Whether you’ve got a tall one, a short one, a hairy one, a bald one, a funny one, a serious one, a sporty one or even a nerdy one, you’ll only ever have one dad. On the eve of father’s day, haven celebrates some of the raddest dads we know…


CEO Merlo Coffee

With four kids in their tween/teen years, Merlo CEO James Wilkinson is the kind of guy who deserves a strong coffee at the end of each day. Declan (14), Charles (11), Harry (9) and Adelaide (7) definitely keep James and his wife on their toes.

Take us back to the moment you met your first child.

I don’t think you can put into words the first time your hold a newly born child, especially the first. It’s a very special moment.

What’s the best thing about being a dad?

Just spending time with them, their one liners and just seeing them grow in little adults.

What is the most challenging part of your role as a dad? How do you get through that?

Discipline. I have never quite got my head around it. I’m probably too soft sometimes and too tough other times – who knows what’s right?! I still haven’t worked it out!

MERLO CEO JAMES WILKINSON AND HIS KIDSHow would your kids describe you in three words?

Kind, funny and good looking!

How do you and your kids’ mother share the parenting role? What are your areas of expertise compared to hers?

It’s a united front – you have be united with four terrors! My wife does a lot with the children during the week and I pick up the slack in the early mornings, evenings and at the weekend.

If your family had a reality TV show, what would it be called?


What are you looking forward to most as your kids grow up?

Seeing them grow as people and what they end up doing in life will be a fantastic exercise.

Did your father give you any parenting tips? If so, what were they?

Enjoy it – it goes really quickly!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from being a dad?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life goes on and they will always love you.

Dream big: What’s the best Father’s Day gift you could receive this year? 

A happy, healthy and loving family… No forget it – a new red Ferrari!!

On the flip side of that, what is your kid’s pocket money actually going to buy you at the Father’s Day stall at school this year?

A ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ mug for the 10th year running!



haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.