Born to a refugee family in Hong Kong, he grew up with 48 people living in a tiny flat. During typhoons, the roof would fly off, leaving them drenched.
As he was the oldest son, his family urged him to move to Australia for a better life. So he migrated to Sydney in 1974, with only a pocket radio and a bag of clothes.
Through decades of hard work, persistence and my mother’s support, he made a name for himself in television broadcasting.
Here are the top five pieces of advice he gave me as a child, which I’ve found priceless:
The people in the top 1% never go hungry
Despite all my weird career choices (environmental scientist, charity fundraiser, psychic), I’ve always been employed because my Dad taught me to aim high.
He said, ‘it doesn’t matter what you do, just be fantastic at it and you’ll get work’.
Sleep as much as you can
Dad encouraged my sister and I to go to bed early because ‘geniuses need 10 hours of sleep’.
His plan seemed to work as we did well at school. Now that I’m a mum, I miss those lovely sleep-ins, but am glad I stocked up on zzzz’s while I could.
Make sure you date someone at least two years
Make sure you date someone at least two years before committing to them. I didn’t believe Dad when he first told me this, but after many heartbreaks, I realised he was right. My fiance and I have been together for four years’ and I’m so glad we started out slowly. Soulmates need to be friends first.
Never stop learning
My Dad took up Mandarin classes in his 50’s, and taught himself web design in his 60’s.
Believe it or not, his website still gets more hits than mine! His gusto for self-improvement got me into the personal growth field. We’re still quite competitive.
Eat your greens
I used to roll my eyes when Dad would joke about ‘green peas’ (Greenpeace) at dinner.
Turns out the joke was on me – I ended up working for that charity, and still hang out with raw food chefs making zucchini spirals in my spare time.
My Dad is one of a kind and I’m honoured to be his daughter. Happy Father’s Day to all the zany Dads out there – your children are lucky to have you.