Episode 30 ~ Connections Are In All Walks of Life ~ My Conversation with Frank Costa AO

Heart of Connection Podcast
Heart of Connection Podcast
Episode 30 ~ Connections Are In All Walks of Life ~ My Conversation with Frank Costa AO

Mark [0:00] Thank you, Frank, for being a guest on the Heart of Connection podcast.  I am your host Mark Randall.  It’s lovely to have an opportunity to sit with you and have a conversation, about the Heart of Connection – to self, others or All That Is.

Frank [0:13] Absolutely pleasure, Mark I’m looking forward to it.

Mark [0:17] Just by way of introduction can you give a brief story on and not that too many of us in Geelong need a story of who you are (laughter).

Frank’s Story

Frank [0:26] I am a Geelong born and born and bred boy.  I can only praise this rices tan up to the highest. The people that came before us that worked hard and contributed to making Geelong what it is today.  It has been a boon for all families coming into this town.   I’ve always said, that it was Australia’s best-kept secret, Geelong.  Our lifestyle living here and the ease of raising a family, the lower cost of housing compared to Melbourne. The quality of education in Geelong from primary school right up to tertiary.  The wonderful health services we’ve got at all levels, the recreation facilities, everything that goes to make up Geelong. This means for the family they want to raise their children and educate them here and perhaps get them into lifetime employment, you want to find a better place in the country, any country for that matter.  So, you know absolutely dyed in the wool Geelong ite.

I've always said, that it was Australia's best-kept secret, Geelong. Click To Tweet

Well Connected in Geelong

Mark [1:23] And you’re well connected to Geelong?

Frank [1:25] Absolutely. Started off that way. I was born to parents that ran a business right in the centre of Geelong.  A fruit and vegetable business.  We were living upstairs in a five-bedroom apartment on top of the shop. So I got connected with people very early in my life.  Through all the shops around us, with the suppliers coming in, with the customers.

The most important asset any organizations ever got, whether it was from family through the business, through the sporting activity, or community activity, the most important asset is not the money or the buildings or the… Click To Tweet

I learned very early, that the most important asset any organizations ever got, whether it was from family through the business, through the sporting activity, or community activity, the most important asset is not the money or the buildings or the computers, it is the people.  To be connected to the right people makes life so much more fulfilled in your field and so much easier.  You have to make a bit of an effort to a connection to the right people. You’ve got to earn that.  I suppose that distinction of being part of a good group.  Every time something crops up, you need help, it’s there for you.  So I learned very early that was the best way to go.

My Mother ~ A Loving Mentor & Great Lady

My mother, who was my mentor, she was a great lady, my Mum. Click To Tweet

I’ll say Mark, and my mother, who was my mentor, she was a great lady, my Mum.  She told me this very early in the piece when she could see how interesting I was in the young girls coming into the shop.  The most important decision I would ever make in my life was the person I marry.  Don’t just go for good looks and charm, go for the values of the human being.  Will that person be the mother of the children and you’d be proud to have as a mother of your children or doesn’t she have those qualities.  If she hasn’t got those qualities just move on.  I did that and I was very fortunate to marry the right girl, given Mum’s advice.   We have had a fantastic life.  We’ve got eight daughters.  22 grandchildren, second great-grandchild on the way.  There are no broken marriages for the eight girls and that’s all been fantastic.  I can only say that I’m others advice was fantastic.

Our Business Based on Good Values & Respect

As I decided to develop the business, again I realized the need for good people and forming very strong connections with good people.  Good talented people in business, don’t need your job, because they can get a job anywhere.  So you’ve got to have more than just their pay packet for the end of the week to make sure they want to be part of your organization.

Good talented people in business, don't need your job, because they can get a job anywhere. Click To Tweet

So it’s got to be an organization based on good values where people respect each other and the communication within the organization has got to be first class. That way you do attract good people and you keep good people.  That has been wonderful for me to build the business, to get people with more talent than I’ve got in certain areas and weld them into a team. This requires the connectivity if you like people with respect for each other.

