I still remember fondly the principal you know, getting me out the front of the assembly and saying, "You know, we've got a champion hurdler of the school." And, "Kyle, show everyone your medal."
It was a big moment because I'd sort of realized the power of sport to give you an identity and give you that confidence and self-esteem.
I'm Kyle Vander-Kuyp, proud Worimi and Yuin man from New South Wales. Born in Sydney, 1971, and I was adopted when I was five weeks old. So I get my Dutch surname from my dad, Vander-Kuyp, but I'm actually Aboriginal-Irish.
I'd had a bit of name calling at school and kids had picked up on my skin color and said, "Oh, I know that you're an Abo, "you're a boong, you're a black kid." Yeah, but sport came along and that was the way I could just get that confidence, get that self-esteem.
15 years later, made the Olympics, and that was a dream come true, that was really what me, as a child, wanted. Whenever I put that green and gold on, it was representing myself, my family, Aboriginal people, and Australia.
I would have been under six years of age that I found out that I was adopted. I'm probably very lucky that my mum, Pat, she had to adopt a child out when she was young. What better person to teach you about adoption than someone that's gone through it?
The time for me where I learnt that I had depression was the same year that I met my biological mum for the first time. I had missed my third Olympics by 1/10 of a second, I had a relationship breakup that I'd been in for a couple of years, so we're pretty tough people, human beings, but we can't deal when it loads up too much, there's something that'll give.
I wasn't sleeping, the mood had dropped, I think all my wellbeing had gone downhill, and when I noticed it hard to put shoes on to go to the track, and put my training gear on and put tights on, I'm thinking, it's normally not this hard to get up and do these things.
Yeah, my friend at Beyond Blue, they could probably hear what was going through my mind, and I'd never gone down that path of needing the service. So when I became aware, you know, I've got depression, I just went into that mode like, okay, let's find out about it. Okay, it's quite common, you know, let's go to the best people who can help me.
Anyone going through depression, your first instinct's probably, "Oh no, I'll be alright, I'll just keep toughing this out" and I think, like I said, I'm grateful that I realized, hey, this is like an injury, you can't keep sprinting on a torn hammy, you need to stop training, you need to put the breaks on. And that was the same thing with depression, just thought, just gotta fully think about rebuilding. Let's get from a limp to a walk, from a walk to a jog, jog to a sprint.
I got back to an Australian team, went to the Commonwealth games, and I wore green and gold one more time, so I was really proud of myself to get back. Started doing role model work, started doing ambassador work with Beyond Blue.
If I can help someone get through their challenges, I'll be happy.
I'm glad I got onto it quickly, and reached out at the time 'cause it actually would help, you know?
Don't be afraid to go and talk, you know.