Tristan Bancks

You might remember Tristan Bancks as Tug O’Neale from Home and Away in the early 90s where he started his acting career. Following his work, in TV and film, his love for storytelling has led him to become an author where is now writing books for kids and teens. He hopes to get kids engaged in reading and creativity. Bangalow based, Tristan is a dad to Huxley (13) and Luca (11).

Take us back to the moment you first became a dad. What do you remember? Relief! It was a very long labour, all night, and he arrived as the nursing shifts changed and the sun came up. I was very proud of my wife for her endurance.

Did you have any big fears or concerns before having children? Did they come true? Only that I would have no idea what to do! This fear came true in the sense that most parents are making it up as we go along and adapting to an ever-changing situation. But I like change. Life seems to be full of it.

What is your favourite way to bond with your kids? Playing soccer. Swimming. Wrestling (they still haven’t grown tired of it!). Playing FIFA on XBox. Going to the beach. Eating hot chips at some of our favourite chipperies. Travelling.

If you could pick one superpower to help you with your daily ‘dad’-ly duties, what would it be and why? Patience. It’s easy to get too involved in every little situation. Most things resolve themselves if you can just create some space and give it a minute before you make demands or give ultimatums.

What is one thing your kids do that drives you absolutely crazy? Fight!

Do you have any family traditions? We always spend Christmas with the boys’ cousins. On Boxing Day, we eat cake and pavlova and Christmas pudding and ice cream for breakfast. We make a big deal of birthdays. We have three out of four birthdays over two days in the lead- up to Christmas!

Describe a day in your home using a song title? ‘Everybody’s talkin’ by Harry Nilsson

What skill or trait did you get from your parents that you hope to pass onto your kids? Letting them make their own choices. I was never pressured into particular studies or an occupation. It was the ‘80s, so parenting was much more relaxed. I’d like to think I’ll support my boys in whatever choices they make for their lives beyond home and school. I’ve been able to make a living doing creative work and telling stories for 25 years and I don’t think I’d have done that if I’d been forced into living a life devised by my parents.

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