Bringing Our Business Values & Respect to the Geelong Football Club

That was a great help to me and building the business when I took over the Geelong Football club when it was in a pretty bad way.   In fact, a really bad way. It was virtually finished, it was gone.  And I realized the same disciplines we had to bring in.  We had to find the very best person to run the show, which we did.  We got Brian Cook away from Perth from the West Coast Eagles.  He’s a man of such strong values.  He attracted good people and his connectivity is fantastic and his communication with his staff is great. So we built a great club, with good people both on-field and off-field and the rest is history. That’s really good.

Brian Cook ~ He's a man of such strong values. He attracted good people and his connectivity is fantastic and his communication with his staff is great. Click To Tweet

The same I applied to the advice I gave my daughters.  What they’ve been able to develop with their families and they’ve gone into business.  It’s been a really good success story, not through any special ability but by being able to relate other people who can help you in developing your goals providing it’s a two-way street.   There are benefits both ways you can try and get all the benefits one way.

Our Business Values Are Both Intellectual & Heart

Mark [5:25] When you talked about the values that you carry or that Brian Cook carries are the values an intellectual thing or the values also intellectual and heart?

Frank [5:37] They are both.  Intellectual and Heart.  It is that caring factor, that respect factor, that makes a difference.  If you go down the Geelong footy club for example, wherever you go, they’ve got a smile on their face.  It doesn’t matter which level, whether it’s the ground management, whether it’s the social club, the restaurant, there’s a smile.  People love being made because everybody is respected. And probably the toughest thing for Cookie (Brian Cook) is the AFL and other clubs keep trying to pitch our top people.  They are well trained, they’re well developed and they do a good job.  Steve Hocking is running the football department for the AFL right now.  Justin Reeves  is running Hawthorn as CEO.  Stuart Fox is running Melbourne cricket ground.  So they’ve got into pretty good jobs coming through a very good system.

Learning About Connection Was Through My Mother

Mark [6:26] Where did you learn the process of connection?  Was that through your mother, was at through your family that you learned that process of connection?

Frank [6:35] That’s where it started. It did that through my Mum.  My Mum was very respectful to suppliers, as well as the customers and other people.  She was highly regarded everywhere.   I thought that wasn’t a bad way to develop yourself and your career.  So I did try to follow Mum’s advice and Mum’s example.  Then I learned myself, that in building the business and trying to make sure what you get the very, very best out of the opportunity, you need good people around you.   To do that you’ve got to be able to connect.   You’ve got to be able to have a communication that is two way and has got benefits for both sides.

It did that through my Mum. My Mum was very respectful to suppliers, as well as the customers and other people. She was highly regarded everywhere. Click To Tweet

When my brother and I bought my parents out and I was only 21 and Adrian was 19 years old.  We were pretty young blokes and we wanted to get into the wholesale distribution business.   So we started off wanting to be the best in Geelong.   We were lucky enough I suppose that picked up some good customers and we got to that position pretty quickly.   So then we want to be the best in Victoria, which was a big challenge because we have to beat the big Melbourne fellows.

Building Our Business Connecting With Really Good People

So that meant we have some really good people with us.   We started realizing we’ve got to be worthy of getting the best people to come along and work with us.   We got to achieve that then it was the best in Australia.   After that, we want to be the best worldwide.  It sounds bit stupid, I think that a young couple of brothers from Geelong could achieve that?  They can’t achieve it unless I get the very best people in the world working with them.   We need to communicate, not just with the people that work with them, but the people that need to buy from them.  As well as growers that need to supply us.

Connectivity built Loyalty & Trust

So connectivity in our industry was critical. To get the product from the farm and the farms are all over Australia all run by different people, to all parts of the world, so that you can grow your business like that. Click To Tweet

So connectivity in our industry was critical.  To get the product from the farm and the farms are all over Australia all run by different people, to all parts of the world, so that you can grow your business like that.  You can’t do it on your own.  You just got to have good people and people who trust you.

Mark [8:37] Do men call connection in business, more like networking rather than connection?

Frank [8:44] Well, they don’t use the word networking very much in our industry.  They don’t really use the word connection much either. It’s just developing through trust and performance.  Performance-based and don’t just rely on what you’re going to say going to do but – “do it and do it well” and do it to the level of expectancy from either the grower that is supplying you or the overseas buyer that is buying it from you.

