Next Level

27 June 2020

3.4 MINS

I have organised many events for dads over the years, but last Tuesday’s ‘Dads4Kids Family Webinar’ lifted the bar to the next level. I felt like I got hit by a freight train! I am still trying to process the challenge.

Please watch the webinar below to understand what I mean.


All contributors to the Dads4Kids Family Webinar were amazing. Dr Allan Meyer, author of Valiant Man, talked about the high cost of negligent fathering and its ensuing devastation. His personal story was riveting.

Darren Lewis, founder of Fathering Adventures, shared about the need to help boys become men. He also shared about the need daughters have for an involved, loving father. People come from all over the world to attend the Fathering Adventure Father-Son or Father-Daughter weekends. Darren Lewis is a world leader in Father-Child connection celebrations.

The webinar doubled as a vision casting and fundraising event for Dads4Kids, but the great bulk of the webinar was devoted to hearing gems of wisdom from our three special guests.

For me, it was Dave Hodgson who really pushed my buttons. I had spoken with Dave several times over the years, but I had never really heard his personal story.

Dave Hodgson is the founder and chairman of the Paladin group of companies, which has 1.2 billion dollars in funds under investment, but he also has a very close relationship with his family.

This is what he had to tell everybody:

My one overarching tip for any dad is to make yourself so valuable to your wife and family, so that they cannot live without you. I learnt this many years ago in the SAS, where we worked mostly in small groups of three.

Although we were all well-trained, some of us were highly specialised in certain aspects of warfare. I was an expert in demolition. I was really well looked after because they needed me and couldn’t do any demolitions without me.

I saw that again when I was a commercial saturation diver (highly-skilled long shift diver) because in the SAS I was trained as a medic, and they couldn’t go into saturation without a medic in the sat chamber. So once again, they couldn’t dive without me, they needed my service and they really looked after me.

I brought that into my family life as a husband and as a father. I learnt that as I used my skills to serve my family, that they quickly got to a stage where they could not live without me.

I will give you an example — you probably won’t like it, but it has helped my sons, who are in their late forties now, and all have very successful families as a result.

My wife and I work hard, and when we get home, she is tired and needs a rest. I have learned to become a high-energy person and I don’t need a rest, so I love her and I want her to relax.

When she is tired, I want her to kick back and watch TV or whatever, knowing that I am going to look after her and do stuff for her. So I do all the cooking, and she can kick back and I can make beautiful meals. So much so, that she tells me she hates going out to dinner, because the meals are not up to the home cooking.

I also get up very early and have brekkie beforehand. I tidy up the kitchen so that when she come downstairs, it is spotless. I finish brekkie before her, go upstairs to shower, make the bed and tidy the room. By the time she gets upstairs, it is like room service has been and gone.

At that point I said, Dave. Stop! My wife is laughing in the background. You have to stop. (laughs)
Dave replied, I thought this was a men’s group. (more laughs)

To hear the rest of Dave’s story you will have to watch the entire video and judge for yourself. Suffice to say, whether I liked it or not, the pressure is on me to go to the next level. I have warned my wife that it might take me a few years to get there. Hopefully she is prepared to wait while I go to chef’s school.


If you want to go to the next level as a father and husband, watch the Dads4Kids Family Webinar. Darren Lewis and Dr Allan Meyer are equally challenging in their own delightful ways. However, I am working towards Dave Hodgson’s ‘next level’ advice and getting some lessons on how to do it from my sons.

Yours for Next Level Dads,
Warwick Marsh

PS: We started the Dads4Kids EOFY Tax-Deductible Appeal last Tuesday. We began with a matching grant of $57,400. That means that every donation up to this amount doubles. When someone gives a new monthly donation, that amount is totalled for the year and then doubled.

If every Dad who receives this newsletter became a Dads4Kids Foundation partner and gave $5 per month, Dads4Kids could more than meet our $200,000 end of year target. That is one large coffee less per month for you, with the joy of knowing you are helping Dads4Kids give our children the best start in life. Donate here NOW.

[Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels]

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