and go to the gym in Port Fairy to manage my illness.
I've been very lucky that I've had great support from my family and friends.
My mother Pat has been sensational. She's an amazing person.
She has given so much to the local community for so many years and to her family. Her generosity to people is amazing. She does it all without seeking rewards.
One wonderful friend has been Shane Howard. Our friendship started many, many years ago out at the cultural exchange at Deakin University.
We've both got a great understanding of the aboriginal culture.
Adrian, let's talk about your love for boxing. It must have been amazing to have been at the Fenech fight in Las Vegas in 1991?
It was totally amazing to be ringside. Caesars Palace was totally packed with fight fans. I often think back to that fight night. I'm sure Fenech was robbed.
I love the fight game. The boxing scene is a very tight-knit community. We had former champion boxer Barry Michael in Port Fairy a few months ago to catch up with Jim Pevitt and just last week Ivan Rukavina was here.
Ivan was a world-class boxer who fought with great success in Australia and overseas.