If you can develop trust, we learned very early in the peace you develop loyalty.  When you’ve got loyalty that further, develops the word trust.  So you’ve got something that’s unbreakable.  You’ve got to do something really silly to break the connection.  It’s all about connectivity.

A Difference between Men & Women’s Connection

Mark [9:34] Is there a difference and have you experienced the difference between men and women’s connection?

Frank [9:42] There is a difference.  I haven’t experienced much of it with the women’s connection because the fresh produce industry has been totally male dominated all the time.  Which means I was terribly unsuccessful in producing a successor out of my family because I had eight girls and no boys.  Those girls are pretty smart girls and they’re doing their own things and doing quite well.   In fresh produce, where you got to go out and kick the soil on the farms and rub shoulders with the sharks in the markets and what have you.  It’s really been dominated by males and that may change in time, but it hasn’t changed yet

Mark [10:19] Do men and women have different ways of connecting?

Men Naturally Suspicious of Each Other in Connection

Frank [10:22] I think they do.  I think women connect with their heart more than what man do.  Men are naturally suspicious of each other.   They’ve got to sort of prove the trustworthiness and reprove it time and again. We do this to get that real loyalty factor that you need to have to build your business. Women I think can sit down I over a tea and have a bit of a chat and they can strike a chord with each other much more quickly than what men can.

Men are naturally suspicious of each other. They've got to sort of prove the trustworthiness and reprove it time and again. Click To Tweet

Mark [10:54] Is that to the dis-benefit of men, that we were like that?  For our mental health, our well-being?

Frank [11:02] Yes, probably because what it does do, it gives the odd guy that’s got the ability to persevere and win the trust and support of the organization’s he needs to grow his business.  It gives him a bit of an advantage over the average male right.  Whereas with females that much higher percentage of girls can actually connect and connect well.   I suppose I’d have to say that because the male world is one that doesn’t connect as easy as they could and should.  It gives the ones can connect easily an advantage.

Men’s Not Connecting Can Effect the World

Mark [11:46] Because we men don’t connect as well as we could connect – Is that causing problems for the world do you think?  Is that problematic?

Frank [11:57] It is problematic and we’ve only got at look at the world stage at the moment.  If you look at what’s happening in America with their President at the moment.  The way he doesn’t connect to well with the other major global forces like China and Russia.  His lack of connectability if you like, I think is a very negative big thing in the world.   You could follow that through with most countries and organizations we don’t connect nearly as well as we should.  We don’t build the word trust as well as we should and that makes it harder for everybody.

Mark [12:31] In that connection as you were just talking about – that connection is really important between countries not just from a personal perspective but from a country perspective, becomes more global?

Frank [12:43] Absolutely.  I look at when I see America and China locking horns I think how that could hurt Australia.  China is terribly important in Australia.  They are a great customer of ours and we’re enjoying in our business enormous support from China and supplying product out of this country.  We’ve also got farms we are operating our 7th farm in China at the moment.  We are growing berries for the Chinese market. It would be a tragedy if that got damaged because up to date the Chinese-Australian relationships have been great.  There is fantastic trust there, and we are able to supply freely into there and buy freely out of there.  How you can prevent something happening if Donald Trump and the head of China came to a locking of horns situation which meant that because we have such great friends with America, China got disillusioned with Australia too.  That would hurt a lot of people in Australia.  It would hurt our property market, the Chinese come buying a lot of property here and investing a lot of money in Australia.  That all helps because we are a tiny country of 24 million.  They’ve got 1.3 billion people live with as I can be a huge support going forward.

Through Connection We Can Improve World Peace

Mark [14:02] That connection between countries, is that also a level of world peace as well?  Through that connection do we then improve world peace?

Frank [14:12] Absolutely. There’s no doubt in that.  If you’ve got a good relationship with another country and you’re able to talk freely, honestly and believably both ways then the chance of getting off the rails into coming up with another war or something are minimize tremendously.

Mark [14:31] What advice would you give to men, young men coming through about the need for men to connect?

