A sense of pride emanates from Thomas Lual's voice when he speaks about his four children.
Juina, 21, Luamon, 18, Cigi, 17, and Mali, 14, are their dad's strength.
The Warrnambool family makes sure it celebrates achievements - big and small - as a way of honouring one member no longer there.
Regina Bol-Obony - Thomas' wife and the children's doting mother - died in February 2020 after a short illness.
It rocked the tight-knit family. Some three years on, they are determined to keep her legacy going.
She will be in their thoughts when Luamon - considered one of Australia's best teenage footballers - finds out which AFL club will call his name at the draft on either November 20 or 21, 2023.
"Their mum is their mum forever and their dad is their dad forever," Thomas told The Standard.
"You carry it in a positive way."
Thomas and Regina arrived in Australia from South Sudan in 2001, settling in Melbourne where Juina, who is now studying business at RMIT University, was born.
Two years later they relocated to Warrnambool and have called the seaside city home ever since.
Their children immersed themselves in sport - soccer, basketball and football - and the family's connections to their community grew.
Those bonds helped them heal when Regina passed away.
"It is a very big part of our strength, the Warrnambool community," Thomas said.
"We felt not alone when this happened. There is no word to describe my gratitude to the Warrnambool community. Warrnambool is home."
Luamon has fond memories of his mum.
"She was a very caring person, always smiling and loved to have a chat with people," he reflected.
"She was something special, there was something different about her."
Regina was invested in her children's schooling and sporting passions.
She watched Luamon get his start at Hampden league club South Warrnambool.
He's since gone on to dazzle AFL recruiters with standout performances for GWV Rebels in the Coates Talent League and Vic Country at national championship level.
"Unfortunately she's not here today but I know she is watching us above as a family," Luamon said.
"I think she'd be very, very proud of me and not just me but the rest of my siblings and especially Dad as well.
"Early days I was struggling a bit but as you grow older, you use it as a motivator.
"I use it as a thing to guide my work and achieve my goals."
Thomas said his children wanted to embody the traits which made Regina special.
"My strength comes from the kids, we try and be together," he said.
"While they focus on what they do, this is how they hold onto their mum.
"I am very proud of the way they have been throughout.
"You get this feeling now that everyone is happy to honour the late Regina.
"In our culture, when somebody passes, and there is a spouse or kids left behind, you try very hard to do what the person passing was doing - if it was somebody caring, you need to take that measure, that is how to carry their legacy and their name."
It's also why Luamon understood the importance of balancing his sporting passions with school.
He has graduated from Emmanuel College and has plans to study at university.
"With the South Sudanese (background), we really have a big focus on school and going well and doing your best," Luamon said.
"I had a big focus with year 12 this year and likewise my siblings as they go through.
"Dad always harps on about the importance of school. He always says 'when you get injured, you can't play sport anymore and you have to do something else'.
"I'd like to go to university and study either business or something in the health field.
"I think that would be right for me, loving those subjects at school, and I think it would suit me as a person as well."
Sport plays a significant role in the Lual family too.
Both Juina and Cigi have played Big V basketball for Warrnambool Mermaids - the latter in their past two division one championship wins.
Mali also plays football and basketball and was part of South Warrnambool's premiership-winning under 14 team in August.
He is following in big brother Luamon's footsteps and will be part of the Western Bulldogs' Next Generation Academy.
"It is good to watch them go well in their sport and have some good success," Luamon said.
"I think that is a pivotal moment for Dad and what he's been able to produce and it just makes myself happy and I think it makes everyone else in the family happy when they're going well as well.
"Dad has a massive impact on me, through everything he's done and what we've gone through as a family.
"Even little things like harping on about school, supporting the family. He's sacrificed a lot for us."
Australian Rules was foreign to Thomas, who works night shifts at Lyndoch's aged care facility to ensure he's there to take his children to their after-school sporting commitments, when he arrived in Australia.
He had a soccer background but soon found himself immersed in a new code.
"I had no idea but as they grow up here, they got into footy and they love it," he said.
"Kicking is the same, it's just the shape of the ball. You learn if you kick it this way, it will go this way.
"Like in soccer, there is a certain way to kick it if you want it to spin, if you want to curve it.
"It is just a matter of learning a new skill for a new sport."
No one anticipated joining South Warrnambool would lead Luamon to a potential career.
An invite to the Western Bulldogs' NGA program was when it first dawned on the talented teenager.
"I got to experience a week there this year training with the main group, so that was good to see how they go about it with the big names they have like (Marcus) Bontempelli and Tom Liberatore and those types of players," he said.
"Even the taste with Vic Country, the dream of getting drafted just got bigger and bigger."
Now he's on the precipice of becoming an elite athlete.
Clubs see him as a defender not only capable of shutting down opponents but creating attacking plays with his run and flair.
"I am very happy he has achieved something he worked for. Any parent would be proud of an achievement of any child," Thomas said.
"We normally sit down and talk about simple things, like what is a success? A success is even just passing the class. He is celebrated.
"So when it comes to something like this it is more celebration - to family, extended family, friends."
Luamon, who grew up a Sydney supporter, will move either interstate or to Melbourne to pursue his dream.
Either way, his family will be close at hand - "technology makes the world small," says Thomas - to help him ride the highs and lows.
"His siblings have to learn that this is a part of life - you follow your dream for study or work," he said.
"It is a part of growing up. The bird one day learns how to fly and they fly."