Mark Ryan's story of courage. He grew up in a single-parent household in public housing in Redcliffe, north of Brisbane (parents divorced when my twin brother and I were three years of age after a relationship characterised by domestic violence - mental and physical). He showed promise academically and was included in various gifted and talented programs as a child. Being one of the first students offered a 'Learning for Life' scholarship through The Smith Family in 1997, which allowed me to study Law and Journalism at QUT.
He then started his career as a sport journalist in Townsville in 2001, moved to England to play semi-professional cricket in 2006, and stayed there until 2009 working in sports television production
In 2019, I was named runner-up in the Griffith University Responsible Leadership MBA Scholarship competition, sponsored by Queensland Business Monthly. Since 2017, he has been the Chairperson of Return Serve, which is a not-for-profit organisation which uses free or low-cost sporting activities to help create healthier lives and brighter futures for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. His current role is Manager, Strategic Communications, with Queensland Rail. I've held this role since June this year
On the Thriving minds podcast
In the podcast we discuss childhood trauma and how it affects the human brain and lived experience. How changing a person's story and identity throughout life - building a new narrative. The effect of identity on relationships and how you're positioned in society - and how a shift in thinking can change your perception (i.e. when you've come from a disadvantaged background, it's easy to perceive that you're not of the same social status as others. How do I make the most of my brain's plasticity (playing new sports; meditation; gratitude; constant learning; curiosity; etc.)
Importance of language in shifting thinking and behaviours (e.g. power of stories and metaphors; performativity) and how it can be used to translate neuroscience to reach a broader audience. Important shifts we need to make in the way society views people from disadvantaged backgrounds - acknowledging the complexity of social disadvantage and treating it as a complex challenge, not something that can be 'fixed' with short-term measures.
With brain health, shifting from the pathogenic paradigm of health to a salutogenic way of thinking, where appropriate ... again, the human brain and our bodies are complex, they are not there to be 'fixed' as though there is some baseline of health