Connection Is Taking the Time to Get To Know A Person

Frank [14:39] I would just say take the time to get to know the person.  Don’t just go on what you’ve heard or what you think you might have seen, get to know the person.  The more you get to know him, the more you’ll probably get to understand him, and realize he’s not a bad bloke.  Can I trust him, you’ll soon find that out. If you can trust him then there’s benefits both ways.

Mark [15:03] Would that then improve men’s disconnection?

Frank [15:06] I think it would. There’s a certain reserve with men, built up from an early age I think.  So unless you can break that reserve down and there’s an old saying, I remember when I was a kid that that person I have there I must get to know him better.  It was amazing when you get to know him better, he’s not such a bad fellow.

Mark [15:34] What do you get to know about him?  Do you get to know a different side to that fellow?

Men’s Veneer of Bravado

You get beneath the veneer. Most guys have got to be a veneer of bravado about them as they grow up and want to protect themselves behind this veneer. Click To Tweet

Frank [15:39] Well you do.  You get beneath the veneer.  Most guys have got to be a veneer of bravado about them as they grow up and want to protect themselves behind this veneer.  If you get through that to the real human being under the skin, then you find out that person that’s got some very good qualities, generally.

Mark [15:59] Are we getting to their heart then?

Frank [16:01] Well, that’s exactly right. (laughter) No, you’re spot on Mark.

Mark [16:05] Yeah.  I’m wondering whether has been the male social conditioning that’s created some of that bravado?

For Men, Our Bravado Develops In the Old School Ground

Frank [16:13] Yes it has been.   It comes from when you’re growing up the school when you’re playing in the school ground, playing footy or cricket.  You’ve got to be the toughest and the bravest and all that sort of jazz and you’ve got to run through the other kid.

Mark [16:25] Can’t show anxiety on a football field could you?

Frank [16:28] Not at all.

Mark [16:28] You couldn’t show your vulnerability on a football field?

Frank [16:31] No you’re gone if you do, in everybody’s eyes?

Mark [16:36] It is really interesting because what we’re sort of starting to say in society now more discussion around mental health.  There is more discussion around anxiety, more discussion around vulnerability, fragility. Sometimes, we just not doing to cope.  How do we men need to work with that different do you think?

Improving How Our Kids Grow Up Without Feelings of Insecurity

Frank [16:57] First of all, I think we’ve got to understand the damage that’s being done when we allow kids to and probably boys more so than girls, to grow up with a feeling of insecurity about them, which so many do.  Talk to Jeff Kennett and he put a lot of effort into Beyond Blue for very good reasons.  You realize the percentage of our population that has every low feeling self-esteem, bordering on the word depression.  You then realize how terrible that burden to carry through life.  What can we do to change that?  We got to get to know the other person better, get to understand them, get to communicate with them.  Try to get them to understand by can be as good as anybody if I just believed in themselves.  You can’t do that by having a drink or switching a switch, you got to do it by communication.

Connecting Children to Their Self-Belief

Mark [17:57] Do we need to teach them to connect to themselves to believe they are good?

Frank [18:02] Yes you do.  Self-belief is that an enormous advantage if you’ve got it.  You’ll see the odd that got it in spades, some have got too much of it (laughter) a bit over the top about it.  Others, sadly haven’t got it.  I see it with my grandchildren. There are some that have no self-belief at all and some that have buckets full.  So you got to help the ones that have got none and I can’t be helped.

Mark [18:31] How do you connect to the grandchildren that don’t have the self-belief? How does grandfather connect to them?

Frank [18:38] I sit down one on one with them and just have a bit of a chat. So tell me what you’re worried about.  Why is that concerning you? Why do you think you can’t do that?  Tommy or Jimmy or Billy can do it.  Tom, Jim or Billy are no stronger or faster, smarter than you are.  I get the child to start talking.  It’s communication again which is what you’re on about and it’s very true.  As you discuss it and put the problem on the table that might have been one giving them self-doubt, and you discuss it properly and you pull them apart.  You try and give them the idea, that they can be successful with anybody else, if they have a go, if they believe in themselves.  If at first you don’t succeed try again.  That’s all you need.  I was told that when I was a kid and it’s very true.

Mark [19:28] Is that what you did at the Geelong football club?

