Peering into the tapestry of an individual’s life, understanding their cultural roots, and delving into what shapes their core values, brings us closer to their essence. Today, we have the privilege of sitting down with William Trewlynn, affectionately known as Will, a remarkable individual whose journey has been moulded by his proud Nucoorilma, Anaiwan, and Dunghutti heritage. Born and raised amid the vibrant embrace of family in the Western Sydney suburbs, Will’s story weaves together the rich threads of his upbringing, marked by the influence of his grandparents’ Colyton home—a place that breathed life into his values and perspective.
As the Co-Founder, Director, and Facilitator at YarnnUp, Will has channelled his diverse experiences into a powerful force for cultural understanding and change. In this illuminating Q&A, we embark on a journey through Will’s experiences, insights, and wisdom. Join us as we uncover the tapestry of his life, intricately woven with cultural pride, familial connections, and a commitment to fostering understanding and unity.
What or who have been your biggest influences?
I was fortunate to have two incredible leaders and role models who moulded me into the man I am today. My earliest memory of leadership and role models involves my grandfather. There was also my Aunt Jo, as I affectionately called her, who had a profound effect on me. She was a larger-than-life human, she was glamourous, always smelled divine and possessed exceptional makeup skills. Unfortunately, I lost her when I was 12 due to an accident. Even though I only spent 12 incredible years with her, she continues to have a profound impact on me still to this day.
I am fortunate in that I was able to grow up within my kinship; knowing my culture and family, and having the connection I do, has shaped me into the individual I am today. I pride myself on the that that I am kinship carer, a storyteller, a collaborator, that I’m culturally connected, a social entrepreneur, a Masters graduate and the Queer.E.O
What’s your favourite childhood memory that still brings a smile to your face?
With so many hardships grow up, childhood memories are not something I reflect on often, but when I do, the memory of being with my cousins is always one that comes to mind. The privilege to have grown up with family, spending every weekend at my grandparents was a true blessing.
I recall that my grandfather or grandmother would come and pick me and my brother up from school every Friday with McDonald’s in tow. Then we would drive to Colyton to drop off our stuff, then to St. Mary’s train station to wait for my Aunty Jo’s arriving from work, and finally to our home, where she would always hide from my grandparents that she had ordered us Chinese food for supper! It is these small yet important things that I remember the most.
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
I spend 4 weeks traveling throughout the Philippines island hoping and having the opportunity to dive 8 shipwrecks to the depth of 50 meter!
What is one pivotal moment that you feel changed the course of your life for the better?
I recently became a kinship carer of my two nieces which changed my life. I also recently got engaged to a very special human. I am humbled to say that I am a bless man.
Do you have any hidden talents that most people don’t know about?
I am one hell of a dancer! I call myself Wilyonce!
What’s your go-to comfort food after a long day?
Fried Rice! Reminds me of my Aunty Jo
If you could travel back in time, what era or historical event would you visit?
Hearing Martin Luther King speech would be a pretty icon moment in history. And to witness the exchange of first contact in Australia would certainly be a moment in time that I would like to understand.
What’s your favourite book or movie, and why does it resonate with you?
Never read a book, ADHD never really helped in that space lol…. But movie wise, I would say ‘Hook;’ with Robin Williams. Something about the idea of reconnecting with one’s inner child has always been something that has always resonated with me.
How do you unwind and de-stress after a busy day?
Glass of Red, or a good gym session
What’s one thing on your bucket list that you’re determined to achieve?
To dive at the Wolf and Darwin Islands, Galapagos and French Polynesia
If you could invite three people, living or passed, to a dinner party, who would they be, and why?
I would totally have Beyonce, Simon Sinek and my Aunty Jo.
Beyonce because I’m Wilyonce, her twin brother! I LOVE HER THAT MUCH LOL!
Simon because I think he is an amazing storyteller and I would love to exchange we would have
My Aunty Jo, because I miss her and I would love for her to see the man I have become today.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it?
Teleportation, having the ability to travel from country to country would be truly amazing. There is a saying in the Cultural intelligence space, that people who travel are 75% more cultural capable. Could you imagine!!
Will Trewlynn, YarnnUp Co-Founder, Director and Facilitator.
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