One is a professional ballet dancer, the other is a true-blue Aussie – but father-son duo Daniel and Luigi Gaudiello, despite their ups and downs, share a bond like no other. We sat down with both of them ahead of Father’s Day to talk what they’ve learned from one another, what Daniel has passed on to his two-year-old son, Valesco, and the family traditions they hold close to their hearts.

Luigi, take us back to the moment you first became a dad. What do you remember?
I recall being given this little bundle and supporting his head with my arm. He had chubby little cheeks, and at 4kg, weighed quite heavily in my hands. It wakes you up to this enormous feeling of responsibility for this new little life – how much they depend on you for everything. I really felt for my wife having carried this little bundle for nine months.

Luigi, did you have any big fears or concerns before having children? Did they come true?
Healthy children, you hear all of these scary stories when you’re expecting a baby, and they can really frighten you. There weren’t any tests back then that are available now, so you just had to pray that your babies would be healthy.

Daniel, what is your favourite way to bond with your dad?
Our camping trips have always brought us back together to reconnect and strengthen our bond. No matter the time or distance we have spent apart, after camping in the great outdoors it feels as though no time has passed. This Father’s Day, I encourage people to head to www.thegreatrecamp.com to find out how and where to go camping so that they too can reconnect in the great outdoors. 

When you’re at home, what is your favourite time of the day? 

Luigi: Dinner time, as that is when everyone shares their stories of their day.
Daniel: I love the afternoons as it is when we take the dogs for a walk and our son for a ride on his bike. It’s a simple pleasure but I’ve loved having the time to do that as a family.

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

Luigi: Wanting to throw old things out because they think they are causing clutter. We didn’t have much when we were young so our tendency is to hold on to things because we think we might need them later. My wife and I find value in everything – especially old things that remind us of how much we had to sacrifice to acquire it.
Daniel: My son is a thrower at the moment so I’ve copped a few in the head.

Daniel, what is one thing your dad does that drives you absolutely crazy?
Dad likes to keep everything, so he keeps collecting things and I have to throw them out. Camping equipment included, his shed is full!

Do you have any family traditions? 

Daniel: After spending 18 years away from home to follow my passion for ballet, being able to bring old traditions back to life is incredibly important to me. Camping is something my whole family loves to do to truly spend quality time together. Also keeping my Italian roots strong is a big priority by speaking the language with my son and wife.
Luigi: Making the tomato passata for the pasta – we call it ‘Tomato Day’ (but it turns into several days). We would go to the farm and pick the tomatoes ourselves, then spend one or two days making and preserving the passata.

Describe a day with your family using a song title? 

Luigi: Don’t Blink by Kenny Chesney
Daniel: Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

What do you like doing in your downtime? 

Luigi: Going bush in our caravan.
Daniel: I love spending time in the garden or a walk on the beach with my family and the dogs.

Daniel, what does date night with your partner look like?
We love to go out for dinner however, some of our favourite nights are sitting and watch a movie together at home.

Daniel, what skill or trait did you get from your parents that you hope to pass onto your kids?
I feel the best trait that you can ever give your kids is the drive to succeed in whatever they do and be proud of the job you have no matter what it is. My parents taught us to think big and not be afraid of hard work.

Luigi, what lessons do you hope your kids pass onto their own children that they’ve learned from you?
Respect, for family and all people you meet. Also, our family is very quick to embrace a new project, so you never know where we will turn up – taking part in the Great Northern Beer ad is a classic example. I was overseas one day, then flying to Cairns two days later – I’ve never done anything like this in my life!




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