Building a Communication Culture at Geelong Football Club

Frank [19:31] Yeah, well I went down that first of all, when we – I was invited about the previous president Ron Hovey to come down and take a position on the board.  Then I was asked to set up a new board because the club was completely broke, it was gone.  Well, I knew from my own experience through life that if I was going to win against these terrible odds.  The Australian Football League (AFL) wanted to take football away from Geelong. Our stadium was completely run down.

The banks didn’t want to support us anymore.  We couldn’t pay our bills.  I just knew we had to have the best people.  The best leader in sports administration and that we got with Brian Cook. Then we had the best board first of all.  I put a group of seven together and won a big election, which was a great start. We had unity then, we all believe in each other and it was just great.   Gradually, with Cookie, at the helm, we changed the leadership positions in all areas of the club.  Got the right people in, got them communicating extremely well across the board and away it went.  That’s an example you could use anywhere.

Mark [20:38] The Geelong football club, we’d have to sort of say, it would be the heart of the community at some level?

Geelong Football Club is Like the Spirit of Our City

The Geelong Football club, it's like the soul or spirit of the city if you like. It is truly representative of this city. Click To Tweet

Frank [20:45] It’s like the soul or spirit of the city if you like.  It is truly representative of this city. Whereas all the Melbourne clubs are there they’re all over throughout the different suburbs. This is just Geelong down here and it’s been a big thing.  When the club came good and resurfaced with the Premiership in 2007, the spirit and morale of the city just went right up through the roof, it was terrific.

Mark [21:07] Yeah, the soul did increase didn’t it in this community?  What was that like for you to be part of that uplifting of that spirit, that community spirit?

2007 Grand Final – The Best Feeling in My Life

I got to tell you, it is probably the best feeling in my life. The MCG on the Saturday afternoon after the final Bell or siren. Click To Tweet

Frank [21:17] Well, I got to tell you, it is probably the best feeling in my life.  The MCG on the Saturday afternoon after the final Bell or siren.  When I walked around the MCG, I was walking around about 20-30 meters in from the fence, watching the players go right round and the joy of the Geelong patrons and shaking hands and having a hug or kiss for the players was just a site to behold. I said to myself, this is as good as ever get.  I was wrong.

The Joy of Our 36,000 Supporters

The next day down here, we had all of our members and supporters come down to the stadium.  We had 36,000 on the oval which was wrong.  We were out of whack with the rules had too many.  I am up on the podium, saying a few words looking at see a blue and white.  It was just sensational.  The little kids were over the moon.  The old people came up to me and I had comments from several different people, thanking me very much from what we’ve done for the Geelong Footy Club.  I’m ready to die, was the comment.  I never thought I’d see a Premiership in my lifetime.  I said woo woo don’t die just yet, because these kids are so good that we got playing for us.  We might get another one or two yet.

Thanking me very much from what we've done for the Geelong Footy Club. I'm ready to die, was the comment. I never thought I'd see a Premiership in my lifetime. Click To Tweet

I had to say to myself I’ve never been as pleased and as moved by people as I was that day down here.

Mark [22:41] Did you transcend?  Was that a moment of transcendence, to really connect into that spirit that community spirit with everybody else?

The Win Connected Our City Community Spirit

Frank [22:51] Well, it was certainly reinforcing of it, believe you me.  Some of the people that came up to me, tears running down their face, men as well as women, and the joy that they had received with the Geelong Football club finally after 44 years of missing out, coming home with a flag.

Mark [23:12] How much how much did that touch your heart?

Frank [23:14] Strongly? Very, very strongly it did.  You’d have to be made of concrete for it not to. Believe you me because people and little kids they were just so happy over the moon.  There was all these blue and white scarves, bennies and badges was terrific.

Mark [23:31] So that’s a connection beyond the self, a connection to others.  Is it beyond the connection to others to a deeper connection to you know, you talked of the spirit, the soul?

My Belief in A Superior Being – A God

Frank [23:41] Well it can be, I certainly do believe in a God.  None of us know what that God is, looks like. I do know in my opinion, there’s a superior being that’s organized all this.  This moon doesn’t go around the Earth once and the Earth around the Sun once.  All these planets not crashing into each other without some, in my opinion, a powerful force organizing all of this.  So, you know, I try to connect with that spirit or that that God and I asked for help throughout my life and I’ve always asked for help anytime I’ve got myself into a tight little situation.  I’ve always got the help. Now people can say that just co-incidence but I think it is.  I just think it’s always been there for me if you ask for it.

