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Not only has Mark Beretta been recognised for his contributions to TV, sport and charity throughout his career, most notably a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the community in 2021, but he’s also been praised for his work as a dad.
The Sunrise sports reporter, who shares two teenage children with his wife Rachel, was named the 2019 Australian Father of the Year by The Shepherd Centre, a charity for deaf and hearing-impaired children.
Chatting with Yahoo Lifestyle ahead of Father’s Day this year, the 56-year-old admits he was extremely flattered by the honour but believes all dads share a common belief system.
“We're all trying to do our best and trying to teach our kids some good values and just cross our fingers that they grow up to be good citizens,” he remarks.
“You just want them to be the best that they can be and be what they want to be.”
Mark adds that his biggest wish for his children Ava, 18, and Daniel, 15, is that they simply live life to the fullest.
“I just hope that our kids - and so far so good - have a crack and get out there and try things and do different stuff and have the experience and see the world,” he says.
“It's nice when you see them growing and being what you would hope they would be: just good citizens, good people who are caring and help other people. They have a good sense of community but also follow their dreams and have a go.
“I’ve always said to my kids, you might not necessarily be the most talented person in the room, but you can always be the hardest working, and that's something that my dad told me.”
‘Kids are just the great unknown’
When asked about what advice he would offer his Sunrise colleague Sam Mac, who recently went on paternity leave as he and his partner Rebecca James await the arrival of their first child, Mark believes that it’s important for dads to discover fatherhood for themselves.
“You've got to make your own way, and everybody does parenting differently because all families are different,” he shares.
“We all have our ups and downs. We've had our share of downs as well as a few ups as well, so you can sort of muddle your way through and you get there and everyone has a different ride, and that’s the beauty of life.
“Kids are just the great unknown. You don't know as the years go on how they’ll change and develop and what you'll get and you just hope for good health and happiness, and they’re the two most important things I'd say.”
‘A serious step up’
Ahead of Father’s Day on Sunday, Mark and his family recently enjoyed a “spectacular” RedBalloon helicopter flight over Sydney Harbour.
“To see Sydney from the air and how magnificent and majestic it is was really special,” he remarks.
“It was a serious step up for me from the books, the hankies, the tongs - I’ve got a thousand tongs - and barbecue aprons I normally get for Father’s Day. I can never have enough of them, they’re wonderful, but I think every now and then maybe you could just reach out a little bit more for dad.”
He continues: “The good thing about experiences is that dads never forget them. I think the fact that you're given something really special means a lot, and it’s also really special to do it with the family.
“You get to a stage with the kids where they’ve got their own busy lives and it’s not often you can go and do stuff, so to bring the family together and do something together was really cool.”
Mark admits it’s a “dream job” getting to work alongside RedBalloon for Father’s Day and he’s keen to try out a number of exciting experiences that they offer, including a quad bike adventure tour, a jet boat ride on Sydney Harbour, and V8 race car driving.
“It's a massive playground around Sydney and there are so many great things you can do, it’s exciting,” he continues. “You don't have to go overseas to have these amazing experiences, there are incredible things you can do right here in our own backyard.
“You get busy in life and you get caught up in work and you don't take the time to do the fun stuff. But now and then you’ve got to stop and do some fun stuff. It's been a good reminder for me to go and do some things.”
The top RedBalloon experiences consumers booked on Father’s Day 2021 include:
Find dad the perfect Father's Day gift now with RedBalloon.
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