As the rural population moves into cities and their surrounds a strange phenomenon occurs: the values and lifestyle of the country remain in the country, and the all-powerful forces of a city life take over the human psyche. Whether this is a good thing or not is something that will be debated until drag queens no longer lip-sync.

Yet when hiring staff, a couple of the -˜random meaningless’ questions I ask are, How many siblings do you have, and are they older or younger than you? and Where were you brought up? (I’m not the slightest bit interested in which suburb or which school they attended.)

Why such trivial questions? I have learned over a long period of time that people raised in rural Australia have a certain -˜down to earth, what you see is what you get’ character. As employees they are hard-working and honest about what they have done or not done.
Children from multiple sibling households are innately aware of -˜sharing, caring and family’. That may be because one had to be quick to get a meal, or there was only enough cash for one football for the whole family as the cheaper mass-produced Chinese Sherrin AFL ball had not been invented, nor the Indian -˜willow’ cricket bat.

The giving and receiving, sharing and caring, teaching and mentoring occur frequently in rural settings among siblings. Younger children often become better sportspeople than the older, as they have to go that little bit harder to keep up with the longer legs or stronger bodies of their older siblings. These behaviours spread to neighbours, especially where neighbours are the only other humans one sees regularly.

Our bustling cities could learn and develop a deeper sense of belonging and community if they could prevent these values and attitudes being squashed or replaced by more superficial ones. In our community, one of the best models of this like-mindedness and camaraderie is our sporting teams and clubs. You are welcomed with open arms, there is not prejudice relating to ability, race, age, sexual preference or height. Team Sydney clubs promote active lifestyles for all -” seeking ways to develop you into the best person you can be, without telling you who that is or should be.

Join the action, get involved, get fit and get out and play: Click for a club:

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