Mark [24:30] What’s it like when you do connect to that level?

Connection to God Is Great Feeling with Humility

Frank [24:34] It’s a great feeling and one that likes to feel pretty humble actually.  Why am I receiving these benefits? Why does everything I asked get answered and always has.  I don’t think any single being is probably worthy of that but the old saying, ‘ask and you shall receive’ so I just keep asking.

Mark [24:53] Is our society becoming more disconnected from that space that you just shared with me?

Frank [24:58] Yeah, sadly it is. It is and I don’t what the answer to that is.  I think if you have that connection, whatever in your mind, the Supreme Being is, you have that connection and you’ve been given a pretty good run through life and have a fairly happy person. If you haven’t got that connection and there’s no real meaning for this life, to you, then you’re not as a happier person.  I’d rather be a happier person than an unhappy one.

Connection to Supreme Being Provides Purpose

Mark [25:30] When there’s meaning there’s more purpose?

Frank [25:33] Absolutely

Mark [25:34] Okay, and with that more purpose, there’s more connection to self?

Frank [25:38] There is, because there’s a reason to play the game straight.  There’s a reason not to, as a married man with family go out and fool around with other women which we are seeing in the papers every day lately people destroying their careers and their homes and their families etc.  So there’s a real reason for it, the big benefit.  So play with a strong bat, life’s a lot easier.

Mark [26:02] Kick the ball as Sam Newman would do, straight down the centre (laughter)

Frank [26:05] Straight down the centre (more laughter)

Mark [26:08] Don’t muck around the wings just go straight down the centre.

Frank [26:11] Correct.

Conversations With Men Will Bring a Connectivity

Mark [26:12] Is it important for men to be having conversations like you and I are having today?

Frank [26:17] Well, it is simply because these sort of conversations and if you have a conversation with some other fellow and I do with another fellow, they help bring men back into a connectivity fold if you could put it that way.

Well, it is simply because these sort of conversations and if you have a conversation with some other fellow and I do with another fellow, they help bring men back into a connectivity fold if you could put it that way. Click To Tweet

Mark [26:34] Because underneath our bravado is a humility.

Frank [26:38] Absolutely.

Mark [26:38] There’s nothing wrong with that humility,

Frank [26:41] No, in fact, it’s one of the things that’s treasured mostly by people these days.  When you see a person who is successful – is genuinely humble, that’s a great feeling.

Mark [26:52] Amazing space, isn’t it?

Frank [26:54] It certainly is.

Mark [26:57] How do we get rid of that male bravado?

Frank [27:01] Only by example I think.

Changing Male Bravado by Example

Mark [27:03] I’m wondering whether the, you know, this might a really small part of it.  The shift in the AFL getting rid of all that aggressive, hard, you know bravado play, where there slowly chipping away at the change in men’s behavior?

Frank [27:22] Yeah, well, and there great example AFL. They are realizing for many reasons why that bravado and that rough play got to go out.  The number of concussions  and the aftermath of concussions, 10, 20, 30 years later, is starting to surface now it’s been a real worry.   So that’s one reason to get rid of it.  Another reason is, it’s not the sort of play that people want to watch, that people want to come and see.  Half our members are female and the ladies, don’t like to see somebody’s brain getting knocked out on the football field.  So all round in order to look forward to having a fast, strong game that people enjoy coming to watch that is not damaging to the human being.  That’s not setting young boys up for a lifetime of disability.  That’s, huge.  Also the fact that becomes more watchable, more enjoyable, raises the TV, financial situation to the clubs and also raises the attendances.  So it’s in everybody’s best interest.  I feel and AFL are trying very hard to turn that around.

Mark [28:27] I think the AFL would have a massive fight on their hands if they ever tried to get rid of the Geelong football club (laughter)

Frank [28:36] They certainly would.

