At first glance Quincy Symonds is a small adorable human child with pigtails who is guaranteed to make you involuntarily *squeee*.
That is, until she jumps into a 2-3 ft swell, double overhead, off the infamous Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast and carves up waves like a grizzled veteran.
Did we mention she skates? And drums, plays golf, does jujitsu?
Having said that, according to her mum she’s bit of an old soul and you’re more likely to find her chilling with the adults than doing the normal kids-stuff with her Year 1 classmates.
Oh wait, sorry. She was accelerated through school. Her Year 2 classmates.
Really, she’s killing it at everything you wish or thought you were good at. She wants to be a pro-surfer AND skater one day, and those in the business are already taking notice – she was recently invited to spend a day at Surfing Australia’s High Performance Centre, with Layne Beachley and other wave legends and they don’t normally accept kids under 10.
That’s why ‘The Flying Squirrel’, as she’s known to her fans and admirers, is the #58 Australian of the Day.
See her be fully gnarly HERE:
Visual genius and Commbank Australian of the Day photographer Trent Mitchell has been travelling ’round old mate Queensland for the past few weeks, bumping into all kinds of amazing Australians: surf lifesavers, pigeon trainers, outback jockeys, peanut farmers and icecream-ologists, to name a few. Before you head over to www.australianoftheday.com.au to discover more big and little legends, take a sec to read about two more that took our fancy.
SAVING LIVES ONE HAIRCUT AT A TIME
Barry Faulkner has always been good with his hands. Both L and R have been front and centre at this southeast QLD barbershop for 55 years and have been alternatively keeping the men in town looking sharp, strumming a guitar in his downtime and saving lives.
During his friend Peter Russell’s usual trim, Barry noticed something deadly: a stage 4 melanoma, hidden on his scalp. Stage 5 is fatal.
After the initial shock, rinse and repeat, Pete immediately got treatment and rocked up to Barry’s shop a few weeks later, lotto ticket in hand, hoping to bestow onto his barber some of the luck and good fortune that spared him.
Since then, Barry’s decided it’s too risky to leave this all up to luck and has since saved the lives of 2 other clients by scanning for and recognising melanomas on their scalps throughout the course of a trim.
Now he campaigns for greater skin cancer awareness in hairdressers and barbers, and is pushing to have it included in the curriculum for apprentices. There’s still a way to go for big changes to be made, but Barry’s content to keep changing lives one haircut at a time.
To Barry: part barber, part physiologist. And Australian of the Day #45.
GEN Y HANGIN’ STEREOTYPES OUT TO DRY
Meet Nicholas Marchesi. co-founder with mate Lucas Patchett of Orange Sky Laundry: Australia’s only, and the world’s first, mobile laundry for the homeless.
Is doing your own laundry something typically associated with youth? No. Do we try and bring clothes home to contribute to our parents water rates? Yes. Despite this unfair, yet sometimes temporarily/blissfully correct stereotype, these two mates have both been putting backbreaking work into their innovative cause, working consecutive 16-hour days towards improving the lives of homeless Australians and sleeping in their van atop portable washing machines between shifts.
In the 50 minutes it takes to wash and dry someone’s clothes, the boys and their band of volunteers sit down with those less lucky in the community, have a yarn and make some much needed connections.
It’s not just about raising health standards. It’s also about raising respect.
Nicholas did have a 4-day break around April this year. He went up to Yeppoon … with the Orange Sky van and washed and dried over 1 tonne of filthy clothes and towels in the aftermath of Cyclone Marcia.
They launched in Melbourne last week, and national branches are on the horizon. Watch this space.
Okay, NOW you can go and check out the rest of the legends from Commbank’s Australian of the Day at www.australianoftheday.com.au. Go.
Title image by Kim Symonds