The Good Doctor.

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 8.09.24 am

Horatio and the Doc. Apple. Far. Tree. You get it.

Sponsored by Bupa.

Bupa has asked me to have a think about special people in my family, and there are certainly a lot to choose from. I have a fabulous family. We are totally the Brady Bunch.

But please, don’t get me wrong. There have been some notable fall-outs over the years.

Like the time that my sister decided to be a mole, and we didn’t speak for six months. I later found out that she was on a very strict diet at the time, and was constantly hangry.

Or like the time I tied my horse to a load-bearing pillar at the front of our house, and then Kimba the Cat spooked her and she took the verandah on a galloping tour of the streets.

The key to a happy family is clearly forgiveness, or at least in our case, it is.

Bupa has asked me to share some wise words from someone GREAT in my life, and the person that I have decided to hit up for some wisdom, is my Father in Law, the super smart and super funny Dr. Woog.

Along with his sister and parents, Dr. Woog escaped Hungary in 1956 during the revolution against the occupying Russians. After six months spent in Vienna and Salzburg, they travelled by ship from Rotterdam and landed in Sydney, where they were received with open arms. Dr. Woog spoke no English, but started school immediately on arrival and eventually completed his education at Sydney University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, followed by a Masters of Science in Agriculture and finally a Doctorate of Philosophy.

So if there is a person who can instill some words of wisdom about the importance of family generations, I can think of no better person than him.

So Dr. Woog. Tell me about your daughter in law.

 She became a part of our nuclear family. This is not an easy transition to make for someone but make it she did, while retaining her sense of self as well as adapting to the new. She is intelligent, strong, independent and a loving and beloved member or our family.*

 How important do you think intergenerational storytelling is?

 Identity is one of the things that make us truly human. Intergenerational stories are a way of building and subsequently informing our identity. It shapes our being and guides our becoming.

 What is one of your favourite stories about your own parents?

 My father was a survivor who returned from the notorious Russian Front, in the Second World War. He was not left with post-traumatic stress disorder, but with a complete disregard for authority. We all enjoyed the stories about his incidents with organisations and beurocrats.

 How do you see your role in your grandson’s lives?

 I want to share in it, contribute where I can and be a loving, thoughtful presence.

 Who is your favourite Daughter In Law?

 Mrs. Woog Jr. But I have to admit here that I only have the one. That on the other hand does not detract from her primary status.

 And finally, what is one word that you can give to readers, when it comes to caring for our greats?


Involve. I like it. I spent a lot of time during my childhood with my Greats. I remember them all for different reasons.

Myrtle Murphy for her baked dinners and the fact that she went nuts every time I used her bathroom at her retirement unit. This was because I would insist on pressing the medic button, and a resuscitation unit would magically appear at the door.

Jim Murphy for his shiny 50-cent coins that he gave us every time we visited. We both barracked for the Eels at the time, and he would take me to the game where we would sit on the grassy hill at watch.

Marion Frater for her warm, sparkly eyes and fondness of home cooking. And the fact that I used to try on her dentures to freak everyone out.

And my hero, Donald Frater. He was my Poppa. He taught me how to ride horses and how to punt on the races. How to set a rabbit trap and how to spit really effectively. He was laughing one minute, then running out into the back paddocks with a slug gun, taking shots at pesky birds that would eat from his beloved fruit trees.

They are all gone now, long gone. But a little piece of all of them live inside of me.

So, involve. Connect your kids with the older generations. Because the fabric of their very being, started with the Greats.

Click here for more inspiring tales about Greats, or click here and share your own story and you can win an AFL Grand Final Pack including tickets!

Do you have a special GREAT in your life?

What made them so amazing? 

*Thanks Doc. Your cheque is in the mail.