My name’s Doug Lang and this particular
property has been in the family since 1897. As a teenager, loved my sport. I was going
through bad periods of depression and to appear quite
normal was difficult. So sport helped me interact in the community and be involved with other
teenagers. I remember the first night I seen Cheryl.
Couldn’t take my eyes off her, I eventually asked her out
and we’ve been together ever since. I got married and had children. We never had a lot
of money but I was never out of work. In those days
if you played footy, you had a job the next day.
While we never saved a lot. We never went hungry and we always had a roof over our head. Things got really bad 18 years ago. Really
bad. I was living in a fog. I’d lost my license. I lost my job. A
friend got me to his bush block in the Otways working on his agroforestry plantation and
then that gave me the idea I could do something similar. So I started planting trees out here, 18 years
ago. And we’re still planting today. It’s an ecotherapy,
It’s helped me a lot. And it’ll be here for generations and generations to come and
enjoy I was up on the road in the Strezlecki Desert
writing a book. I rang home to find out our daughter
Rebecca was rushed through to Melbourne to be operated on for a brain tumour.
6 months down the track we lost her, and that was hard on us. Very tough. Still is. And
always will be. I had doubts about how I was going to cope
with all this grief and seeing my family shattered around me. We realised that we had to look into the future,
looking towards retirement. Neither of us really want to think about finances
on a daily basis. We had to get some advice.
And we met Kevin from AustralianSuper. He was easy to talk to.
Just a good bloke. There wasn’t much homework to do, there
were only little things he asked us to do, like work out a budget. And that took a load off my mind. The book was on hold for a couple of years, and Cheryl encouraged me to pick it up again.
The reason I wrote the book was to help other people try and get through mental health
issues. And I thought, well, this is the way I can
put something back into the community – I can
write a book about strategies of trying to not overcome depression and anxiety,
but to manage it. So these days, through the support of Cheryl,
as fantastic as she is, and the kids, I know I’ve got a great support base around me.
We have the fortnightly pension coming in from AustralianSuper It gave us the ability to hop in the caravan
and head off somewhere like Adelaide to see Kristy, our daughter, and not have to worry.
And that’s a lovely thing to be able to do together now at our age. You know, we’re
fit and healthy, we’ve got the finances to do it. And we’re making every day a winner.
That’s my motto, I don’t know how often I say that to people, you’ve got to make
every day a winner because you don’t know what’s around the corner.
I was looking for someone most my life and I couldn’t find him. But I found him. I
found him now.