Lambassador Sam has a new fan as Kiwi sees the light
I THINK I must have been living in a bubble, a microcosm or a different universe. Until last Thursday I'd never, ever heard of Australia's Lambassador, Sam Kekovich.
Everyone around me was astounded that I didn't have a clue who he was.
"You've not heard of him? Haven't you seen his ads on Australia Day?"
To which I had to respond, glumly, "No, I haven't."
It was one of those moments when you feel like a complete dolt, like you'd wish the ground would open up and swallow you up.
Well, not really, but I must admit I did feel a little under-educated, especially following his speech to the Gladstone Futures Summit hosted by GAPDL.
I guess it's because I've been living here for just a couple of years. He's obviously big news here in Oz, but in little ol' New Zealand I guess he doesn't have quite the same following.
So it was that this burly bloke - a former AFL star, I understand - took to the stage, and for a good 25 minutes he entertained the 150-odd delegates at the summit with his monster words, incredible humour, passion for everything Australian and his amazingly positive outlook on life in general - without a single note.
It's a long time since I have laughed so much. He had me, and my fellow tablemates, in stitches for much of the time as he ripped into vegetarians, the Greens and many other minority groups he didn't have a great deal of time for.
He no doubt shocked a few, but he had a great message to tell - not necessarily in the words he spoke, although there were many great messages in his speech - but in the way he made it fun to listen to through humour.
It's something the world needs more of - funny things, taking a light-hearted look at ourselves and making fun of ourselves rather than wandering around the globe finding all the things wrong in the world.
It's cup half full stuff, instead of the cup half empty bind we seem to have got ourselves into.
I'm more than happy to take the music when I've stuffed up, and I'm quite prepared to take the mickey out of myself for the stupid things that I tend to do on what seems a more regular basis.
We need to laugh at ourselves, allow others to laugh at us and not take offence.
And so, now I know who this Kekovich guy is. His is a book we could all take a leaf out of.