He taught me about the essentials of life - jazz, cricket, literature - and, most importantly, he taught me the value of being myself.
He was a life-long educator; a primary school teacher who worked with indigenous and rural communities before moving to Melbourne and spending 30 years sharing his love of learning with generations of children.
When I left Australia over a decade ago to work overseas, he promised he’d write. And he did. Every couple of weeks I’d receive a handwritten letter addressed to whichever theatre I was working at or house I was living in, accompanied by cuttings from the newspaper he thought I’d find interesting. I received his last one only 10 days ago.
Typically of dad, his last few days were spent laughing and joking. Even when slipping in and out of consciousness, when he revived it was with a song on his lips.
He had a very quick mind, exceeded only by the extent to which he cared for people. He would often remind me that it was our duty to make the world the better place in all the ways we can, and he certainly led by example.
Perhaps it was because he stayed at home with my sister and I while supporting my mum in her career, perhaps it was because we bonded easily over our shared interests, perhaps it was the way he would always make sure there was a beer in the fridge for when my friends would drop in unannounced - I’ve always known that when he left it would be the most difficult of times.
They say that a boy becomes a man when he realises that his father isn’t infallible. I think that’s why I haven’t grown up.