I’ve lived here for six years. It was about time I got my own house so my wife and I went out looking for land, came out here and fell in love with the area. We were in Dandenong previously.
How did you meet your wife [Rachel]?
Through work. We got to talking and a month later I asked her out. We were dating about three years before we got married. I proposed at the aquarium, because that’s where our second date was and we made the joke that if we ever got married this would be the perfect place.
You’ll be abseiling down Melbourne’s St James building for the Altitude shift event, which raises money for Anglicare Victoria, in April. What made you sign up?
It’s an opportunity to support those who look after kids. This will be my fourth year. I’ve been abseiling for about 15 years. In scouting we used to go abseiling a fair bit. Funnily enough, I used to go to all those school fetes and everything with the Scout group and see the State Emergency Service there, and that’s how I got interested in the SES. When I joined it back in Western Australia, my unit was heavily involved in that side of things, and that’s where I reignited my passion for abseiling.
Do you have a favourite spot for abseiling?
It’s the Tallarook forest. There’s a lot of good jump sites out there. It’s like a 30-metre drop with a 20-metre overhang. Until I did Altitude Shift, it was the biggest one I could do.
Would you consider yourself a thrill seeker?
Yeah, definitely, but I’ve got a pacemaker so I can’t actually do things like go bungee jumping or jump out of a plane. But I used to be involved with Rally Australia because I really liked rally driving. If someone gives me a crazy suggestion, I’ll probably try and do it.
How long have you had a pacemaker?
Thirty-two years. I was born with a subaortic stenosis; it’s basically a growth in the heart. They had to operate and part of that was that it caused my heart not to pump correctly. If my heart goes out of rhythm, the pacemaker shocks it back into rhythm.
Tell me about your work with Wyndham SES?
It’s about giving back to the community. I find it hard to stand by when people need help. If someone needs a hand, I can’t go ‘not my problem’, I have to help them. We like to be at our best when things are at their worst.
Where do you like to go for a coffee or a meal?
We’re pretty partial to Truck Stop in Werribee. We also go the Sporting Globe – basically the Urban Diner at the plaza, really.
To donate, go to altitudeshift2017.everydayhero.com/au/nate