The Connection to Sport Is the Heart of Community

Mark [28:37] Because you’re taking the soul, the spirit – that essence, one of the essences out of this community

Frank [28:43] Well, in all this earth and all sporting organizations around like Gaelic football, soccer, Grid Iron, rugby you name it.  The Geelong Football Club,  and the Melbourne Football Club are the two oldest still running continuous football clubs on this earth.  Melbourne beat us by 9 months I started in 1858 and Geelong started in 1859.  That’s a fantastic record that those clubs through terrible times, World War 1 & 2, recessions, depressions and what have you.  Their been broke so many times but the community has come to the rescue very time they’ve been broken, and should have gone out the back door.

I think that’s a very strong message that this is terribly important to people, to have a club that they belong to, and connect to.  You’re talking about connectivity, when you go to a football match and you see people, who don’t even know each other, shaking each other’s hands, having a hug and joy because of the team is just won or whatever.  It just shows it is important for human beings.

Mark [29:46] Yeah, it’s an amazing spirit isn’t it.   The people put down their bravado, they put down the barriers and cut across those barriers with that spirit, that joy of the success or the joy of the win or even in the hard game that they played and lost.

Frank [30:02] That’s right.

Mark [30:03] And when you look at in the Western District, when you look at how important sport is in the community, you’ve got your netball,  your basketball there is a great deal of connection through them.

Is there anything further, or any other advice you’d like to give to men in terms of the heart of connection?

Helping to Life the Standard of Well-Being in Young People

Frank [30:26] There’s one thing I could say, Mark and that is, through sport, is a great opportunity to lift the standard of well-being in the minds of young people coming forward which our future.  I’m noticing that netball and football in Geelong are really addressed by an organization, called “Just Think” and I’m patron of this organization.  They go around to the clubs and they talk them, about looking at their mates.  Have a look and if your mate Johnny or Tommy or Susie or Sally don’t quite look right today.  Have a talk to them have a talk to them, ask them how they’re feeling, what’s going on, is there a problem.  If you find something that’s not quite right, you go until your coach whatever it is.  They then get onto this organization and they come and talk to them and I help them.  That is starting to be really of great benefit and it’s spreading other towns and cities around Victoria and even outside Victoria now.  Come down and ask if they’d go and apply their operation up there.  So I think that’s very good.

Mark [31:41] To add to that, because when you ask them how they feeling they might privately open up and connect that they not traveling to well.

Frank [31:52] As one of their mates.

Mark [31:55] You know that’s one of the issues with a lot of men is that emotional connection. The heart is emotional connection.  We men are not very good at traversing that landscape yet.  By having these programs of “Just Think” is a forum in to helping young men open up about what’s going on at deeper emotional level.

Our Male Vulnerability is Not a Weakness

Frank [32:17] We have a silly believe deep in our psyche that would be showing a weakness.  We don’t want to show weakness so we put a bravado up in front of ourselves.  That only adds to our bloody discomfort and just slip a bit deeper into a low of feeling of self-worth.

We have a silly believe deep in our psyche that would be showing a weakness. We don't want to show weakness so we put a bravado up in front of ourselves. That only adds to our bloody discomfort and just slip a bit deeper into a… Click To Tweet

Mark [32:37] And disconnection.

Frank [32:38] That’s right.

Mark [32:39] To self, others and All That Is.

Frank [32:41] Exactly

Mark [32:43] Frank Costa, this is the second time as we’ve connected before.   About 18 years ago.  After I saw you in Anglesea that Saturday. You said that’d be a few years ago.  I counted back (laughter) it was probably 18 years ago when you became the first speaker at the inaugural Bethany, Rotary Club of Geelong & Geelong Advertiser‘s  ‘Father of the Year’  award in Geelong and that award still going 18 years later.

Frank [33:08] Time goes quick when your having fun (laughter).

Mark [33:12] Thank you Frank for the opportunity to come and talk to you about the Heart of Connection to Self, Others and All That Is.  I really appreciate your honest views and it’s lovely to again continue that connection with you.  I remember meeting you many years ago and yeah, as soon as we met you agree to come and be the Inaugural speaker (laughter) – there is a connection there straightaway.

Frank [33:36] No problem Mark I enjoyed very much and all the very best.

Mark [33:39] Thank you mate. Well done.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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